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.
Do you remember your first Nutcracker? For young ballet students, the chance to perform in the classic holiday ballet simply feels magical. A documentary filmmaker recently went behind the scenes to capture that glee and giddiness at the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet in Los Angeles. Getting to the Nutcracker follows the journeys of over 400 students from first audition to final performance—all led by Daukayev, a former Kirov star.
London ballet fans, get excited: It was just announced yesterday that Natalia Osipova will join The Royal Ballet. Her first role will be Juliet opposite Carlos Acosta this fall. The only problem? She's still on contract as a principal with both American Ballet Theatre and the Mikhailovsky Ballet. Although the Mikhailovsky director said she'd be warmly welcomed back to St.
The "bad boy" of ballet is at it again: Sergei Polunin seems to have walked out on rehearsals for Peter Schauffuss's highly-anticipated London production of Midnight Express. For those who have been following the 23-year-old dancer's career, his latest move isn't surprising. He abandoned The Royal Ballet last January just a week before he was supposed to star in The Dream. Polunin has since worked with the Stanislavsky Ballet in Moscow and he guested with The Royal last month.
"Mad Men" returns this Sunday, and with it everyone's favorite female copy chief: Peggy Olson. One thing you probably didn't know: Before she was playing Peggy, actress Elisabeth Moss was an aspiring ballet dancer. She started taking lessons at age 5, and in her teens she attended the School of American Ballet in New York and spent summers at Suzanne Farrell's intensive in DC. “I trained for a long time and I was focused and good," Moss recently told Arrive magazine.
Miami City Ballet just signed a new dancer: former major league baseball catcher Mike Piazza. The company has been loving sports stars recently. In February, they teamed up with the Miami Heat. Now, Piazza will take the stage with MCB on May 3 in Balanchine's Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. The baseball legend—who played with the Dodgers, the Marlins, the Mets, the Padres and the A's—won't be doing any grand jetés, though.