Branching out

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Is Ethan Stiefel going all Angelina Jolie? In an extremely clich-ridden interview in The Sydney Morning Herald with the American Ballet Theatre star ("Easy rider filling Nureyev's shoes"), there is an especially bizarre quote, buried at the end: "I think dancing in Australia will be a cool thing and maybe I could get to Africa to do something."

Not that "getting to Africa" would be a bad thing, but it reads a little, oh, I don't know...publicity-whorish?

But even just reading about Stiefel reminds me of the similarities between Center Stage, the goofy ballet movie he starred in, and Christopher Wheeldon's current situation. (After Wheeldon's contract with New York City Ballet expires in 2008, he will start his own company, Morphoses.) In the film, Stiefel played the promising choreographer Cooper Nielson, who breaks away from Jonathan Reeves, the arrogant asshole director of the company he dances with, in order to start his own company with the financial help of a wealthy lady. Sounds a little like New York City Ballet.

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