What Does It Mean to Be a Ballet Company's "Scholar in Residence"?

A scholar of Russian literature and culture, Dr. Natalie Rouland works for the Kennan Institute, a DC think tank invested in building bridges between the United States and Russia. She also advises The Washington Ballet’s artistic director Julie Kent on staging classical ballets, serving as the company’s first scholar in residence. A native of Lexington, […]

This Ballet Summer Program Emphasizes Artistry Over Technique

“Julie Kent was my first ballet crush,” Harry Warshaw admits with a shy smile. The curly-haired 17-year-old has just learned a variation from Swan Lake. “I remember watching Center Stage when I was about 10 or 11 just to see her.” Now he is taking technique class with the former American Ballet Theatre star and […]

What Should We Do When Great Choreographers Make Work That's…Not So Great?

When George Balanchine’s full-length Don Quixote premiered in 1965, critics and audiences alike viewed the ballet as a failure. Elaborate scenery and costumes framed mawkish mime passages, like one in which the ballerina washed the Don’s feet and dried them with her hair. Its revival in 2005 by Suzanne Farrell, the ballerina on whom it […]

For Katherine Barkman, Falling Onstage Led to Her Latest Job Offer

Katherine Barkman’s career reads like a storybook: At 18, she left Pennsylvania and moved to the Philippines to become a principal at Ballet Manila. She danced Juliet, Giselle, Odette/Odile and Kitri, but three years in, it was time for new challenges. Late last year, Barkman joined The Washington Ballet, bringing her scintillating, pure Vaganova technique […]

54 Thoughts I Had Watching "Center Stage" for the First Time

I have a confession. Until today, I had never seen the seminal classic Center Stage. Now that you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, allow me to explain. It’s not that I don’t love a good dance movie—I did my time with all but the most recent flicks in the Step Up franchise, my […]

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