Miranda Weese

Last updated

Miranda Weese
Born1973/1974(age 46–47)
Education School of American Ballet
Occupation
Current group Boston Ballet
Former groups New York City Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet

Miranda Weese (born 1973or1974) [1] is an American former ballet dancer, teacher and ballet master. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1993 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1996. In 2007, she left to perform with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, first as a guest artist, then joined the company as a principal dancer, before retiring in 2010. In 2017, she joined the Boston Ballet as a children's ballet master.

Contents

Early life and training

Weese was born in San Bernardino, California. She started living with her maternal grandparents as an infant, and was adopted by them as a child. Weese refers to the couple as her parents. She has Cherokee and Blackfoot ancestry. [2] She was raised primarily in Orange County, but had also lived in La Puente for a few years. [2]

Weese started dancing at age five, after a doctor recommended it to help her with knock knees. [3] She later trained with Catherine Joyce while living in La Puente, then with Shery Gilbert upon returning to Orange County, becoming Gilbert's first student. [2] In 1990, [1] [4] at age fifteen, [3] she attended a summer intensive at the School of American Ballet, and was offered a place full-time. [5]

Career

In 1991, months after Weese started training at the School of American Ballet, she became an apprentice with the New York City Ballet. [2] The following year, she broke her foot, which forced her to stop performing for five months. [6] Following her return, she started watching videotapes of both herself and other dancers to help her progress. [2] In 1993, she joined the corps de ballet. [1] Her first featured role was in Balanchine's Who Cares? . [7] In 1994, she was promoted to soloist, and started to substitute others in principal roles when required, including once in Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht Ballet , after only one rehearsal. [2] In 1995, Weese won the Princess Grace Award. [8]

In 1996, shortly before she turned 21, Weese was named principal dancer. She was the first woman to be promoted to this rank in the company since 1991. [2] Her repertory included 25 ballets choreographed by George Balanchine, [3] such as Theme and Variations , [9] Apollo , [10] "Emerald" and "Rubies" from Jewels , [11] [12] Symphony in C , [13] Who Cares?, The Four Temperaments , Ballo della Regina , [6] Symphony in Three Movements , [14] Robert Schumann's Davidsbündlertänze , [1] Divertimento No. 15 [15] and as Sugar Plum Fairy and Dewdrop in The Nutcracker . [5] She had also performed works by Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins and Christopher Wheeldon. [3] For the latter, she had created roles in Mercurial Manoeuvres , [16] Evenfalls [17] and Shambards. [18] She also created a role in Twyla Tharp's The Beethoven Seventh. [19]

In 1999, Weese performed in a televised performance of Swan Lake as Odette-Odile under an hour's notice, in order to replaced Darci Kistler, who got injured earlier that day. While Weese was Kistler's standby, she had never rehearsed her partner Damian Woetzel. [20] In late 2001, she underwent surgery to repair torn cartilage in her hip, and was off stage for a year. While recovering, she gained significant weight and feared she would not be able to perform again. She returned to California to train with her teacher, then back to New York with ballet master Susan Hendl, while fellow dancers Peter Boal, Jock Soto and Woetzel also volunteered to work with her. She resumed performing in early 2003. [1] [7]

In 2007, Weese left the New York City Ballet to perform with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, a Seattle-based company headed by Boal, as a guest artist. [21] In her final performance with the New York City Ballet, she performed Wheeldon's Evenfall. [22] She stated the Pacific Northwest Ballet, where she had made a guest appearance before, has "a schedule and a lifestyle that’s very appealing" to her, as she would have more time to prepare for roles, and the rehearsal and performance periods do not overlap. [21] She first signed on for three seasons, then was added to the company roster as a principal dancer, [23] and retired in 2010. [3]

Following her departure from the Pacific Northwest Ballet, she moved to Saratoga, New York, and taught ballet and dance fitness at the National Museum of Dance School of the Arts. [3] In 2017, she joined the Boston Ballet as children's ballet master. [5]

Related Research Articles

The School of American Ballet (SAB) is an American classical ballet school and is the associate school of the New York City Ballet, a ballet company based at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The school trains students from the age of six, with professional vocational ballet training for students aged 11–18. Graduates of the school achieve employment with leading ballet companies worldwide, and in the United States with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Houston Ballet.

Megan Fairchild is an American ballet dancer. She is currently a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet.

Damian Woetzel is the 7th President of The Juilliard School.

Peter Boal is artistic director of Pacific Northwest Ballet and director of its affiliated school in Seattle, Washington. He was born in Bedford, New York, in 1965 and began studies at the School of American Ballet (SAB) at age nine.

<i>Stars and Stripes</i> (ballet)

Stars and Stripes is a neoclassical ballet choreographed by George Balanchine to music by John Philip Sousa, orchestrated by Hershy Kay. The ballet was made as a tribute to the United States, Balanchine's adopted country. It premiered on January 17, 1958 at the City Center of Music and Drama, danced by the New York City Ballet. It is dedicated to Fiorello La Guardia, former mayor of New York City. The ballet had been revived by multiple ballet companies, and at different special occasions.

Jock Soto is a former American ballet dancer and current ballet instructor.

Jenifer Ellen Ringer is an American ballet dancer and educator. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1990, became a principal dancer in 2000, and retired from performing in 2014. She then became the director of the Colburn School's professional dance program, Colburn Dance Academy. She was named Dean of the school's Trudl Zipper Dance Institute in 2017, and is set to step down in July 2021.

Jennie Renee Somogyi is an American former ballet dancer. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1993, at age 15, became a principal dancer in 2000, and retired in 2015.

Janie Taylor is an American ballet dancer, répétiteur and costume designer. She joined New York City Ballet in 1998, was promoted to principal dancer in 2005 and left in 2014. She then started designing costumes and staging works by Justin Peck and Benjamin Millepied, before performing again as a member of the L.A. Dance Project.

Kyra Nichols is an American retired ballet dancer and teacher. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1974 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1979. She is one of the last dancers to have worked with George Balanchine, although he did not create any new work on her. However, she originated roles in several ballets by Jerome Robbins. Nichols retired from performing in 2007, after a 33-year career.

Linda Michelle Merrill, known professionally as Merrill Ashley, is an American former ballet dancer and répétiteur. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1967, was promoted to principal dancer in 1977, and retired in 1997. She is one of the last dancers to have worked with George Balanchine, and coaches his works since she stopped performing.

Alexandra Ansanelli American ballet dancer

Alexandra Noel Ansanelli is a retired American ballet dancer.

Carla Körbes is a Brazilian ballet dancer who performed as a principal dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, then became the associate artistic director of L.A Dance Project. She is now an associate professor at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music's ballet faculty.

Chase Finlay is an American ballet dancer and a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet.

Aesha Ash

Aesha Ash is an American ballet dancer and teacher. She danced numerous leading roles with as a member of New York City Ballet's corps de ballet and as a soloist with Béjart Ballet and Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. Following her retirement from performing, she founded The Swan Dreams Project in 2011 to dispel stereotypes about Black women in ballet. In 2020, she became the first African American female faculty member at the School of American Ballet.

Lauren Lovette is an American ballet dancer and choreographer who is currently a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet.

Georgina Pazcoguin is an American ballerina and civil rights activist. She is noted as a soloist with the New York City Ballet, for challenging racism in ballet, and for performing on Broadway.

Heléne Alexopoulos is an American retired ballet dancer. She was a student of Maria Tallchief who was discovered by George Balanchine as a teenager. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1978, she was promoted to principal dancer in 1989, and she retired in 2002.

Unity Phelan is an American ballet dancer. She joined the New York City Ballet in 2013 and was promoted to soloist in 2017. Outside of the company, she had also danced in films John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and I'm Thinking of Ending Things.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Kourlas, Gia (May 4, 2003). "Dance; A Ballerina Gains Weight And Insight". New York Times.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Paltrow, Scot F. (April 15, 1996). "From Orthopedic Shoes to N.Y. Ballet". Los Angeles Times.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Weinstein, Tresca (July 14, 2016). "Former City Ballet dancer still has moves". Times Union.
  4. "Repertory and Dancers". New York City Ballet. Archived from the original on May 29, 2006.
  5. 1 2 3 Peery, Lexi (November 17, 2017). "Dance: A former 'Nutcracker' principal has a new role - mentor". The Boston Globe.
  6. 1 2 Smith, Dinitia (February 11, 1996). "Dance;Two Rising Stars, On Different Arcs". New York Times.
  7. 1 2 Catton, Pia (February 5, 2007). "A Departure". Playbill.
  8. "Award Winners". Princess Grace Foundation-USA. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  9. Dunning, Jenniger (February 9, 1996). "Ballet Review;Trying Out a Tricky Role". New York Times.
  10. Anderson, Jennifer (February 9, 1996). "A Greek Trilogy of Gods and Balanchine". New York Times.
  11. Kaufman, Sarah (March 8, 2004). "City Ballet's Dazzling 'Jewels'". The Washington Post.
  12. Kourlas, Gia (February 17, 2005). "Shiny Objects, With Balanchine's Distinctive Glow". New York Times.
  13. Fanger, Iris (December 31, 1998). "A legendary ballet makes more history". Christian Science Monitor.
  14. Dunning, Jennifer (January 18, 2007). "Balanchine and Stravinsky, Reunited". New York Times.
  15. Dunning, Jennifer (January 30, 2006). "An Elegant Homage to Mozart". New York Times.
  16. Kisselgoff, Anna (May 1, 2000). "Dance Review; When Bellhops Go On Maneuvers". New York Times.
  17. Ostlere, Hilary (May 11, 2006). "Evenfall/The Red Violin, NYC Ballet State Theater". Financial Times.
  18. Shapiro, Laura (May 13, 2004). "Poetry in Motion". New York Magazine.
  19. Tobias, Tobi (February 21, 2000). "Tone-Deaf". New York Magazine.
  20. "A Quick Replacement Jumps Into 'Swan Lake'". New York Times. May 7, 1999.
  21. 1 2 Kourlas, Gia (February 15, 2007). "Sleepwalking in Seattle". Time Out New York. Archived from the original on December 12, 2007.
  22. Sulcas, Roslyn (February 27, 2007). "On Friday, a Debut. On Saturday, a Farewell". New York Times.
  23. Macdonald, Moira (September 21, 2007). "All's not the same in PNB's "All Balanchine"". The Seattle Times.