Jennifer Stahl's blog

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Rodeo, Agnes de Mille's landmark Western Ballet, dancers from American Ballet Theatre have taken the ballet to the New York City streets—and rivers. On Wednesday, a New York Water Taxi filled with the costumed cast took off from 44th street, made a pit stop at the Statue of Liberty, and then headed to the South Street Seaport to give a tap lesson for 100 New York City public school kids.

 

Want to work out á la the Scottish Ballet? The company recently put out a pair of fitness videos that have been blowing up online. Although the 15–20 minute clips are aimed at a non-dance population, the exercises make nice cross-training routines for bunheads' upper bodies as well. One focuses on the core, the other on the arms. A third video is scheduled for release soon.

 

I know what I'm doing tonight!

Start spreading the news: Valentina Kozlova is moving her competition to New York City. The Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition, formerly known as the Boston International Ballet Competition, will take place in June 2013 in Manhattan. The event is open to professional and pre-preprofessional entrants aged 13–25.

The level of ballet training offered at the college level seems to be rising every year. Just take a look through the programs in our higher education guide, and you'll find dozens of schools with quality classical programs.

 

It's the end of the week, and if you're like most dancers I know, your body is sore and achy all over. Well-meaning friends and teachers will probably tell you to hop in an Epsom salt bath. But will that actually help? Maybe, but most of the benefit comes from the bath, not the salt.

Heads up Angelenos: Los Angeles Ballet is launching a new outreach program, led by principal ballerina Allynne Noelle, along with dancer Christopher McDaniel. Their two-pronged goal is to enrich their community and bring awareness to the company. On one Sunday each month, they’ll offer a community day full of classes, lectures and events.

Armitage Gone! Dance just moved into a fancy new arts building in Jersey City, and they've got some pretty cool plans for how to use their first-ever permanent space. This weekend, the company will hold an audition for an awesome-sounding workshop. Called a “Professional Project,” the three-week intensive will give 20 advanced students and recent graduates a peek inside the reality of a dance company.

This weekend, the ballet world lost one of its best. Yvonne Mounsey, director of Westside Ballet in Santa Monica, California, passed away at age 93. Mounsey started her career at 20 with Colonel de Basil's Ballet Russes. While the company was on their U.S. tour in 1940-41, she met George Balanchine, who later asked her to join New York City Ballet.

Modern dance companies have been performing in quirky places since the days of Judson. But ballet has its share of branching out of the theater, too. Last weekend, 20 dancers from Russia's Yekaterinburg Ballet performed in a car factory—right alongside plant workers doing their jobs! A temporary stage was installed directly in the factory for the one-act ballet, H2O, performed as part of the Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Nothing seems to intimidate Diana Vishneva. The Mariinsky prima toured her own solo show. She signed up for a guest spot with the Martha Graham Dance Company. She is forever chasing after new challenges. Her latest project? A new creation by Les Ballets de Monte Carlo director Jean-Christophe Maillot. She just spent two weeks in Monaco learning the choreography, and will be performing it in Russia over the next year.