Ever wonder what the world would look like through the eyes of a ballet superstar? Pointe's editorial advisor, Kate Lydon, gave us a heads up yesterday about Daniil Simkin's amazing Instagram feed. The ABT soloist, who constantly travels the world, has a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes snapshots of ballet's best dancers, as well as images that simply capture his unique perspective on architecture, commuters, city life. They're beautiful and fascinating and delightfully stalkerish.
Houston's dance scene is about to get a little richer. The newly-launched Vitacca Productions & Company will include a pre-professional troupe, a choreographic fellowship, outreach initiatives and commercial dance services for conferences, galas and other events. The company is led by Kelly Ann Vitacca, who serves as Dance Houston's creative director and worked as artistic coordinator for Houston Ballet. Renowned ballet master Phillip Broomhead, of The Royal Ballet and Houston Ballet, will be artistic advisor and ballet master.
Tired of eating the same old thing for breakfast every day? Try this simple but tasty recipe from Pointe's favorite dancer-chef, Shelby Elsbree of the Royal Danish Ballet. "I like to start my day with a 'breakfast of champions,' as my Dad likes to put it," says Elsbree. "Something that will keep me satisfied and energized for a full day of dancing."
Can stretching before class hurt your dancing? New science suggests it might. Yesterday, I listened to a recent interview on NPR’s Fresh Air program with The New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds, who just came out with a book called The First 20 Minutes. Reynolds explained that almost all research now suggests that stretching prior to working out is counterproductive: It causes your brain to think you're going tear the muscles.
Just in time for their Met season, American Ballet Theatre is launching its own iPhone app. I just downloaded it yesterday and am already addicted. You can browse through all of the company’s upcoming performances and learn who’s dancing which night. Contact the box office, add the show to your calendar and let all of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers know when you’re going. All of the company’s latest news is right at your fingertips, along with a continually updated archive of choreographers, composers, designers and ballets since ABT’s founding in 1940.
Pointe just launched its new iPad app! Download each issue on your tablet. Just like the print edition, the app will put you backstage and up close with top stars and choreographers. It gives dancers everything they need to succeed in ballet: tips on technique and artistry, intimate photos, audition advice from artistic directors, the latest fitness info, and more. This interactive version offers extra iPad-only videos and slideshows. Find it in the app store.
Behind every great ballet dancer is a great mother who drove her to classes, bought her dozens of pointe shoes (and maybe even sewed them), told her when her bun looked like a mess, went into a tizzy when Suzie was cast as Clara instead of her daughter. It's not easy being a ballet mom. So be sure to thank yours this Sunday.
Any ballet fanatic worth her salt has seen dozens of YouTube clips of the Black Swan pas de deux, and probably even knows the music and steps by heart. But do you ever wonder if the choreography has stayed the same since 1895 when Marius Petipa first choreographed it?
Pennsylvania Ballet presents Trey McIntyre's Peter Pan for the first time this month. PAB soloist Lauren Fadeley, who is dancing the part of Wendy, is guest-blogging the rehearsal and performance process for Pointe. Read her first posts here and here.