5 Reasons We'll Miss NYCB Principal Rebecca Krohn
This Saturday night, New York City Ballet principal Rebecca Krohn is performing for the last time, in Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto. After 19 years at the company, she's transitioning into a ballet master role. As she told Playbill, she's incredibly grateful for the coaching she's received during her career, and now she wants to give back to the next generation.
In a company filled with buzzed-about stars, Krohn can sometimes fly under the radar. But then you'll see her in certain roles—particularly in Balanchine's "leotard ballets" —and she'll completely win you over with her bright, charming presence. Here are a few of the reasons we're going to miss her.
The way she can confidently command a stage in nothing more than a leotard and tights:
The way she uses her limbs as though they have no end. Sure, she's tall and leggy, but her incredible reach makes her look even longer:
The way she seems like a real person, not just a bunhead:
Hendrickson and their dog, Franny
Every night after the production that holiday season in 1999, she and Mr. Hendrickson would go to a diner to eat. A vegetarian of five years at the time, she sat across from him feeling an extreme level of exhaustion. He handed her a piece of bacon off his plate.
"You need the protein," he said. "You're going to feel so much better."
She hesitated, but she could see how concerned he was. He knew her body was depleted, and he understood firsthand the mental and physical demands of being a dancer. She took the bacon.
"It seems silly now," she said. "But it meant so much to me. As an athlete, you need so much protein, and I just wasn't taking care of myself." They married in 2011.
The way she can be delicately soft, even while cleanly punctuating every shape in the choreography:
(Rebecca Krohn and Adrian Danchig-Waring in George Balanchine's Stravinsky Violin Concerto.)
The way she's so grateful for her mentors, like Karin von Aroldingen, whom Krohn cites as one of the reasons she wants to become a ballet master:
New York City–based choreographer and director Jennifer Weber once worked on a project with a strict social media policy: " 'Hire no one with less than 10K, period'—and that was a few years ago," she says. "Ten thousand is a very small number now, especially on Instagram."
The commercial dance world is in a period of transition, where social media handles and follower counts are increasingly requested by casting directors, but rarely offered by dancers up front. "I can see it starting to show up on resumés, though, alongside a dancer's height and hair color," predicts Weber.
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
What happens during a performance is the product of the painstaking process of realizing an artistic vision. Whether held beforehand, afterward, offsite or online, audience discussions tend not to be so preordained, easily thrown off track without a skilled moderator at the helm.
"I'm someone who dreaded talkbacks and Q&As," admits Bill Bragin, former director of public programming at Lincoln Center. "While I was in New York, a lot of the time it was just audience members trying to show off how smart they were."
These events present a pile of difficult questions: How much do you reveal about a piece before it's shown? How can a conversation designed to hit key points feel casual and spontaneous? How do you cater to the needs of diverse attendees, from novice dancegoers to lifelong fans to scholars and critics? And how do you avoid smothering dance with language, flattening all its complexity?