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James Sewell Ballet is a tiny, but mighty gem of the Twin Cities arts scene. This year marks the contemporary ballet troupe's 20th anniversary season, and highlights include the men’s duet from Lar Lubovitch’s Concerto Six Twenty-Two, as well as Inferno, a piece that Sewell has been dreaming of since before he even launched the company. Pointe recently asked Sewell about where his company's come from and what it's up to now.

 

What was your initial vision for James Sewell Ballet?

It's a question every dancer asks herself: If I want to perform my best, should I eat before or after rehearsal? The answer: Both.

 

According to an article in The New York Times, it turns out that eating easily digestible carbohydrates (think white bread or white rice) in the hour before exercising helps athletes work out for longer. That means your fouettés won't lose steam by hour two or three in the studio.

 

It was announced last month that "Bunheads" wouldn't be renewed for a second season—but Boo and crew weren't ready to hang up their pointe shoes just yet. The cast, choreographer Marguerite Derricks and director Amy Sherman-Palladino reunited last Saturday for one final farewell dance, and they filmed it for their fans. Check it out here: 

On last night's episode of "Breaking Pointe," we were finally treated to tons of footage from inside the studio. We got to see the dancers rehearse Cinderella—and dance full out. Of course, it was just a quick clip here and a quick clip there, but at least we got a healthy dose of choreography in between all the chatter about marriage.

 

For most young boys in ballet class, dancing is a passion they have to fight for. Just yesterday, I got an email from a loyal reader who loves Pointe, and loves ballet more, but he never took ballet classes. He was too afraid of being bullied. And he is definitely not alone. 

 

The Red Shoes, that most classic of all ballet movies, is getting the ultimate cool-kid treatment next week. The hipsters at Brooklyn's Nitehawk Cinema and the bad boys of VICE Media have teamed up to present the film in 35 mm print, thanks to a meticulous restoration done by Martin Scorsese.

It's rare to find a ballet dancer without a sweet tooth—after hours of rehearsing, sometimes you just need a little sugar! Next time a craving hits, try this healthy chocolate pudding recipe from San Francisco Ballet corps member Luke Willis. He makes it with all raw and vegan ingredients, and uses avocados as a base, which means you get a nice dose of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and heart-healthy fats to go along with your dessert. Best of all? It's super simple to make after a long day in the studio.

 

Ingredients:

2-3 avocados (ripe)

Each week after "Breaking Pointe" airs, we always hear the same complaint: "Too much drama, not enough dancing!"

 

I get where the reaction comes from—these are amazing dancers, so why can't we see more of them doing what they're best at? We're teased with three-second clips of rehearsal, but then the camera always breaks away to a close-up of someone sitting there talking. Every time, I want to scream out, "No! Show us more!" I hate getting just a taste of these dancers as artists, and not being able to tell what they actually look like on stage.

 

There's only one thing better than a ballet nerd fully embracing his white tights stereotypes: A ballet nerd doing so while being directed and filmed by contemporary cool kid Alexander Ekman. Take a look at this cheeky film of ABT's adorably dorky Daniil Simkin dancing and bowing his way through New York City to Lincoln Center.

There are many ways to amp up your focus before rehearsal. Some dancers meditate. Others chug a latte. A recent study found that the key to concentration could be as simple as sipping some water: People who drank three cups just before beginning a task increased their brain’s reaction time by up to 14 percent. Apparently, even being a little thirsty can distract you. So the next time you start trying to learn a tricky new phrase, fill up your water bottle. You’ll feel perkier in no time.