In This Issue… SEPTEMBER 2016

I can say that we did it… and it wasn’t just me… It was tons of people all across the United States helping me put this together. But it is official… As of 3 minutes ago the mock-up was completed, and off to be proofed two more times. So, for those of you who have actually been wondering what is going in the issue, I can finally preview of what is in our first issue…

But it wasn’t just me who made this happen. It took a lot of us!

First I want to thank a Ballet Education’s quite large team… It was a lot larger than I would have ever imagined. So thank you… thank you… and thank you…. If you didn’t know, everyone who worked on this issue worked for FREE!  ! So I wanted to say thank you for the entire team that pulled this issue together: Bethanne Black, Cj Perez, Edgar Chavez, Jacquelyn Bernard, Emily Kadow, Daryl Manese, Dorothy Crouch, Amber Whitehead

I would like to thank all of the photographers who let me have their art for free! So thank you to Alexandra Rose, Kenneth B Edwards, Jack Stewart, and Emily Kadow.

I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to be interviewed and or photographed for a Ballet Education: Allynne Noelle, Ashley Ellis Kate Kadow, Emma Nelson, Sunni Thomason, Shane Tice, Peter Stark, and more.

A Special Thanks to Bliss Tulle, the Kadow Family, the YAGP, and Wear Moi.

If you have not subscribed to the digital magazine you don’t want to miss out! Subscribe before August 15th and the price is $19.99 for the whole year, after august 15th, it will be $29.99 – not my choice, the publisher choice. Click here to subscribe!

So, here is what we have ready for you in the issue!!!!


COVER STORY: Suzanne Farrell Ballet’s Soloist Allynne Noelle: An intimate portrait of a beautiful woman. Interviewed by Jacquelyn Bernard and photographed by Alexandra Rose.


september issue preview
Kate and Sunni photographed by Jack Stewart


STYLE: Emily Kadow takes on Cool Kids. A fashion spread on the lifestyle of ballet dancers. Photographed by dancer Jack Stewart and Emily Kadow this beautiful editorial features dancers from various companies around the US.


Ashley Ellis photographed by Kenneth B Edwards


BALLERINA IN BUSINESS: Boston Ballet Principal and successful entrepreneur Ashley Ellis gives us a little insight in balancing her ballet career and being a business woman. Photographed by Kenneth B Edwards, story by David King.

foodie 1
 Former dancer Daryl Manese takes on eating healthy and includes a recipe that is both easy and delicious.

ATLANTA’S NEWEST VISION : Bethanne Black got to meet up with Atlanta Ballet’s new Artistic Director, Gennadi Nedvigin and talk about what is to come for the company.

HOROSCOPE: Sarah Jaffe takes us through upcoming energies for ballet dancers for the months ahead.

NOTES ON TECHNIQUE: David King takes on another technique and walks us through pliés for dancers at various points in life and gives his method of teaching pliés.

WHAT’S ON: Five seasons to watch and upcoming performances you don’t want to miss.

DANCE BAG MUST HAVES: Amber Whitehead takes us through dance bag essentials, building your dance bag, and dance bag must haves.

BALLET 101: Dorothy Crouch takes an in-depth look at preparing for ballet class and starting ballet with the right kind of attitude.

and more!!!

Company Profile: the Los Angeles Ballet

So, within the internal ballet dialogue in my head, as I am driving and dictating to SIRI, I was thinking that I am such a hypocrite. Here I am trying to save ballet, yet not supporting the company that is growing in my backyard. (I just purchased tickets to the full length Flames of Paris in November.) Then I started to think, how can I help Los Angeles Ballet, duh, your blog….

Los Angeles Ballet (Click Here)

Location: Los Angeles, CA to be exact 11755 Exposition Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90064

Artistic Directors: Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary

Style: Balanchine meets Bournonville? 

Affiliated School: Los Angeles Ballet

Annual Tuition for a trainee: $5,500-$5,900, boarding is unavailable.

Summer Program: Yes, not a lot of info on their site, check back in September.

Theatre Residence: None.

Current Season: 4 bills, touring the greater Los Angeles Area

Dancers Hired: 37

Kate Highstrete & Christopher Revels in George Balanchine’s “The Four Temperaments“. Photo: Reed Hutchinson

Founded in 2004, my first experience with Los Angeles Ballet was watching a girlfriend of mine perform in their 2009 season. She was dancing George Balanchine’s ‘Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2’ and Serenade. For being a young company I was impressed. I then got season tickets for the following season in which Chehon Wespi-Tschopp stole the majority of the season, then stole the show on SYTYCD. Which was sad becaus when I saw Giselle, and he was better than the title character…. Then I boycotted LA Ballet until I saw they were doing Concerto Barocco, 4 T’s, and Tchai Pas, La Valse, and Agon, their 2012-2013 season was amazing, just the exposure of Balanchine in Los Angeles in much needed. I didn’t see anything this past season until they brought back Serenade and premiered La Slyphide in one bill. So, of course I had t go. Unfortunately, the men stole the show, especially in La Slyphide, with the exception of Colleen Neary who was quite brilliant. If ballet is supposed to be woman, (which LA Ballet excels in the Balanchine Ballets), they fail at the classics, which is why I avoiding their new season. They are doing Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Director’s Choice… A Tchaikovsky Season for sure…In the Director’s Choice the full Theme and Variations will be performed. (It is always a toss up when buying tickets in Southern California because we have amazing venues that book touring companies, in October the Australian Ballet is coming with Swan Lake, the same time Los Angeles Ballet is doing Swan Lake… Which one would you pick? Then again in March Los Angeles Ballet will be doing sleeping beauty while American Ballet Theatre presents the Sleeping Beauty in Orange County.)

Chloe Sherman & Robert Mulvey in Christopher Stowell’s Cipher; Photo: Reed Hutchinson

Questionable timing from the artistic director duo if you ask me. But the two are thriving, mirroring co-directorship success like PNB’s Kent Stowell and Francia Russell. Colleen Neary in particular I think brings a very keen eye to the company, which I think more women should assume roles as ADs. Women are detailed oriented, planners, and I think just as visionary as male ADs. (Sexism is a completely different post… but regardless of the politics, I am fond of the pairing like a good cheese and wine combo.)

So, the company itself. The company has six unique principals, which I have all seen dance, but of the principals two are beyond exceptional: Allynne Noelle and Zheng Hua Li. I probably could watch them dance post modern and be entertained, if you knew me you would understand the humor. Allynne brings this vivacious charisma to the stage while Zheng Hua Li has the most subtle, amazing, deep plié. Of the soloists Alexander Castillo shows a lot of promise, his physique is gorgeous on stage as well.

Allynne Noelle & Ulrik Birkkjær in “Agon”. Photo: Reed Hutchinson
Allynne Noelle & Ulrik Birkkjær in “Agon”. Photo: Reed Hutchinson

But what I love the most are their women in the corps: Britta Lazenga was stunning in Serenade and couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. Katherine Cowgill has a stoic, aristocratic way of dancing which reminds me of old school ballet. Kate Highstrete has legs for days with subtlety. (I love me a good subtle dancer.) Katherine Revels and Chloe Sherman also were stunning with a young unique charm in Serenade. In the corps excitement comes with their new hires. They brought on Jasmine Perry, who was made popular from TEEN VOGUE’s STRICTLY BALLET, and is also the only African American female in the company. They also hired freshly out of SAB Samuel Akins, who is another young African American. As a side commentary, I applaud LA Ballet’s racial diversity, since other companies, with ridiculous budgets still will not hire black dancers. (I won’t name them, even though I should.) It is always exciting when young companies hire straight from school dancers because it is a make it break it moment for these dancers. Both are exceptionally talented, and because full length classical ballets offer numerous roles, I hope they get cast in a lot. (Then again, it could also be disastrous as they are straight from SAB and will be dancing classical ballet.) Young dancers keep ballet alive, as they are the new talent that will eventually replace older talent. Their careers are new and fresh, which might bring some excitement, naivety, and that tenacity you develop in school. 

Katherine Cowgill & Zheng Hua Li in 'Swan Lake'. Photo: Reed Hutchinson
Katherine Cowgill & Zheng Hua Li in ‘Swan Lake’. Photo: Reed Hutchinson

Five reasons why you should see Los Angeles Ballet this season if you are in the area:

  1. As ballet dancers, as artists, as humans, we need to support the arts in any capacity. So, why not save the money and not go to Starbucks or out drinking and go to the ballet? You get to still dress up, and if you are single you might meet someone great. Since most of us gays drop hundreds if not thousands of dollars in liquor in West Hollywood, why not spend the money on something that is actually helping our community?
  2. Because Los Angeles Ballet is a new company, you never know what is going to happen. There are no preconceived notions and you can make an opinion for yourself.
  3. Sleeping Beauty this year is going to be a world premiere for Colleen Neary and Thordal Christiensen which means their version of Sleeping Beauty might be more entertaining than most. I mean the reality is, we have sat through a lot of boring versions… This one is going to be new, so I have high hopes.
  4. Theme and Variations! If you are fan of NYCB and can’t get to NYC, LA Ballet will be doing Theme and Variations, a Balanchine Ballet. If you aren’t familiar with Theme and Variations, it is a beautiful ballet that really tests the entire company. Also it opens with the most beautiful walking tendus…. Talk about needing good feet.
  5. Finally, you might run into me. That is a pretty darn good reason if you ask me.