Blogs

When Carrie Lee Riggins joined New York City Ballet at 16, she had no clue how to cook. And living in New York City, she never had to—delivery was just at the other end of a phone call. Jump ahead sixteen years to the present day, and she found herself still lost in the kitchen. So she wrote an email to the Food Network’s reality competition show “Worst Cooks in America,” featuring restaurateur Bobby Flay.

For many students today, the last step before going pro is a traineeship—a one or two–year program where dancers can polish up their technique and gain professional performing experience. While more and more companies are launching trainee programs, the opportunities they offer (and tuition they require) vary dramatically. Some trainees get to take company class and dance with the corps in larger ballets. Others get private coaching from the ballet masters. In certain programs, trainees participate in some of the company's most innovative projects.

 

After weeks of questions, it looks like there are finally some answers as to who was behind the acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin. Last night, Russian police obtained confessions from three men, including Bolshoi dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko. It turns out that Dmitrichenko hired the other two to accost Filin as the director was getting into his car on January 17. On Russian state television yesterday, Dmitrichenko said he did not intend for the attack to go as far as it did.

Have you entered Dance Magazine's Joffrey Ballet School scholarship contest yet? Five dancers won full rides to Joffrey summer intensives through dancemedia.com in January, and ten won in February. This month is your last chance—and with 15 scholarships up for grabs, it's also your best chance!

Ballet dancers are no strangers to aches and pains. Because we know our bodies so well, we sometimes fall into the dangerous habit of self-diagnosing. A new free app, HealthTap, lets us refer our health questions to knowledgeable physicians. Over 32,000 licensed medical professionals weigh in on all sorts of questions to help spread much-needed accurate medical knowledge. Dancers have already started to take advantage of the application, asking questions about bunions, foot spasms and toenail bruising.

How come there are still so few black women in ballet? As Dance Theatre of Harlem makes its comeback this year, many dance fans are looking at the rosters of other major American ballet companies, and wondering why, in 2013, there is still so little diversity. Some say the African American community just isn't interested enough in ballet.

Exciting things are happening down under: To commemorate Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 60th anniversary, the company is teaming up with local fashion designer Tamsin Cooper to create a new ballet-inspired fashion line. Cooper’s collection, based on “Swan Lake” (which the RNZB will perform in July), will feature tutu-like skirts, jackets, coats and bags—in only black and white, of course. The items will be unveiled next month as part of New Zealand’s iD Dunedin Fashion Week.

Still undecided whether to get a tablet subscription to Pointe? Our app was just spotlighted on magplus.com in a write-up that highlights how we've used digital features to bring the world of ballet to your fingertips.

The first season of "Bunheads" closed its curtains this week with the finale episode, optimistically titled "Next." A rambling bildungsroman, the show is essentially a choreography of stories about dancers at all ages following their dreams and facing reality. Michelle wakes up with a gorgeous Godot and courageously sets out for Los Angeles to audition for a part in a musical. Even though the audition is a sham, Michelle’s performances earn her the admiration of her bunheads.

No dancer should ever leave home without a good dose of inspiration. We've found one that's kind of awesome: The free New York City Ballet iPhone app. It’s constantly updated with fun new pictures of the dancers—both on stage and off—and has a Twitter section that shows a feed of tweets from company members. Best of all, it contains links to top NYCB video clips with dancers explaining their approaches to roles and dishing about what it’s actually like behind the scenes. Find it in the App Store.