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.
There’s nothing better than the feeling you get when you walk into your favorite dance store. You're surrounded by shelves of pointe shoes, racks of warm ups and—my personal favorite—gorgeous leotards. But with all of those leo options, it can be a daunting task to pick out your favorites. Which will make you look your best? To help, we’ve made a list for the best leotards to flatter every body shape. When you feel comfortable in your dancewear, it can do wonders for your confidence, and in-turn, affect your performance in class, rehearsal and even auditions.
We all know someone who can’t survive without her cup of coffee as well as that dancer who swears green tea is her health savior. But is one truly better than the other? We compared the two to see which is the best choice for a dancers’ overall well-being.
Caffeine: 128–185 mg
Calories: Under 5
Nutrients: Good source of riboflavin and pantothenic acid
Effects on weight: High levels of caffeine can reduce appetite.
Getting a peek inside a major company’s technique class is always a treat. While seeing dancers perform onstage is magical, there’s something captivating about watching a ballerina’s unmade-up face fully concentrated on learning a combination or pushing for another pirouette.
I'm all for behind-the-scenes peeks at the world of ballet, for moments that show dancers as humans rather than superhumans. But the dancers of "Breaking Pointe" are just so much more compelling when they're dancing—when we can see them for the extraordinarily talented artists they are, rather than the pretty normal people they are.