The season premiere of "Breaking Pointe" has just been moved up to July 22. We can hardly wait to find out what's in store this time around. In the meantime, we're fantasizing with our fingers crossed about a few things we hope to see:
1. Footage of Jewels. Ballet West performed the full ballet for the first time this April, and we'd love to go into some rehearsals and get a peek behind the curtain. Beckanne Sisk in the lead of "Rubies"? We bet she's pretty great.
Ballet dancers spend so many hours in the studio that they often don't get much sun—which makes Memorial Day beach or barbeque time all the more delicious. But watch out: Red, sunburned shoulders and tight leotard straps don't make a happy couple. What can you do when your skin feels like its on fire in class? Try these easy steps suggested by the Mayo Clinic:
1. Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, to relieve the swelling and sensitivity. This is most effective if you do it within the first 24 hours of getting burned.
The Royal Ballet's latest production comes from someone completely outside the ballet world: Audrey Niffeneger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife. Her latest project, Raven Girl, is going to be simultaneously released this Friday as both a graphic novel and a ballet, with choreography by The Royal's resident choreographer Wayne McGregor.
In "True Blood"'s world of vampires and werewolves, one of the last things you'd expect to find is a ballerina. But one of the breakout stars of the fifth season of the HBO show (out on DVD and Blue-Ray today) is 500-year-old faerie Maurella, played by former ballet dancer Kristina Anapau. The actress grew up in Hawaii, then trained at The Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre schools.
Nederlans Dans Theater and Jirí Kylián are taking a break from each other. From September 2014 until fall 2017, the beloved contemporary ballet company will perform no works by the choreographer who put them on the map, according to dancelines.com. It's a surprise move that's shocked fans. But the decision wasn't made because of any bad blood—it's a strategy to force the company to innovate.
Are you getting enough protein? Dancers need almost twice as much as normal people because our bodies require protein to repair the muscle fibers that get broken down in class and rehearsal. According to the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, dancers' daily diets should include about 1.4-1.6 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight. That means a 120-pound dancer would need almost 80 grams a day.
Is it time your pointe shoes had a makeover? Gordon Waddington thinks so. A professor of physiotherapy at Australia’s University of Canberra, Waddington is developing an insole that will give dancers extra "grip" in their pointe shoes. It's made from textured PVC material that has a lined pattern so that it locks onto the skin. The hope is that giving dancers more control in their pointe shoes will help prevent ankle and leg injuries. Students at the Australian Ballet School are currently testing it out during their barrework over the course of an 11-week trial.
The Mariinsky Ballet's exquisite Ekaterina Kondaurova is coming to your local movie theater in 3D next month—courtesy of Avatar director James Cameron. The acclaimed filmmaker has teamed up with Mariinsky director Valery Gergiev to broadcast the first-ever live 3D ballet. Audiences across the U.S., Europe, South America, Australia and Asia will be able watch Kondaurova perform Odette/Odile in Swan Lake in real-time from St. Petersburg.
For much of dance history, male dancers were basically the forklifts of ballet, there to lift the women, and do little else. But it takes much more than a sturdy set of biceps to hack it in 2013. Today's men are given some of the most exciting choreography in the repertoire. Dancemakers are taking full advantage of that male strength, having the men perform mind-boggling turns and gravity-defying leaps.