But let’s not forget the other promotion to principal: Stella Abrera. She’s not the first Asian-American principal—I think that distinction went to Sono Osato in 1941. But what is more to the point is that she has been in the company for 19 years. That must be some kind of record. She had more than her share of injuries that kept setting her back. Through it all, her dancing has been superb in a wide variety of roles. She brings an openness of the upper body that speaks of sweetness, nobility and compassion. I always care about the character she portrays, whether it’s the Lilac Fairy, Lady Capulet, one of the six dancers in Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas or, most recently Cinderella. (So sorry I had to miss her Giselle, for which she received a “delirious standing ovation.”)
Her husband (and Dance Magazine contributor), Sascha Radetsky, wrote an inspired Facebook entry congratulating her. Here’s a quote: “Stella’s is a quiet, steady excellence, born of humility, graciousness, a fearsome work ethic, and—hell yeah—a massive dose of talent. And now it is formally recognized. I am so proud and happy.”
The compassion Abrera exudes onstage is also active offstage. Last fall she performed Giselle in the Philippines as part of an effort to raise money for communities hardest hit by the typhoon there.
While trying to think of a word that describes her particularly luminous dancing, I came across this news clip that interviews her parents, Filipino immigrants in Pasadena. In it, her dancing is described as “angelic.” Yup, I’ll take angelic.
Here’s to next season, when we will see much more of both Stella and Misty.
Essential oils sometimes get a bad rap.Between the aggressive social media marketing for the products and the sometimes magical-sounding claims about their healing properties, it's easy to forget what they can actually do.But if you look beyond the pyramid schemes and exaggerations, experts believe they have legit benefits to offer both mind and body.
How can dancers take advantage of their medicinal properties? We asked Amy Galper, certified aromatherapist and co-founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies:
Karen Azenberg, a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, stumbled on something peculiar before the union's 2015 move to new offices: a 52-year-old sealed envelope with a handwritten note attached. It was from Agnes de Mille, the groundbreaking choreographer of Oklahoma! and Rodeo. De Mille, a founding member of SDC, had sealed the envelope with gold wax before mailing it to the union and asking, in a separate note, that it not be opened. The reason? "It is the outline for a play, and I have no means of copyrighting…The material is eminently stealable."