Have you gotten your April/May issue of Pointe yet? Click on the photo at right for an exclusive sneak peek. It's an outtake from Jim Lafferty's photo essay, which chronicles Ballet West, Nevada Ballet Theatre and Pacific Northwest Ballet's historic shared production of George Balanchine's Jewels. Lafferty captured the dancers backstage: warming up in company class, soaring in performance. The result is a kind of magical series of intimate images. Keep your eyes peeled for the full feature.
Need a quick workout on the go? Download Yogify, a free app for the iPhone or iPad produced by EA Sports. It comes with five sample classes ranging from 15 to 45 minutes long, beginner to advanced level—plus the option to purchase up to 40 additional classes. Although it's not the same as having a live teacher in the room, the program makes everything super clear. Before you even start the video, you can preview the series of poses with a step-by-step list of pictures (including tips on how to perform each correctly). Best of all?
Want to improve your turnout? Of course you do. (What ballet dancer wouldn't?) Check out this excellent clip of movement guru Irene Dowd explaining two exercises that can help you increase your outward rotation. Dowd, a longtime faculty member at Juilliard and author of the iconic kinesiology book, Taking Root to Fly, uses imagery and anatomical concepts to help dancers find more stability and ease of movement.
Few things in life are more beautiful than Alessandra Ferri. Personally, I could watch old videos of her for hours on end. And it turns out I'm not the only one still in love six years after her retirement: This Friday, the Italian International Dance Festival will present the former prima with the IIDF A Heart For Art Extraordinary Dancer Award at the festival's gala performance in New York City.
Audition season is one of the most grueling parts of a dancer's year. But don't let cattle call burnout keep you from getting into the company of your dreams. To offer a dose of inspiration, Pointe peeked inside an open call for Boston Ballet and picked artistic director Mikko Nissinen's brain for his best audition advice. In the feature, he gives the best defense of falling I've ever heard: It just means he's sure to notice you. He also offered this tip:
Some mornings, the only thing I want to eat is an ice cream sundae. (Okay, maybe most mornings.) A healthier option? A yogurt parfait. With some maple syrup and crunchy granola, this recipe from Pointe's favorite dancer-chef, Shelby Elsbree, hits the spot no matter how badly my sweet tooth is acting up.
The days of having to choose between college and a ballet career are over. Not only do many dancers join top troupes after earning a degree (see Pennsylvania Ballet principal Lauren Fadeley, Complexions powerhouse Christina Dooling, ABT’s Sarah Smith), but many ballet companies and schools have also teamed up with universities to make it easier for their dancers to earn credits and perform at the same time. The latest is Fort Wayne Ballet, which just announced a new collaboration with the University of Saint Francis.
You're jealous of her extensions. You compete with her for the same roles. You wish you didn't resent her as much as you do, but when she gets that smug look on her face after your director gives her a compliment, you can't help it.
Ever since leaping over to the Bolshoi, David Hallberg has become bigger than ballet. First, it was Stephen Colbert dancing with him for late-night comedy. Now, the fashion world has fallen for Hallberg's compelling mix of classical elegance and peculiar eccentricities. The South Dakota native has played muse to the likes of Annie Leibovitz in Vogue, and he took up a 12-page feature in the latest issue of Carine Roitfield's splashy CR Fashion Book.
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.