A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Peter Stamelman graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a B.A. in European History. After training in the William Morris Agency mailroom in New York, he was relocated to WMA's Beverly Hills office. In 1977 he joined Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles, where he represented motion picture and television writers, directors and producers. Since being taken to his first ballet while still in short-pants, he's been consumed with dance and considers one of the highlights of his thirty years in Los Angeles his getting to know and becoming friends with Hermes Pan.
George Balanchine famously wrote, that ballet "is a woman." Four of his most celebrated women—Allegra Kent, Gloria Govrin, Kay Mazzo and Merrill Ashley—appeared onstage at Jacques d'Amboise's National Dance Institute Monday evening to celebrate his legacy. The sold-out program, called "Balanchine's Ballerinas," included performances of excerpts from ballets closely associated with these women and a discussion, moderated by former New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan. Here are some highlights of the conversation, filled with affection, warmth and fond memories.
What better way for dancers to celebrate Halloween than by seeing Luca Guadagnino's outrageous re-imagining of the 1977 horror film Suspiria? The movie, which includes extended dance sequences by Belgo-French choreographer Damien Jalet, is principally set at the fictitious Helena Markos Dance Company in West Berlin. The school's artistic director Madame Blanc (think Martha Graham meets Pina Bausch) is played by Tilda Swinton, and Dakota Johnson plays Susie Bannion, her American star pupil. But all is not what it seems at the company. In reality, it houses a coven of witches.
Recently, Dance Magazine interviewed Jalet via email about his work on Suspiria, in theaters now.
Rebecca Ferguson is indestructible. In Mission: Impossible—Fallout, the sixth and latest installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, the Swedish actress, who plays MI6 agent Ilsa Faust, punches, pummels, kicks and spins her way out of the clutches of a series of evermore thuggish villains. Since Ferguson did many of her own stunts, it should come as no surprise that, from a very young age, she studied ballet, tap, jazz, street funk and Argentine tango. In fact, she taught tango in Sweden and still loves to dance today.
Dance Magazine caught up with Ferguson this week as she was being ferried by SUV to and from promotional interviews in Los Angeles. Mission: Impossible—Fallout opens this Friday, July 27.
Could Justin Peck be any busier? In the midst of pulling triple duty at New York City Ballet—as a soloist, resident choreographer and a member of its interim artistic team—he also managed to choreograph a Broadway show. Then, last month, on his first try, he won a Tony Award for best choreography for the revival of Carousel.
The morning after the ceremony, he shared an exuberant Instagram post: As he exited the stage after winning, he ran into the Carousel sailors backstage as they were entering to perform "Blow High, Blow Low" for the telecast. He wrote: "None of them knew we had just been awarded the Tony, and I stood in front of them holding the award, speechless. They erupted in excitement and we exchanged a beautiful moment of embraces, cheers, and happiness. Certainly the highlight of the night for me!" Recently, via email, we caught up with the peripatetic Mr. Peck.
Among the many delights of the glorious Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel is watching New York City Ballet soloist Brittany Pollack make her radiant Broadway debut.
One of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" in 2011, Pollack plays Louise, the daughter of the two leads Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan. She makes her entrance in the second act, dancing a solo ballet in an incandescent, shimmering yellow dress.
Just before a Sleeping Beauty matinee this February, Peter Martins announced the promotion of eight dancers at New York City Ballet. For devoted Dance Magazine readers, one name jumped out: Unity Phelan, who appeared on the cover of our January "25 to Watch" issue.
For regular NYCB-goers, her promotion to soloist came as no surprise. She has exuded confidence and assurance in the past year's performances. And she has brought esprit and refinement to all her roles.