As 2010 draws to a close, many of us find ourselves looking back at the year that has passed, and looking ahead at the year to come. It's the time to think about what you have done, and what you will do. Regrets surface, and resolutions are formed to do better "next time".
Each year, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts invites the country's most talented high school seniors to Miami for YoungArts Week for master classes, interdisciplinary workshops, performances and more. Out of the 5164 applicants, this year's 148 finalists were just named, and they include ballet students Jaimi Cullen, Cassandra Trenary and Alexandra Koszeghy.
There's one question every aspiring or newly minted professional ballerina knows the answer to: What's your dream role? Whether it's Odette/Odile, Aurora, or Nikiya, every one of us aspires to one ballet, or one role in particular. Once we get that part, we think, we've got it made--we've arrived.
Get ready for the new year by giving your computer or phone a ballet makeover. Following their successful "Moving Movements" campaign throughout Germany, Hamburg Ballet is offering free wallpapers and screensavers of images of their dancers. Download your favorites for free at http://www.hamburgballett.de/e/desktop.htm
Recently, the ballet world has been abuzz over Alastair Macaulay's controversial review of NYCB's Jenifer Ringer and Jared Angle's performance on the opening night of Nutcracker. He wrote that Ringer "looked as if she'd eaten on sugar plum too many" and that Angle "seems to have been sampling half the Sweet realm". I'm not going to go into the controversial and oft-discussed topic of weight as it pertains to ballet, but I do want to talk about what it feels like, and what to do when a critic has gone too far.
One of the things we love most about Black Swan is that it gets all the little details right--down to the practice clothes. Nina and Lily's refined leotards are exactly the sort of chic, understated pieces real ballerinas would wear. That's unsurprising, given that dancewear superstar Yumiko designed the leos especially for stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.
In my experience, ballet teachers who tell you to be yourself are very rare. When you get a step wrong, most of the time they will tell you to watch another girl in the class and do it liker her, or that girl will be called up to the front of the studo to proudly demonstrate for the whole class. Everyone is then told to copy her. In general, it seems like most dancers learn by copying, rather than knowing when they are doing a step right or not.
For all of the endless groaning that goes on backstage during Nutcracker season, the holiday warhorse brings many benefits for the ballet world. Aside from the influx of revenue for companies and opportunities for dancers, Nutcracker also often gives audiences a chance to see top-notch guest artists from all over the world. Here are just a few of the exciting guests scheduled to perform this December—leave others you know about in the comments.
As an editor at Pointe, sometimes I feel like a kid in a candy store. I'm constantly surrounded by all things ballet, I'm able to see some of the best performances and I get to meet many of the dancers and artists I idolized when I was growing up. I know that I am one incredibly lucky bunhead. So as I stuff my face with turkey and pumpkin pie tomorrow, here are a few of the top ballet-related things I will be thankful for.