Herman Cornejo in Twyla Tharp's In The Upper Room

Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT

Former ABT Standout Erica Cornejo Joins Brother Herman Onstage for a Special Performance

In September 2004, a pair of siblings graced the Dance Magazine cover. Inside, the accompanying story wrote, "When the Cornejos dance, it's never merely a variation—it's a complete performance."


A Dance Magazine cover featuring the Cornejos leaping among illustrated planets and stars

The brother and sister from Buenos Aires were winning over American Ballet Theatre fans, garnering "fervent applause and almost as fervent reviews," wrote Hanna Rubin.

Erica was beloved for her musical phrasing and easy jumps, while Herman won over audiences with his technical brilliance and elegant lines. Both oozed charisma onstage.

But two years after the story came out, Erica left New York City to join Boston Ballet as a principal, and fans lost the ability to see the pair onstage together. Until now.

Although she retired from performing in 2017 and now directs Integrarte ballet school in Boston, Erica is making a special return to the ABT stage on October 26 to dance a pas de deux with Herman in celebration of his 20th anniversary with the company.

The piece holds extra significance for the two dancers: The Cornejos first performed El Chamuyo at a gala for Argentina held at the Metropolitan Opera House's grand tier in 1998. At the time, they were members of ABT star Julio Bocca's touring company, Ballet Argentino. So while in New York for the performance, they took company class at ABT—and were quickly asked to join the Studio Company. Now, their story is coming full circle, celebrating a milestone with the same work that brought them to the company in the first place.

The special evening will also see Herman dancing the title role in Apollo (his New York debut) and a leading role in Twyla Tharp's new A Gathering of Ghosts. We expect nothing less than "fervent applause."

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Jason Samuels Smith, photographed by Jayme Thornton

Moving Forward by Looking Back: A Week at the L.A. Tap Festival Online

I turned to tap at the outset of the European lockdown as a meaningful escape from the anxiety of the pandemic. As a dance historian specialized in dance film, I've seen my fair share of tap on screen, but my own training remains elementary. While sheltering in place, my old hardwood floors beckoned. I wanted to dig deeper in order to better understand tap's origins and how the art form has evolved today. Not so easy to accomplish in France, especially from home.

Enter the L.A. Tap Fest's first online edition.

Alongside 100 other viewers peering out from our respective Zoom windows, I watch a performer tap out rhythms on a board in their living room. Advanced audio settings allow us to hear their feet. In the chat box, valuable resources are being shared and it's common to see questions like, "Can you post the link to that vaudeville book you mentioned?" Greetings and words of gratitude are also exchanged as participants trickle in and out from various times zones across the US and around the world.

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