Magazine article Dance Magazine

Naomi Corti

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Naomi Corti

Article excerpt

One night last February, the New York City Ballet audience was all aflutter: Naomi Corti, a coltish teenage apprentice, was about to take the stage for William Forsythe's Herman Schmerman, flanked by soloists and principals. Even in a company famous for sink-or-swim casting, it was a remarkable moment. And Corti immediately made an impression--by falling, hard, right after her first entrance. Spill behind her, she relaxed into the daredevilish choreography, which suited her jungle-cat athleticism. The crowd--and Forsythe, who witnessed it all--approved. Now a member of the corps, Corti is eager to tackle more of NYCB's tall-girl repertoire.

Company: New York City Ballet

Age: 19

Hometown: Agoura Hills, California, by way of Luxembourg and France

Training: California Dance Theatre and the School of American Ballet

Accolades: 2018 Mae L. Wien Award

Ballet beginnings: "My grandmother always wanted a dancer in the family, so she pushed to get me into classes," Corti says. "It made sense, anyway: I tried to play soccer, but my dad joked that it looked like I was saut-de-chat-ing over the ball."

Balanchine appeal: Corti's first exposure to the Balanchine style came via NYCB principal Tiler Peck, who guested as the Sugarplum Fairy in Corti's studio's production of The Nutcracker. "Immediately, I knew the way H{S Tiler was moving was the way I wanted to dance," Corti says. "Balanchine ballets make you feel so empowered. I'm always chasing that feeling."

Her big break: Corti, who'd learned the same solo from Herman Schmerman as a student at SAB, was originally fourth cast for the company's performances, but ended up dancing on opening night. …

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