Svetlana Zakharova and Alexander Volchkov, “Swan Lake”, Bolshoi Ballet at the Royal Opera House (July/August 2013)
Our work is taken from us through no fault of our own, except maybe the fault of choosing to dance at all. But nobody warns a ten-year-old that he will be finished at forty, and what ten-year-old would listen? I doubt that even one of us would not choose to do it again, for we are believers. No dancer will deny the value, the total value, of his dedication. Who could ever say after giving so much of himself —- far more than he ever conceived existed —- that it was not the highest possible pursuit, to use and shape all one’s energy to create beauty?
the fabulous arthur mitchell and dance theater of harlem
photo copyright: Dance Theater of Harlem. photographer not listed.
copy courtesy of The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
In the 1950s and 60s Arthur Mitchell challenged the myth that black dancers were unsuited to ballet. He grew up in the Harlem district of New York and when he was 18 won a scholarship to the School of American Ballet. On graduation in 1956, he joined New York City Ballet and danced with them for 15 years. George Balanchine, the choreographer and founder of the company, created many roles for him, including the ballets Agon and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Mitchell had a great belief in the power of education to help children develop their potential. He wanted children within the black community to have more opportunities. In 1968, shortly after Martin Luther King’s assassination, Mitchell founded a school called the Dance Theatre of Harlem. The school was a huge success and in 1971 the company, also known as Dance Theatre of Harlem, gave its first performances. It has since performed to great acclaim all over the world. The repertory includes works by major 20th-century choreographers, including Fokine, Nijinska, Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Mitchell also commissioned works, some of which explored the origins of black dance.
Yulia Stepanova’s debut in Swan Lake at Mariinsky theatre.
"Sometimes, just sometimes, the Mariinsky gets it right. And when they do — what could be better?"
Stéphane Bullion and Svetlana Zakharova
La Bayadère, Rudolf Nureyev
© Paris Opera Ballet
Vaganova student Polina Bukhalova
Edgar Degas, The Dance Class, ca. 1873-76
Ulyana Lopatkina (Mariinsky Ballet) and Marat Shemiunov (Mikhailovsky Ballet) in “Thaïs” (choreography by Roland Petit)
2014 Kremlin Gala: The Ballet Stars of 21th Century (September 27, 2014)
Photo © Jack Devant
Artem Ovcharenko and Olga Smirnova in John Neumeier’s La Dame Aux Camelias at the Bolshoi Theatre
Photo by Philippe Jordan
Tamara Rojo costumed for Romeo and Juliet
ph. Charlotte MacMillan
Thank you SO much <33333333
Svetlana Zakharova dancing The Dying Swan
photographed by Anne Deniau