Celebrating 75 Years of Sugar Plum

America’s oldest Nutcracker celebrates its milestone 75th anniversary this month. Willam Christensen created his production for San Francisco Ballet in 1944—the first full-length version in the U.S.—but it has been a fixture of Ballet West’s repertory since 1963, when he became the company’s founding artistic director. The tradition that launched our nationwide holiday fixation on […]

The Sophomore Slump Can Hit Dancers Hard—Here's How to Beat It

You did it: You landed the job, a spot at the pre-professional school of your dreams or at the best-of-the-best university dance program. And that first year was hard, and exhilarating. But since then, the shiny new has worn off, and the patina of the everyday has left you in a rut. The sophomore slump […]

How the Dance World is Celebrating a Century of Merce Cunningham

Throughout 2019, the Merce Cunningham Trust continues a global celebration that will be one of the largest tributes to a dance artist ever. Under the umbrella of the Merce Cunningham Centennial are classes and workshops, film screenings and festivals, art exhibitions and symposia, and revivals and premieres of original works inspired by the dancemaker’s ideas. […]

What Ballet Directors Look for During an Audition Class

Audition classes may not differ much from any other class—but directors have ways of sussing out who has what they’re looking for. We spoke to three artistic directors to get their perspective from the front of the room. Show You’re Adaptable Lopez says that dancers must have a clean, classical foundation. Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami […]

Doubling Down: Two New Initiatives Feature Women in the Studio and On the Stage

While there are more women making dance than ever before, the question still swirls: Do they have the same programming and mentoring opportunities as their male counterparts? This spring, Ballet West and the University of Southern California are choosing to tackle the question head-on, with performances and residencies that focus on female dancemakers. National Choreographic […]

Merce Cunningham is Going to Have the Best 100th Birthday Ever

Merce Cunningham would have been 99 years old today, and, as a present to the dance world, the Merce Cunningham Trust has announced a dizzying array of celebrations to unfold over the next year in honor of the groundbreaking choreographer’s 2019 centennial. “Merce liked saying he didn’t want to celebrate his birthday, and yet he […]

Meet The Ballet West Dancer Who Doubles As a Professional Baker

Contrary to what her last name might suggest, Ballet West corps member Jordan Fry prefers baking as a cooking method. Her specialty? Picture-perfect cakes with flavors like banana-bourbon-butterscotch with caramel filling and toasted marshmallow frosting. The self-professed sweets lover began her early culinary education through high school classes and YouTube videos. After a brief stint […]

This Former Ballet Kid Is Heading To The Olympics—And Is Expected To Win

One of the United States’ top hopes for medaling at the Olympics this month has a secret weapon: a serious ballet background. Figure skating champion Nathan Chen spent six years training at Ballet West as a kid. “The technique there was impeccable,” the 18-year-old said in a media teleconference last week. “To have had that […]

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