Diana Vishneva is starring in a ballet produced by a former Trump aide. PC Svetlana Avvakum, Courtesy Vishneva

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.

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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

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Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

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Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

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