Blogs

You can always count on Youth America Grand Prix to bring in ballet's biggest names—and last night's YAGP gala in NYC was no exception. Teresa Reichlen? Viengsay Valdés? Dorothée Gilbert? Marcelo Gomes? Maria Kochetkova? Check, check, check, check and check.

The nominees for the 2013 Benois de la Danse Awards were announced today at a press conference in Moscow—and they include a former Pointe cover star, several exciting up-and-comers and many other big names. Here's the complete list:

CHOREOGRAPHERS
Hans Van ManenVariations for Two Couples, Benjamin Britten, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Stevan Kovács Tickmayer, Astor Piazolla. Dutch National Ballet.
Justin Peck Year of the Rabbit, Sufjan  Stevens. New York City Ballet.

The Joffrey Ballet School Performance Company is currently on tour in the South, and dancer Melissa Westlake is sharing her experience with Pointe.

 

Day 1: Monday, April 15

Few ballerinas are as adventurous as New York City Ballet’s Wendy Whelan. “I like to be the paint and the brush,” she says, “but just not the person holding the brush.” At the Guggenheim’s Works & Process this weekend, Whelan discussed and performed excerpts of "Restless Creature," a suite of duets created collaboratively with contemporary dancer-choreographers Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks and Alejandro Cerrudo.

 

I’ve always told myself that when my ankle swells, that's just my body attempting to heal itself. I'm not completely wrong: Inflammation—and the swelling, heat, pain and redness that comes with it—is our body’s first response to injury. However, sometimes this attempt to destroy the damaged tissue goes a little too far and our body starts attacking healthy tissue, too. That's where anti-inflammatory medications come in, preventing the negative consequences of inflammation. The only problem?

With its mix of gangsters, vaudeville and ballet, On Your Toes was the first major Broadway musical to incorporate classical dance—courtesy of George Balanchine. One of the 1936 show's numbers is the much-beloved Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, often performed by itself as a standalone ballet.

Mark your calendars: There's some great ballet coming into your life over the next couple of weeks—all of which you can catch from the comfort of your couch. Keep an eye out for these programs:

 

Wendy Whelan: "Restless Creature" The New York City Ballet superstar will preview her new project at the Guggenheim Museum. She'll perform excerpts from new duets created collaboratively with choreographers Joshuah Beamish and Brian Brooks, and show a solo by Shen Wei.

Some clothes just look better when they're in motion. And what motion is more beautiful than that of a ballet dancer? Fashion designer Christian Siriano (of "Project Runway" fame) recently tapped three ABT Studio Company dancers to show off his Spring/Summer collection. Katerina Eng, Isabelle Seiler and Carolyn Lippert dance in this dreamy ad set in New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. They look gorgeous—and so do the dresses.

Did you catch "Dancing With The Stars" this week? Normally, I wouldn't say the ballroom extravaganza is a must-see for ballet dancers. But the show's latest episode featured Brilynn Rakes, a talented 17-year-old student who trains at the Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy in California—and also happens to be legally blind. Born with a birth defect known as cone dystrophy, her eyes aren't able to filter out light, causing everything to appear 20 times brighter.