Blogs

ABT soloist Simone Messmer is more than your typical bunhead. The girl has pizzazz—an effortless vivacity that's simply magnetic both onstage and off. So I'm super excited to share that she has been chosen to receive the 2010 Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship.

 

There are some performances you feel like you could see over and over again, because the dancers made such a huge impression on you. You remember every moment, every movement. That’s how I feel about a video of Natalia Makarova performing the White Swan pas de deux from the second act of Swan Lake, that I watched for the first time a couple of days ago.

 

For an art form dominated by women, there sure are very few female in top positions in ballet. Actually, Richmond Ballet is hosting "The Glass Slipper Ceiling" focusing on the rarity of female artistic directors just this morning. Panelists include Ballet Memphis' Dorothy Gunther Pugh, Cincinnati Ballet's Victoria Morgan, Smuin Ballet's Celia Fushille and Richmond's own Stoner Winslett along with special guest Suzanne Farrell.

Ever wish there was a social network just for ballet? Check out deballet.com!

 

The newly-launched site has pages for professional dancers, choreographers, companies and schools. You can include a picture and bio, show your Twitter feed, link to your own site and Facebook and there's even a wall for other ballet lovers to leave you notes. Every dancer also has their own box of "Fans."

 

Heads up! Princess Grace Award applications are due April 30.

This prestigious award is given out to a handful of talented student and professional dancers each year.

I hate adagio. Not because I don’t like to move slowly and elegantly to the beautiful and stately music that usually accompanies this exercise, but because I don’t have very high extension. I love taking class, but I usually hit a low point (no pun intended), at the end of barre and the beginning of center, when I know I’ll have to do some disappointing developpes. I try to stay positive and visualize a beautiful, high, correct extension to help me make the effort, but the reality is, my legs usually don’t make it to where I’d like them to go.

 

When it comes down to it, there are two basic types of performers who make great dancers: Those who demand attention onstage, and those who inconspicuously draw it in without outwardly trying.

 

Evening classes have always been tricky for me. After 5:30, I can’t seem to muster the energy to dance that is so easy for me to access in the morning, and it can be really hard to get through class. It happened to me on Monday evening. I was already tired before class even started, and about halfway through barre, I even felt my eyes getting heavy. I thought about leaving before center, then during center, and before big jumps, but forced myself to keep going.

There’s nothing about ballet that isn’t personal. Everyone has a favorite way to warm up, a favorite teacher, a favorite time to take class, etc. After talking to a friend of mine before class last night, though, I really think that nothing is more personal than what we wear to class.