Blogs

If you’ve ever been curious about ballet competitions, you need to check out First Position. The new documentary follows a handful of super-talented ballet students as they train for and compete in Youth America Grand Prix. All of them make it to the finals in New York, and (spoiler alert) most place in the top 12.

 

Istanbul may not be the first place you’d look for great ballet. But the Turkish city is an emerging arts capital, and one reason is the new International Istanbul Ballet Competition. The event brought in some heavyweight jury members in its first two editions, including Julio Bocca, Vladimir Malakhov, Irek Mukhamedov, Septime Webre and Yury Grigorovich. And this year, its offering an added bonus: Bolshoi ballet master Mikhail Lavrovsky will teach daily master classes open to any and all ballet students and professionals.

 

Craving some crunch? Put down the Pringles and reach for some kale. Or at least some kale chips. This leafy green superfood is having something of a moment right now, and it's a health food fad every dancer should follow. Why? Kale's vitamin A feeds bone formation, its B vitamins boost your metabolism and its vitamin C helps your body fight inflammation. That's not to mention the loads of fiber that keep your stomach from gumbling in the middle of rehearsal.

 

Attention DC dancers: The Joy of Motion Dance Center is offering a free Gaga technique master class this upcoming Sunday, February 12. Batsheva dancer Tom Weinberger will teach the class from 5:30 to 6:45, then host a short question and answer session. Any intermediate or advanced–level dancer is invited to attend—for free!

 

Good evening, and welcome to the show. Please take a minute to take out your cell phones and tweet.

 

Yup, Diablo Ballet is looking for real-time Tweeters. For their upcoming performance next month, the company is creating complimentary "tweet seats." A section at the back of the house will be reserved for audience members who promise to tweet throughout the show in exchange for a free ticket. Diablo Ballet hopes to encourage "citizen critics," and encourage artistic conversation between audience members. 

 

Move over New York—Montréal is the new Mecca for dancers who love pushing boundaries. One of the many artistic opportunities this city offers is Springboard Danse Montréal, a summer project where advanced dancers work directly with multiple companies and learn ballets by several top choreographers.

As dancers, we all hope that others will recognize our potential. The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is one organization that offers tangible rewards for your dedication to dance. They provide financial awards for aspiring artists in theater, dance, choreography and film. To be considered for the dance category, you have to be a student at a professional, non-profit school or a dancer at a non-profit company. However, applicants must be nominated by their artistic director or department chair.

There's something thrilling about watching great dancers from major ballet companies perform in smaller, more intimate side projects. It shows an unfamiliar side of familiar ballet faces—and it gives the dancers a chance to expand their artistry in unexpected directions.

 

"If you could write a letter to your first love, what would it say?"

 

To celebrate their company premiere of John Cranko's Onegin, San Francisco Ballet is hosting a Tumblr account where people can submit letters to their first loves. Some of the notes are short but sweet, some are sacharrine but moving and others are hauntingly sad. Check it out, and add your own, at sfballet.tumblr.com