Blogs

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.

With irregular cash flow and notoriously low wages, ballet dancers can have a tricky time keeping their bank accounts healthy—especially when they'd much rather focus on what's happening at the barre than what's happening in their checkbook. In Pointe's June/July issue, we broke down the paychecks of four corps members, and asked each dancer how she makes it work on a starting salary.

What makes a great ballet partnership? To most of us, it seems to be some mysterious combination of sweat and magic.

 

Is it possible for a ballet dancer to get both her dream job and her prince? This week's episode of "Breaking Pointe," titled "Love or Ballet," would make it seem that in ballet, careers and relationships are two parts of life you can't have at the same time.

 

We see Christiana and Chris trying to deal with their fracturing marriage while working together in the studio. As hard as they try to save their problems for after hours, it can't help but distract their focus.

 

Got any plans early tomorrow morning? The Telegraph will be streaming a Bolshoi Ballet company class live from London.

It's only every so often that we get to peek behind the curtains of the world’s most acclaimed ballet companies. So when this video of the Mariinsky Theatre and Vaganova Ballet Academy came across our desks, we couldn't wait to watch it. The 25-minute documentary, titled Ballet, Sweat and Tears, features interviews and footage of young students at the academy as well as first soloist Oxana Skorik and prima Diana Vishneva at the Mariinsky, plus insight from Vishneva's coach. It goes in the studios, through the theater and to their apartments.

A few years ago, Isabella Boylston told Pointe there's an elite club at American Ballet Theatre: "The Princesses." It's corps member Blaine Hoven's nickname for the dancers like David Hallberg and Gillian Murphy who've been awarded a prestigious Princess Grace Award.

 

It's the start of a new season, and many pre-professionals will be making the transition from top student to second company member. Being in a second company is one of the trickiest stages of a dancer's career: It's an opportunity to launch your professional life, but there are no guarantees that you'll be asked to stay with the organization after your one- or two-year contract is up. How can you make the kind of impression that leads to a main company offer? Alfonso Martin, artistic manager of Tulsa Ballet II, shares his advice for newbies.

On last night’s episode of “Breaking Pointe,” the casting decisions for Cinderella were made, and with them came a tidal wave of drama and emotions for everyone at Ballet West. Along with showing the awkward mix of disappointment and happiness that comes with every casting, the episode also addressed the effects of ballet’s lack of diversity.

 

In our August/September issue, Pointe asked a handful of directors what they feel is missing from pre-professional training today. The group found many holes—from a lack of professionalism to a need for more articulate pointework. Here, Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch offers his view.