Sometimes I wish I were best friends with all the world's ballet costume designers and wardrobe supervisors. They have such fascinating perspectives on ballet history and the dancing body, and they're gifted artists in their own right. Plus—at least according to the recent spate of behind-the-scenes videos that investigate ballet costume shops—they all seem to be really cool people.
Last week, we let you know about the Los Angeles auditions for the upcoming dance film High Strung—and got inquiries from a few East Coast dancers who felt left out in the cold. Well, if you missed the L.A. tryout, good news: The film, choreographed by Dave Scott, is holding another ballet audition, this time in New York City. (Looks like they still haven't found a dancer/actress for the lead role of Ruby.) It's coming up soon, too.
Larissa Ponomarenko, long a revered principal at Boston Ballet, has been with the company through multiple versions of Cinderella—most recently James Kudelka's in 2005 and 2008. Now, as ballet master, she's guiding dancers through Frederick Ashton's classic rendition, which BB performs through this weekend. Pointe talked to Ponomarenko about the similarities and differences between the fairytale worlds of Kudelka and Ashton, and about dancing and coaching the ballet's title role.
Ballet dancers are singularly creative people, but the ballet world can be a difficult environment for choreographers. Mounting a show of your own work requires dancers, studio space, a performance venue—a whole bunch of moving parts that are difficult (and expensive) to coordinate.
That's where the Capezio A.C.E. Award competition comes in. For the past five years now, the contest has awarded one choreographer each year a $15,000 production budget to go toward their own show in New York City.
Before—though not long before—they were immortalized as Cooper Nielson and Kathleen Donahue (Center Stage, we'll never stop loving you), Ethan Stiefel and Julie Kent starred in the 1998 PBS broadcast of American Ballet Theatre's Le Corsaire. Corsaire's choreography may be as cheesy as they come, but what does that matter when you have two of the world's greatest dancers leading its cast?
Rarely do we think of a dancer's daily work as glamorous. Waking up the body, trying to get in tune with our physical selves in class, and then working to the point of exhaustion in rehearsal and performance, day after day...at certain moments, it can feel more like a grind than anything else.
It's safe to say that Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild aren't your average ballet dancers. Over the past few years, the New York City Ballet principals have collaborated with the likes of contemporary choreographer Larry Keigwin and jookin star Lil Buck, and both appeared in the New York Philharmonic's presentation of the classic musical Carousel. They not only seem to be everywhere, all the time, but also to be unfazed by any style or setting.
Frequently two different choreographers use the same piece of music. But what happens when one choreographer makes two works to the same score? We'll find out later this month, when Emery LeCrone premieres both a classical and a contemporary interpretation of Bach's Partita No. 2 in C Minor, created for the Guggenheim's Works & Process series. The work's March 23, 7:30 pm performance will be livestreamed here.
These days, we know Svetlana Zakharova as an international ballet superstar. As a young student at St. Petersburg's prestigious Vaganova Academy, however, she was...well, still a superstar, just on a slightly smaller scale. Here are some excerpts from her graduation exam in 1996. You'll probably pick her out right away, but just in case: She's on the left in the first clip. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!