Charlotte Stabenau's blog

Since my last blog about New York City Ballet's corps de ballet in Le Tombeau de Couperin, I've been thinking a lot about young dancers, and how they transform from students into professionals.

I went to see NYCB again on Saturday, and was treated to another performance of Balanchine's Le Tombeau de Couperin, which is a vehicle for the company's very young, very hungry corps de ballet.  I saw this piece for the first time a couple of weeks ago (on the same program as Episodes), and I enjoyed it just as much.  It's Balanchine's architectural sensibility at its finest--marvelously kaleidoscopic patterns emerge and dissolve constantly, as the eight men and eight women constantly rearran

Last night I went to see New York City Ballet, which is coming to the end of "Balanchine Black and White Week", celebrating the choreographer's black and white leotard ballets.  On the program was Episodes, Le Tombeau de Couperin, and Symphony in Three Movements.  Awesome lineup.

 

In a previous blog, called "Tutu Torture", I wrote about how magical ballet costumes are, and how they are often the first things that make little girls (and sometimes boys) want to dance.  However, we love to wear them, and one of the things dancers love most about performing is, arguably, wearing a costume.  But what is it about costumes, anyway?  Why do we love them so much, even though they sometimes get in the way of our dancing? (Ahem, TUTUS, I'm looking at you).

 

In the past few weeks, I've been lucky enough to film the photo shoots of two very lovely dancers: National Ballet of Canada corps member Adji Cissoko, and American Ballet Theatre principal Veronika Part.  On the surface, these ballerinas could not be more different.

 

I was pretty excited for my first Philadanco show on Friday evening, never having seen the company before, but always hearing great things about them.  On the program were Christopher Huggins' "Bolero", Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's "By Way of Funk", Ray Mercer's "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", and Huggins' "Enemy Behind The Gates".  I could go on and on about how great the dancers were, and how balletic the movement was.  Anybody could have seen that these dancers have very solid ballet training that they maintain constantly.  In fact, much of the dancing (though non in poin

Last Saturday, I went to see the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in Nearly Ninety, and I was pretty blown away.  During the 80-minute piece, the dancers' energy never flagged or faded, and the ever-shifting patterns onstage continuously delighted my eye.  Cunningham's choreography is in some ways so very abstract and stark, but in others, it reminded so much of modern dance's classical roots.

I went to the YAGP "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow" gala on Tuesday night, and I've been thinking about it ever since.  I was blown away by the variety and beauty of the dancing, especially by the likes of SFB's Yuan Yuan Tan, NYCB's Tiler Peck and Daniel Ulbricht, and Gallim Dance.  The Bolshoi star Ivan Vasiliev and Ballet Nacional De Cuba's Viengsay Valdes finished the evening with the Don Quixote pas de deux, and I have to admit that, having never seen either of them perform, I was anticipating it with excitement.

 

I was filming a photo shoot for Pointe the other day, featuring ABT dancers Blaine Hoven, Eric Tamm, Alexandre Hammoudi and Daniil Simkin.  Lucky me!  They're all so cute.  But that's not all I took away from that day.  While I watched the guys figure out their poses and do them, I was struck by how different their attitudes (not the leg kind) were from those of the ladies we shoot.  The women are usually much more intense, trying very hard to show off their best assets, be it extension, line, or even contemporary edginess.  They tend to gravitate towa

I went to see the Paul Taylor Dance Company on Saturday night.  On the program was a piece I'd never seen before, although so many ballet companies perform it: the lovely and amusing Company B.