Monday, August 30, 2010
Season 11 of Dancing With the Stars is about to kick off with the new cast of celebrities announced. The first thing most people notice when scanning the Dancing With the Stars Season 11 cast is that they don’t look overwhelmingly exciting. There are a few people that should be fun to watch, but will they be able to dance?
It is pretty plain to see that the show has tried to develop a cast that has at least one contestant that reaches out to each demographic - someone for the men, and another little someone for the ladies. A person for the 60’s & 70’s crowd, and another for the 80’s & 90’s devotees. Of course they need some fresh blood too, and they have that as well as a washed up pro athlete turned actor. It’s got to be a hit, right?
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was one of the first contestants leaked these year and he should be good for some shock value. He is best known from the show “Jersey Shore”, and has possibly become the most popular personality on the show. He’s easy on the eyes, he has enough stones to talk back to the judges - just a little - and he is an early favorite to make the top three. The guy has moves, and he could go all the way.
Bristol Palin is making an appearance and no one is quite sure what to expect from her. As harsh as it is, her mother is going to decide her fate. Already people are posting that they will not vote for her because they disagree with her mother‘s, Sarah Palin, politics, while others have said that is the exact reason they will vote for her. She’s young and in reasonably good shape so if she shows some dancing potential and doesn't let the attention on her mother negatively affect her, she may have top 5 potential.
David Hasselhoff is coming into the show way out of his old Baywatch shape, but regardless, he is a favorite. It is already known he has some minor league moves. The question is whether he can muster the high energy to get through the quickstep and other up-tempo dances.
Brandy is a possibility to win. Everyone knows Brandy has moves and she looks great performing. The real question is whether she will connect with the viewers. While she hasn’t slid of the map into obscurity, she isn’t quite the draw she once was. Brandy should be one of the most fun contestants to watch this year and is already being projected to make the top 5 and even top 3 on some odds boards.
Kurt Warner is making a comeback - just not on the field. Warner has a shot at going a long way as athletes tend to get a ton of call in support. He has the strength to toss his partner around with no problem which will allow for some moves not every contestant can likely pull off to help set himself apart from the crowd.
Jennifer Grey - Baby from “Dirty Dancing” in the flesh is making an appearance. She can move - or at least she could twenty years ago or so. She has had some training in dance, and she is already being discussed as a possible finalist. People love watching her and strolling down memory lane. The odds makers are saying “No one puts Baby in a corner”, and the buzz around seems to indicate that assessment is dead on.
Michael Bolton, or a corpse that looks a lot like him and is using his name, signed on for season 11 of Dancing With the Stars as well. Bolton is not expected to last too long. Nostalgia may buy him 3 or 4 weeks, but don’t expect a much longer run from him.
Comedienne Margaret Cho should be a blast to watch, Her dancing may not be all that great, and it won’t matter much. She is a good entertainer and that is half the battle. The thing is, if Cho does show some moves she may slide into the top 5. It’s a bit of a long shot, but if history has taught us anything, when it comes to DWTS there is always one contestant that puts it together one week and shocks everyone as they start placing high each week. Margaret may be that person this year.
Former NBA player and cast member of HBO’s “OZ” Rick Fox is hoping to ride that love for the ex-jocks to the top. Maybe his moves on the court will translate to the dance floor. Maybe he will win over the crowd and make everyone forget he was the dope that cheated on his ex-wife Vanessa Williams - what was he thinking? Although Fox is a person of minor celebrity, it is not believed he has the built-in fan following to go to far unless he is exceptional. Popularity is just as big as being good when it comes to the fan vote, and that is likely what will bite Fox in the rear.
Mrs. Brady, the Wesson Oil lady, Florence Henderson is going to make an appearance on season 11 of DWTS and should make it to the top half of the contestants - so long as she doesn’t have an injury. Henderson is noted as a former dancer, but what will likely keep her alive is people wanting to see Mrs. Brady do some steamy dances.
Rapper Kyle Massey who is best known for his time on “That’s So Raven” and “Cory in the House” is considered a middle of the pack candidate that could move up a notch, maybe. He can dance, he is a fun guy to watch, and he has a infectious smile that instantly connects him with people. He should do great with the young voters, but the only question is whether there will be enough young call in voters to keep him moving forward.
Audrina Partridge of “The Hills” rounds out the cast and is also considered a possible finalist. The odds on her winning already indicate that. She is the eye candy that will draw in tons of men - and quite a few ladies - that cannot wait to see her get down and maybe a little dirty. She has a sassy personality that should play well with the audience, and she moves well enough that she should pick up most steps fairly quick.
Season 11 of Dancing With the Stars will begin on September 20, 2010 on ABC.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
"Cool" from West Side Story
New York dance companies used to present their seasons in Broadway theaters. Although that practice ended, the Great White Way has welcomed great choreographers, and has been generously repaid. Many of its biggest hits owe at least part of their success to the dances.
George Balanchine choreographed several musicals in the 1930's and '40's, including Cabin in the Sky, one of the first musicals with an all-black cast, and On Your Toes. The plot of On Your Toes involves cross-dancing - an American hoofer, Ray Bolger, dances with a Russian ballet company. Another innovation was Balanchine's credit in the program: Instead of "Dances by" the credit read "Choreography by George Balanchine."
While Balanchine handled the ballet aspects of the production, it was another choreographer – Robert Alton – who brought forth the first modern dances, which still closely resemble many pieces performed by New York stage dancers today.
Agnes De Mille's success with Rodeo led her to being asked by Rodgers and Hammerstein to do the dances for Oklahoma! It was the first time dance was showcased as part of a story plot. Before the 1930s, dance was its own separate entity, and the generating of storytelling whimsy through both bodily strengths and vibrant personalities was truly captivating. She later choreographed Carousel, Brigadoon and Paint Your Wagon, among others.
Jerome Robbins is best known for his choreography in West Side Story. He also directed and choreographed Fiddler on the Roof, Gypsy and the King and I. He made Fancy Free for the American Ballet Theatre in 1944; a few months later an expanded version moved to Broadway as On the Town.
The dancers in Bob Fosse's Steam Heat number from the Pajama Game moved in a way Broadway had never seen. the show was a hit, as were Fosse's Sweet Charity, Pippin and Chicago. Fosse dispensed with the plot entirely in Dancin,' a musical consisting of just dance numbers. Twyla Tharp took the songs of pop-star Billy Joel and fashioned them into Movin Out. Most recently, she turned the songs of Frank Sinatra into Come Fly Away.
The monster hit of 1975, A Chorus Line, not only had dancing but had dancers as it's subject.
Within the last 10 to 15 years, dance continues to dominate the Broadway scene. The late 1990s brought us Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk, which is regarded as one of the biggest dance musicals since Fosse’s final creations from the 1970s.
Classic musicals such as West Side Story and Chicago continue to be replicated in smaller scale theaters all across America and abroad, while Broadway itself continually stages revivals of popular Broadway hits from the past. It seems there has been an audience from every generation since the turn of the century who enjoys the pep and pizzazz that can only be created with Broadway dance numbers. Broadway dance history is continually being written as up and coming choreographers follow in the footsteps of past greats, creating and discovering new styles for an old favorite.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
A young Suzanne Farrell rehearsing with George Balanchine
The beauty of classical ballet is that while there exists a set structure as to how steps are to be performed and a set language of ballet, the interpretation and the training can be approached in many different ways. It's very interesting to note that each style of classical ballet can be attributed almost to a point of origin and a nationality. So it's not surprising to hear a critic say something like "the American style" or "the Italian style" or "the French way" - because each nationality does have its own stamp - its own sort of defining difference which makes its dancers unique and sets them apart. It doesn't have to be an obvious difference - it can actually be very subtle. So it takes a trained "eye" to spot the difference.
There are 6 major schools of training methods that grew when it spread beyond Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Each training method is unique in style and appearance, yet produces brilliant ballet dancers. In training, it is likely that you may encounter a ballet instructor who combines the training methods of two schools. Some very respectable teachers use one method as a base and add style elements of another to create a unique approach.
The major schools of ballet training include Vaganova, Cecchetti, Royal Academy of Dance, the French School, Balanchine and Bournonville.
Vaganova(Soviet Russia)When you think of dancers produced by soviet training, the names Baryshnikov and Nureyev come to mind as well as The Bolshoi. The Vaganova technique was developed by Russian student Agrippina Vaganova. This method spawned from the Russian technique as many others did. Vaganova danced at the Imperial Ballet School then she later taught there when it re-established as the Leningrad Choreographic School, The Soviet Ballet, and now The Mariinsky Ballet. The Vaganova ballet technique is not only Russian, but it has elements of the French and Italian schools of ballet as well.
The Vaganova method concentrates on lower back strength and the “boneless” look of the arms. Vaganova trained dancers execute ballet movement with an especial effortlessness by using supple arms to contrast the robust movement of the legs. The arms would give the dancer an ethereal look as if she defied gravity. Many movements of the Vaganova technique require the dancer to remain in the air for as long as possible to give the dancer an illusion of floating. This requires extreme flexibility and extension. The arms and legs appear longer and leaner by the stretch and line of the pose. A Vaganova trained dancer executes movements with clean precise lines and movement with special attention to placement.
Unlike other methods of ballet, the Vaganova method encourages obvious hand movements. The hands should not flow gradually from one movement to the next, but should "flap" into place at the last moment. The hands should be held distinctly, with the thumb held close to the middle finger and the pointer and ring finger slightly raised.
Cecchetti(Italy)The Cecchetti method is one of the main training techniques of classical ballet. The Cecchetti method is a strict program that enforces planned exercise routines for each day of the week. The program ensures that each part of the body is worked evenly by combining different types of steps into planned routines.
Enrico Cecchetti developed his own ballet training method in London (1918). Coming from Italy, Enrico and his wife opened a dance school and influenced British ballet throughout the ages. Many new methods spawned from the Cecchetti training method. After dancing in Milan as a young man, Enrico Cecchetti migrated to Russia and ended up working for Diaghilev by training his school of dancers. He taught at the Imperial School in St. Petersburg. When the Ballet Russes began to tour the world, students did not want to leave the daily Cecchetti classes that afforded them such exquisite training.
The Cecchetti technique is very involved; the student is trained then tested in stages and graded. Each Cecchetti instructor is to be registered by qualifying with the Imperial Society of Teachers Dancing. Each student endures rigid testing before they graduate to the next level of which there are six. Each student is only allowed one examination per year.
The Cecchetti technique has a strict training regimen; the barré is memorized and done without breaking. There is a specific barré for each day of the week. Each side of the body is worked altering from week to week. The Cecchetti technique has eight particular port de bras, and about forty adages that develop the students balance, poise and grace. The end of class would include a new combination of movement for the student to grasp quickly and perform. This method condenses ballet training to an exact science.
The Cecchetti dancer moves as an instrument; the arms and legs are all one working entity. The energy is focused through the feet and up through the head so the line goes on infinitely. This method teaches quality over quantity; it was better to execute the movement right once rather than being able to do it sloppy several times. Each student is taught the essence of the technique, so this method is something exuded rather than a specific flair as in the Bournonville and Russian techniques. It teaches a dancer to be self reliant rather than mimicking the instructor. This technique uses a classical style most often and develops a dancers balance, poise, elevation, vigor and suppleness.
Royal Academy of Dance(England)A method founded in London in 1920, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) was brought together by pulling representatives of various types of ballet — from Russian to Italian to English — together into one school. The RAD method symbolizes the union of international ballet into one school, consolidated into one method of teaching.
The method grew its roots in the Royal Ballet School in London under Dame Ninette de Valois, founder of the Royal Ballet. With skillful teaching from former dancers such as Russian ballerina Tamara Karsavina, the school turned out highly-accomplished dancers such as Moira Shearer, Beryl Grey, Darcy Bussell, and Leanne Benjamin.
A well-known aspect of the RAD method is the attention to detail when learning the basic techniques of ballet. For beginners, the progression in difficulty is often very slow, with the difficulty of basic exercises only increasing slightly from grade to grade. The general thought is that if enough time is spent achieving the maximum level of technique before introducing new steps, the easier it will be for students to learn harder steps.
Training Programs: The RAD offers two training programs, both of which are suitable for both male and female students. Each program represents a complete system of dance training and includes a series of difficult examinations. The two programs are the Graded Examination Syllabus and the Vocational Graded Syllabus.
Graded Examination Syllabus: The Graded Examination Syllabus consists of 10 grades, incorporating classical ballet, free movement and character dance. The syllabus is designed for students to progress in difficulty from one grade to the next, developing greater dance technique at each level. Students take examinations given by their dance teachers. In the examination, the students perform and are graded on certain techniques. Successful candidates receive a certificate printed with their name and the grade level passed.
Vocational Graded Syllabus: The Vocational Graded Syllabus is mainly designed for older children or young adults who are considering a career in professional dance. The vocational syllabus is very demanding, consisting of only classical ballet and pointe work. Students must be competent in the fundamentals of ballet technique and vocabulary. Unlike the Graded Examination Syllabus, the vocational grades must be studied in sequence with students successfully passing examinations at each level before progressing to the next.
Today, the method is run in a highly-efficient series of levels designed for both the pre-professional and academic ballet dancer, divided into both vocational and non-vocational levels. Each level is taught by an RAD-certified instructor, with students advancing after taking an examination judged by a certified RAD official (often a teacher and former RAD-trained dancer). The method is practiced worldwide, with official RAD members residing in dozens of countries on six continents.
The French SchoolOne of the most fluid methods of ballet, the French method is largely closed to the rest of the world, its practices not yet spread worldwide. The Paris Opera Ballet School (as it is now titled) was the first ballet school in existence, originally founded by King Louis XIV in the late 17th century. The feeder school for the Paris Opera Ballet, it ran through a highly-qualified staff of former premier dancers and ballerinas. King Louis XIV was also the first principal dancer; his penchant for ballet was a delight to all in his court.
Following its decline in status and popularity in the second half of the 20th century with emerging rivals ranging from the newborn American ballet scene and neo-classicalist revolution in Europe, the Paris Opera Ballet School hired Soviet defector and famed dancer Rudolf Nureyev as director in the 1980s. What is known today as the French method of ballet came largely from Nureyev, who incorporated his own tastes along with Russian training into the French classical vocabulary.
Included in the hallmarks of French ballet are Nureyev’s particular attentions to musicality, altered tempo, and precision by dancers. The dancers are trained with sobriety, attaining a traditional and classical, ethereal look, while executing steps that are both impressive and virtuously quick. The French method of ballet is not practiced outside of the Paris Opera Ballet School, due in part to its newness and the lack of literature available on any syllabus informally created.
Balanchine(US)George Balanchine was a protégé of Diaghilev’s Imperial School of Ballet. He defected to Paris from Russia then later met back up with Diaghilev’s touring Ballet Russes. Balanchine joined the Ballet Russes as a choreographer. After developing and working with a variety of ballet companies, Balanchine was encouraged to come to America to open his own training facility: the School of American Ballet (1934). After forming and disbanding several companies, Balanchine founded the New York City Ballet Company in 1948.
The Balanchine technique is very distinctive; the use of the arms and hands is very eccentric to ballet. Balanchine had a special liking for jazz and modern movement, as well as being a huge fan of Fred Astaire. Many of his ballets reflect this. A distinctive Balanchine flair is the unconventional hand and arm placement. The elbows would often break the arm line (as the wrists did), as the hands remain curled. This technique requires a great deal from the dancer. Balanchine enjoyed watching dancers break laws of motion; he would play with the choreography. His dancers developed such speed of motion that they would fit a lot of movement into a small block of music. Balanchine would not allow an orchestra to slow down for his dancers. He wanted to create a look of longer limbs so he would distort arabesques and extensions in order to do so. A dancer could give the look of a longer arabesque line by opening her hip to the audience as well as opening it upstage away from the audience. This type of placement goes against general ballet form.
Many of Balanchine’s ballets reflect a contemporary or classical style of dancing. He defined modern ballet as we know it today. His works are vast and famous pieces -Serenade, Jewels, Don Quixote, Firebird, Stars and Stripes, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and countless others.
Bournonville(Denmark)The Bournonville method of ballet dancing is not only a method of training and technique, but a choreographic school developed by August Bournonville (1805 – 1879). August was the choreographer for the Royal Danish Ballet, a ballet company who continues to use his choreography and teaching methods till this day. This method focuses specifically on the romantic style since it was born in the romantic era of ballet. August Bournonville not only preferred a more romantic tone to his choreography, but he preferred his ballets tell a vivid love story. Bournonville knew a great deal about musical theatre, so he incorporated a rich array of expression into his works.
Bournonville said himself that “dance should be an expression of joy”. This method displays the movement as effortless though it is very technically challenging. The Bournonville method dancer exudes fluidity, seamlessness, and musicality. The technique is refined with delicate detail. It is not only expressive and romantic, but it touches the heart with dramatic pantomime.
The Bournonville technique begins in the shape and softness of the arms. This method has distinctive and specific lifted torso framework. The legs must define musical rhythm while the arms define the melody; this combination exudes musicality.
Bournonville ballets display technically challenging roles, but usually in reversal of what we’re used to…Bournonville establishes the importance of the male character whereas other methods focused more on the female. This ballet method is such an honest and revealing style using pure and precise movement. The choreography forms a harmony while telling a story. Some of Bournonville’s ballets were La Sylphide, Napoli and Flower Festival in Genzano.
The world is getting smaller. There are students taking class with one another in New York and London and learning from their differences. But national styles will always remain to some extent; dancers are products of their environments, and what speaks to one culture won't necessarily resonate elsewhere. And that's a good thing.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Self-love is both the most important thing to have and the hardest to obtain. But with it, your relationships, work, time spent all mean so much more.
Some people confuse self-love with Narcissism, which is the love of self to the exclusion of all others. Self love simply means wanting to “become the best version of ourselves” (Matthew Kelley ) and acknowledging that “God don’t make junk.” (Alcoholics Anonymous)
Loving ourselves means accepting who we are, just as we are, with all our faults and failings. It means being honest about ourselves. We need to acknowledge where we shine and where we fail; what are our virtues and our talents. Always looking at ourselves with a negative eye stunts our growth and makes us afraid to let others come to know us just as we are. So we create a front, a public face that people will like because we are afraid they will not like us if they know who we really are.
Loving ourselves means we respect ourselves as human beings. All humans deserve respect. We are no exception. We have something to offer that no one else has. We are unique. There will never be another “us.” Because of our uniqueness, we can contribute something no one else can. We can’t make our contribution unless we believe in ourselves.
Our bodies allow or limit what we can do to care for ourselves or others. It may be gorgeous or blemished, fat or thin, tall or short, handicapped or not, but it is ours to care for and protect to the best of our ability. If we love ourselves and want what is best for ourselves, we will care for this one body we have been given. We will nourish it to the best of our ability, choosing food and drink that are beneficial and not harmful. We will see to it that we maintain strength and flexibility. We will get enough rest to repair our tissues for the work of the next day. We will remind ourselves to take regular “time off” to just relax.
We each have something we can give to make the world a better place. It is just a matter of finding what we are able to do within our limitations. Making a contribution helps us to respect ourselves.
We spend so much of our lives seeking peer support to validate who we are. We want to be liked so we “go along with the crowd,” even if we are uncomfortable with what the crowd is doing. Peer acceptance is not the same thing as love. When we don’t love ourselves weseek love in inappropriate places and from inappropriate people. Our need to be accepted sometimes leads us to accept abuse rather than lose this shaky relationship.
We seek out others to love and who will love us, someone with whom we can share the joys and sorrows of the day as well as our most intimate thoughts. We trust that person with whom we share ourselves. If we don’t love and respect ourselves, then we hide who we are from the one person we most want to love us. How can someone love who we are if we are afraid to share ourselves openly? If we don‘t love ourselves, why should anyone else love us?
Forgiveness is a critical part of love. When we feel hurt by others and want to strike out or retaliate, we need to remember that our reaction is our problem not theirs. They may not even know they have hurt us. Similarly, we need to forgive ourselves. Have we been thoughtless, impatient, or unkind? Then we need to ask forgiveness from others as well as ourselves.
We need to connect, in a very intimate way, with ourselves. We need to take time to simply be alone with ourselves every day. Pick a time and place that is quiet. Settle yourself into a comfortable position and do not move for at least fifteen minutes. Spend that time reviewing your past day. Did your hurt yourself or someone else? When were you your best self? What are your plans for today? What can you do differently today to be the best person you can be? Pick one thing you can change today to be the best person you can be.
Loving ourselves is the first step toward loving others. If we set becoming the “best version of ourselves” as a goal, then we have a better chance of seeing goodness in ourselves. Goodness is attractive. Not just to ourselves but to others.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Julie Kent in Les Sylphides
There is nothing more beautiful than to watch a graceful ballerina glide across the stage, with lithe movements and elegant precision Here is just a small list of notable ballerinas. Who is your favorite or who has influenced you?
Maria Taglioni was the pioneer of pointework which led to the change from hard shoes to ballet pumps. It was in the role that brought her to prominence, La Sylphide. designed by her father, choreographer Filippo Taglioni, that a ballet was predominantly danced on pointe. She became famous for her ethereal leaps and brilliant arabesques. She changed the ideology, methods, techniques and even the dress in the world of dance. Her flowing skirt became the modern day tutu. A clever innovator, gifted dancer and exceptional choreographer. She charmed her audiences as principal dancer for the Paris Opera, touring Europe until 1837. She joined the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg until her retirement in 1847. She spent many years after that teaching. A true artisan of artistic perfection.
Anna Pavlova, a connoisseur of the classical style was considered the most renowned ballerina of her time. She trained at the Imperial Ballet School at the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia beginning in 1891. She joined the Imperial Ballet in 1899. She debuted as their prima ballerina in 1906 at the age of 17. She was famous for her performance as the swan in Swan Lake. By 1909 she was touring in Paris with the coveted Ballet Russes. She opened her own school in Hampstead, England in 1912. Her last performance in Russia was in 1913, she spent the rest of her career touring with her own company. Graceful and powerful, an outstanding performer.
Alicia Alonso of Cuban heritage studied her craft in Havana, New York and London. What made this feat so incredible was she had been partially blind since the age of 19 due to an eye disease. Her partners had to be precise and she used the lights on stage to help her. She joined the American Ballet Theatre in 1940, considered a technical master. She founded the Ballet Alicia Alonso in Cuba in 1950 bringing her expertise to her home country. In 1960, it became known as the National Ballet of Cuba with Alicia Alonso as its director and Prima Ballerina Assoluta. She toured the USSR, China and Europe performing Giselle and Carmen with exceptional skill. A remarkable dancer and inspiration.
Margot Fonteyn is known and loved by many who have never followed ballet, she is widely acclaimed as the world's greatest ballerina. She was born Margaret (Peggy )Hookham. She joined the Vic-Well's Ballet in 1934. She became the prima ballerina with the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet in 1940.
She was admired for her brilliant proficiency and musical adaptability. She was famous for her portrayal of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. She created many roles during her career. In 1954, she became the President of the Royal Academy of Dance. In 1956, she was awarded the Dame of the British Empire. When she teamed up with Rudolph Nureyev in 1962, they danced for many years together. In 1979, Margot Fonteyn received a rare honour in Britain the title of Prima Ballerina Assoluta. Her illustrious career ended in retirement at the age of 58.
Celia Franca attended the Royal Academy of Dance on a scholarship. She debuted at age 14 and was immediately picked up by Marie Rambert's ballet company in 1936. At age 20, in 1941, she was acknowledged as the best dramatic ballerina with the Sadler's Wells Company. She became a member of the Metropolitan Ballet as its ballet mistress in 1947. She was a choreographer for television. In 1950, she was asked to establish the National Ballet of Canada, within ten months the company was up and running. She was, also, Co-Artistic Director of the School of Dance and on the Board of Directors of the Canada Dance Festival Society. In 1967, she received the Officer of the Order of Canada, in 1985 she was promoted to Companion. A strong, dynamic woman who loved her art, opening a new world of dance to the Canadian cultural scene.
Julie Kent studied at the Academy of Maryland Youth Ballet, then attended the School of American Ballet. She became a ballerina with the American Ballet in 1985. She was known as a classical expert with poise, strength, a vibrant spirit and remarkable technical skills.
In 1986, she won the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition, a first for an American. She became the American Ballet's soloist in 1990, their principal dancer in 1993. She won the Eric Bruhn Prize in Toronto that year. She was the recipient of the Prix Benois de la Danse in 2000. An unsurpassed talent with a dynamic flair.
Darcey Bussell joined the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet in 1987. She took on the leading role in The Prince of Pagodas in 1988 which led to her association with the Royal Ballet. She was awarded the lead role of principal dancer on her opening night in 1989. She created several roles such as Princess Rose, Masha and Spirit of the Fugue. A dancer with a long list of lead performances noted for her exceptional talent and artistry.