Emily Katz's blog

Any ballet fanatic worth her salt has seen dozens of YouTube clips of the Black Swan pas de deux, and probably even knows the music and steps by heart. But do you ever wonder if the choreography has stayed the same since 1895 when Marius Petipa first choreographed it?

The word “character” in ballet can be used to describe a type of dance, such as the folk dances in Swan Lake, or the act of embodying role. At the "American Ballet Theatre: A Cast of Characters" event at the Guggenheim museum, the dancers performed excerpts from a range repertoire that ABT will presenting at New York City's Metropolitan Opera House this coming season, and spoke about their artistic process with panelist John Meehan, a professor of dance at Vassar College and former ABT studio company director.

 

Ever wonder how American Ballet Theatre dancers get into character? In the company’s upcoming season at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, they'll perform a variety of character roles, from pirates in Le Corsaire to temple dancers in La Bayadère. On April 29 and 30, the Guggenheim museum’s Works & Process program will host  “A Cast of Characters,” which will feature a conversation with ABT's creative team and performances by some of its dancers, including Misty Copeland, Hee Seo, Cory Stearns and Roman Zhurbin.

Always wondered what directors and choreographers look for at an audition? At the "Getting the Job" Artist Talk Series at the School at Steps last Friday, the panelists (Josh Bergasse, Ruthlyn Salomons, Lucille DiCampli and Tiffany Little Canfield) gave the inside scoop on traits employers want to see in dancers:
1. Have a "happy to be here, happy to work attitude": Bring positivity to the audition.

The color orange has a special meaning for Keith Lin, designer of KeithLink leotards. To him it signifies sunshine and the happiness of dancing. For six years, Lin’s colleagues in the dance world urged him to start his own line of leotards, and on April 4, the brand launched its first Spring/Summer collection, Awakening.

Sometimes, a plain old downward dog isn't enough. For dancers who like to defy the laws of physics, anti-gravity yoga quite literally takes cross-training to a whole new level. This hybrid technique of yoga and aerial arts helps stretch and strengthen the body without straining your joints by using a silk hammock as a prop for your positions. The hammock was originally developed by Christopher Harrsion as an apparatus for his acrobatic performance company AntiGravity.

Last week, we told you to eat more chocolate. Add popcorn to that snacking list, too. The American Chemical Society just discovered that popcorn contains more antioxidants than any other snack. While a serving of fruit contains about 160 milligrams of polyphenols (a plant-based chemical that helps neutralize free radicals that cause damage in the body), a serving of plain popcorn contains up to 300 milligrams.

For a week (or weeks) now you’ve been waiting for that email. You check your inbox every hour and constantly hit refresh—did I get in or not? Summer intensive audition season is coming to an end, and the results are finally being released.

As dancers, we all hope that others will recognize our potential. The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is one organization that offers tangible rewards for your dedication to dance. They provide financial awards for aspiring artists in theater, dance, choreography and film. To be considered for the dance category, you have to be a student at a professional, non-profit school or a dancer at a non-profit company. However, applicants must be nominated by their artistic director or department chair.