Robert Mueller's Latest Person of Interest Is a Ballet Producer Working with Diana Vishneva
Just when we thought we could no longer be surprised by the headlines coming out of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, a New York Magazine report has our jaws on the floor.
The latest former Trump aide to be interviewed by Mueller is a man named Michael Caputo, who worked for the President during the campaign, but has since moved on to more artistic endeavors. Like producing ballets. For Diana Vishneva.
Have a lot of questions? Us, too.
Caputo, who was interviewed by Mueller yesterday (presumably about his time on the Trump campaign as well as his long list of ties with Russia), is working with Vishneva on Sleeping Beauty Dreams, a ballet about Aurora's hundred years of slumber that will premiere in Miami this December at Art Basel and then tour to New York and other cities. The production will also feature Desmond Richardson as the Prince.
According to a press release, the show will feature 3-D avatars projected onstage that mimic the dancers' movements in real time. "Sleeping Beauty Dreams will break the paradigm of performance with a fusion of dance, music, art, and revolutionary technology never seen on stage before," Caputo says in the release.
New York Magazine reports that while Vishneva, a 2017 Dance Magazine Awardee, is in good favor with the Kremlin, the show's creative director, Rem Khass, fled Russia for asylum in America. Vishneva told reporter Olivia Nuzzi that she was aware Caputo worked for Trump, but she wasn't thinking about her upcoming show in terms of politics.
Jennifer Kahn knew the theater industry could do better. As a professional stage manager for 17 years she worked on regional, off-Broadway and Broadway shows. Nearly each time a show closed, something unsettling happened: "I would watch them throw away our shows. All of the beautiful artwork by my friends in the paint shop would go in the trash." The elaborate backdrops? Gone.
But she had an idea: What if the material used in the backdrops and legs could be upcycled into something new? And what if theater lovers could literally keep a piece of a beloved show?
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.
For decades the name Alicia Alonso has been virtually synonymous with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the company she co-founded in Havana in 1948. Alonso died on October 17, just shy of what would have been her 99th birthday. In recent years, she had stepped back from day-to-day decision-making in the company. As if preparing for the future, in January, the company's leading ballerina, 42-year-old Viengsay Valdés, was named deputy director, a job that seems to encompass most of the responsibilities of a traditional director. Now, presumably, she will step into her new role as director of the company. Her debut as curator of the repertory comes in November, when the troupe will perform three mixed bills selected by her at the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso. The following has been translated from a conversation conducted in Spanish, Valdés' native tongue.
New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns wasn't sure she was strong enough. A ballerina who has danced many demanding full-length and contemporary roles, she was about to push herself physically more than she thought was possible.
"I said, 'I can't. My body won't,' " she says. "He told me, 'Yes, it will.' "
She wasn't working with a ballet coach, but with personal trainer Joel Prouty, who was asking her to do squats with a heavier barbell than she'd ever used.