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On this day in 1869, the Imperial Bolshoi Theatre premiered Petipa's Don Quixote. There's no better way to celebrate the ballet's 144th birthday than with this video of Cynthia Harvey and Mikhail Baryshnikov performing it with American Ballet Theatre in 1983. Enjoy!

 

It's just not the holidays until you've watched the classic 1977 film of American Ballet Theatre in The Nutcracker—not least because the production stars the extraordinary Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland. PBS used to air it every December, but that tradition came to an end several years ago. So we're upholding it here, with a couple of our favorite clips from the film. Enjoy, and happy holidays, everyone!

Can't get enough of city.ballet.? Every Monday, we post a new interview with a different cast member from the AOL On docu-series about New York City Ballet. For our final installment, we talk to principal Maria Kowroski.

When she was 5, Ashley Laracey danced as a party guest in Sarasota Ballet’s Nutcracker and was dazzled by the Sugarplum Fairy. “I knew that was what I wanted to do when I grew up,” the New York City Ballet soloist says. “It sealed the deal for me.” On December 22, Laracey will debut in the role in NYCB’s version. Pointe spoke with her recently about how she’s preparing for it.

What’s the part's biggest challenge?

Move over, Nutcracker. In December of 1957, New York City Ballet premiered George Balanchine's iconic black and white ballet, Agon, with Diana Adams and Arthur Mitchell dancing the leads. Below is a clip of the originals performing the work.

 

Have you ever wondered what happened to all those talented dancers from previous seasons of the Dance212 web series?

Why are peeks at ballet companies' shoe rooms always so intriguing? We all wear pointe shoes; we know what they look like. But a dancer's shoes—especially when, as at the Royal, they're customized to her specifications—are incredibly personal. In a way, visiting a shoe room is like peering into so many artists' souls.

Can't get enough of city.ballet.? Every Monday, we'll be posting a new interview with a different cast member from the AOL On docu-series about New York City Ballet. This week, we talk to principals Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck.

Colorado Ballet's latest promotional video is sure to become an instant classic. To get audiences geared up for its Nutcracker (which runs through December 28), the company put together a little day-in-the-life portrait of the Rat King. Turns out the world is not such a friendly place when you're a giant, cheese-loving, nutcracker-hating rat.

From the late 1930s through the '50s, leggy, vivacious Alexandra Danilova and versatile, magnetic Freddie Franklin had a great partnership at the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, where Léonide Massine's comedic Gaîté Parisienne was one of their signature ballets. (American Ballet Theatre is reviving the ballet this spring.) Here they are in a rare recording of the ballet's "Waltz Duet for the Baron and Glove Seller." Happy #ThrowbackThursday!