Most summer intensives are winding down this month. If you're looking to tack on an extra week, but want to do something a bit funkier than Giselle variations, check out BalletLab Chicago. The contemporary ballet workshop, led by choreographers Paige Cunningham Caldarella and Emily Stein, takes place July 30 to August 3 at Visceral Dance Center in Chicago. After morning technique classes, dancers will learn new choreography to be performed in an informal showing on the last day.
A company is only as strong as the sum of its parts—and at ABT, each member plays their part to the utmost. I had the opportunity to be a super in ABT’s Taipei productions of La Bayadere this weekend, playing one of the two girls who stand on stage left during the pas d’ action scene in Act I when Nikiya takes gets bitten by the snake.
Put down the Pop-Tart. Loading up on healthy fuel in the morning will lead to much more productive day in the studio. Ballet Memphis dancer Stephanie Mei Hom, who loves to cook—and eat!—likes to wake up to a boost of nutrients and antioxidants. Here's one of her favorite breakfast dishes.
After making a splash in Chicago and DC, Paris Opéra Ballet has set up camp in New York's Lincoln Center for the next two weekends. Tonight, étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot performs the lead in Maurice Béjart's Bolero. In Pointe's April/May 2010 issue, we asked Gillot what skill she would most like to have. Her response?
"To control the weather, so that I can take care of people."
In ballet, there's an eight-letter word so powerful it makes even the most experienced dancers quake. (No, I’m not talking about fouettes!) Audition—it’s a loaded word that brings to mind numerical identities, a whispering panel and hundreds of other bunheads who all seem to have better feet and 180-degree turnout. Last night's episode of "Bunheads" showed that, although many dancers define an audition’s success by whether they get accepted, those who can see the whole picture know that getting in isn’t everything.
"Breaking Pointe" closed out the season last night heavy on the drama, light on the dancing. Although the finale ostensibly focused on the simultaneous excitement and let down during the close of a run, most of the episode concentrated on Katie's goodbye and Rex and Alison's breakup. Even Christiana ended up in tears (seemingly due to something about the pressure of being too good?).
When Adam Sklute spoke to Pointe earlier this year about his company's decision to participate in "Breaking Pointe," he said one of the driving reasons behind allowing cameras into his studios was the opportunity to set "the record straight about the real dramas and the real joys that happen in the ballet world, without having to play into stereotypes."
In true ballet fashion, “Bunheads” owes a lot to the enduring power of fairy tales. A Broadway princess (Tony Award winner Sutton Foster) wakes up in a town called Paradise (a nice dash of magical thinking there) to find herself in the shelter of a ballet studio run by a fairy godmother—okay, actually godmother-in-law. The princess escapes from a Las Vegas past that separated her from ballet—her first love—to a kingdom of niceness and sincerity.