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Without the dedication of dozens of technical crew members at each and every performance, ballet companies would be performing on bare, empty stages under flourescent lighting. Creating props, scenery, lighting and costumes for a performance is a huge undertaking, but the tech crew's work isn't done once the lighting is designed and the costumes are sewn. All of those materials have to be carefully transported to the theater, and the process of loading-in—setting everything up in the space—can take hours.

 

It's no secret that negative thoughts—the kind that circle around and around in your mind— can make it harder to sleep. Maybe you're nervous about taking on a new role in an upcoming performance, or daunted by a busy rehearsal schedule. Previous research has noted the link between lack of sleep and the development of repetitive negative thoughts.

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but with the marathon of Nutcracker rehearsals and performances, the holiday season can also be one of the most stressful times for dancers. It's important to carve out some downtime for yourself, but for those days that are just too hectic, try these quirky research-backed tricks for some instant relief: 

Strathmeyer rehearsing Winter. (Photo by Amanda Tipton, Courtesy Wonderbound)

It’s been a whirlwind year for American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland. In addition to publishing her book, starring in a viral Under Amour ad campaign and being appointed a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (oh, and gracing our June/July cover), she can now add television star and executive producer to the list. Last week, Oxygen Media announced that a new reality series, “The Misty Copeland Project,” is in the works.

When faced with a decision, big or small, how can you be sure you're making a smart choice? The strategy may depend on what type of decision is being made.

American Ballet Theatre and the Segerstrom Center--which have long worked together to present ABT, including some of the company's world premieres--are partnering to start a ballet school at Segerstrom's Costa Mesa campus. This news comes as part of the dance education windfall that L.A.

The arts are desperately underfunded in this country, and programs big and small rely on philanthropy to stay afloat. Ballet companies rarely earn enough income to break even, so philanthropy is essential to their continuation. While this is a less-than-ideal way to scrape by, we (readers and staff) all probably agree that it's worth the fundraising hustle in order to keep seeing and presenting great art. In the meantime we can work to change the way art is funded in the U.S.

Think of dancing in front of the love of your life. Suddenly, the thousands of hours you’ve spent rehearsing leave you stunned as excitement and bashfulness consume every move. Dance presents a new hurdle once it becomes an open expression of love—a gesture Lise offers Colas in Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille mal gardée. In this Act I variation, Lise seemingly performs to the audience, but each step expresses the joy she feels for Colas as he watches her from stage right.

 

Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Mayeux in the studio. Photo by Ani Collier, Courtesy Sin Gogolak.