San Francisco Ballet and Ratmansky’s “Shostakovich Trilogy”

  The San Francisco Symphony is right across the street from the San Francisco Ballet. I attend both. I sharpen my skills as a dance reviewer while watching the ballet, so it would stand to reason that I learn more and more about composers and their music while at the symphony. Except when it comes … Read more

Breathtaking Sergei Polunin… and his distant cousin

If you’re a ballet peep, it’s highly likely that you, along with 9.9 million other people, have seen ballet dancer Sergei Polunin’s breathtaking performance in Hozier’s now iconic “Take Me to Church.” If you haven’t yet seen it, wow, are you in for a treat. Choreography by Jade Hale-Christofi, filming by David LaChapelle. Ukrainian-born and … Read more

Giving birth [to a book] on Mother’s Day

It’s minutes before midnight and I’m about to give birth. Well, to a book. But, weirdly, there are correlations: this pain of pushing, pushing, and finally, in this agonizing rush of both relief and loss, it’s out there. OFF BALANCE, my first ballet novel, is out there, in stores. My baby, out in the world. But I didn’t … Read more

Farewell, Maya Plisetskaya

Today the ballet world has lost one of its greatest of greats; Maya Plisetskaya has died at the age of 89 in Munich. One of the Bolshoi’s most famous and iconic prima ballerinas, she served to define Soviet Ballet for a generation, before advancing into choreographing and directing, while still performing onstage into her sixties. Somewhat prophetically, I learned … Read more