May 4, 2016 |
It's been more than 35 years since the launch of Black Barbie, but Black Barbie was just a browner version of white Barbie - vapid, concerned only about her clothes and her hair. But as society has changed, Barbie has changed. Monday Mattel unveiled its new Barbie Shero (not to be confused with Fred Shero ). She's Misty Copeland , American Ballet Theatre's first female African-American principal dancer whose doll is the latest addition to Team Barbie. "I always dreamed of becoming an ABT ballerina and through Barbie I was able to play out those dreams early on," Copeland said in a statement.
July 2, 2015 |
Misty Copeland made ballet history Tuesday: She was promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. She is the first African American ballerina to achieve the highest rank at a premiere American company. Her promotion followed more than a week of "Misty Watch," which had ballet fans around the country speculating and hoping that Copeland, a hugely popular presence on stage, on social media, and in pop culture, was on the brink of achievement. Three female ABT principals - Julie Kent, Paloma Herrera, and Xiomara Reyes - retired in the spring, opening up room at the top. The time seemed particularly ripe after Copeland made her momentous June 24 ABT debut as white swan Odette and black swan Odile, the bifurcated lead in Swan Lake , often referred to as a "white ballet.
June 6, 2014 |
Dolores "Lolly" LaGreca, 72, a former ballerina who later cofounded a real estate company and was active in civic affairs, died Friday, May 30, of pulmonary fibrosis at Pennsylvania Hospital. Born and raised in North Philadelphia and Logan, Ms. LaGreca thrived on dance. She was a member of the Pennsylvania Ballet Company's corps de ballet in its inaugural season and then founded a children's ballet company in South Philadelphia and a Pilates studio in Center City. She also taught ballet, jazz dance, and modern dance at studios owned by others across the city.
May 9, 2014 |
'I'm such a nerd," said Julie Diana, a principal dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet, who recently saddened fans by announcing that she would retire after Sunday's performance of the ballet's "Director's Choice" program at the Academy of Music. Nerd is hardly the term that comes to mind. Diana is well known for her portrayals of the quintessentially romantic heroines in Romeo and Juliet and La Sylphide. She is also a versatile and exceptionally intelligent dancer who excels in sizzling, Broadway-style roles (as in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue )
August 7, 2013 |
ALL QUESTIONS about who is criminally responsible for the March 18, 2012, drunken-driving crash that claimed the life of a rising Bulgarian-born ballet dancer have been answered. DeAndre Barnes, who had been celebrating his 19th birthday when the Audi he was driving struck Polina Kadiyska, 22, as she walked across Broad Street near Ellsworth in South Philadelphia, pleaded guilty Feb. 8 to homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence. He's serving five to 10 years in state prison.
April 14, 2013 |
CHICAGO - Maria Tallchief, 88, one of America's first great prima ballerinas who gave life to such works as The Nutcracker , Firebird , and other masterpieces from legendary choreographer George Balanchine, died Thursday in Chicago, her daughter Elise Paschen said Friday. Ms. Tallchief danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo from 1942 to 1947, but her career was most associated with the New York City Ballet, where she worked from 1948 to 1965. Balanchine, the Russian-born dance genius, was not only the company's director; in 1946, he became Ms. Tallchief's husband for some years.
March 22, 2013 |
THERE HAVE BEEN a number of movies about the world of ballet, and all of them have made it seem like a back-stabbing sorority - "Mean Girls" in toe shoes. But none of the stories compare with what's going on at Russia's vaunted Bolshoi. Earlier this month, principal dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko was arrested over suspicion that he was involved in the acid-splashing attack on artistic director Sergei Filin . Now, according to the Huffington Post, former star dancer Anastasia Volochkova has accused the company of pimping out its female dancers.
October 5, 2012
Yvonne Mounsey, 93, who danced major roles for George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins with the New York City Ballet in the 1950s and went on to found an influential West Coast ballet school, died of cancer Saturday at her Los Angeles home. Ms. Mounsey danced with the City Ballet from 1948 to 1958, rising from soloist to principal dancer. She was born Yvonne Louise Leibbrandt in 1919 on a South African dairy farm outside Pretoria. She began taking ballet lessons at 7 with a former member of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova's company.
March 21, 2012 |
When Polina Kadiyska danced, other dancers felt inspired. Off stage, it was no different. Kadiyska, a Bulgarian ballerina, 22, who had been studying at Philadelphia's Rock School for Dance Education until she was fatally injured in a hit-and-run accident, was remembered Tuesday for her poise, her kindness, and her ever-present smile. "She was loved by everybody," said Stephanie Wolf Spassoff, director of the school. "She was the sweetest person, the friendliest, the warmest.
January 15, 2012 |
Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina A Biohistory of American Performance By Brenda Dixon Gottschild Palgrave Macmillan. 370 pp. $27 This is a Philadelphia story that rivals Rocky in blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention fabulous footwork. Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope for the Black Ballerina is, of course, about the visionary founder and artistic director of Philadanco, the internationally renowned dance troupe that is still going strong after 40 years and that embodies the spirit of Philadelphia.