This Week in Dance

This summer, a handful of students attending summer intensives around the country will be sharing their experiences with Pointe. Here, Maddy Graupmann recounts her first few days at Houston Ballet.

 

Hello! I'm Maddy Graupmann and I am 17 and a level 7 student in Houston Ballet's Summer Intensive. This is my second summer in Houston and I just completed the year-round program there as well.

 

This summer, a handful of students attending summer intensives around the country will be sharing their experiences with Pointe. Here, Andrea Thompson recounts her first few days at San Francisco Dance Conservatory.

 

"There will be an orientation meeting at 8:15am on the first day." After that…show up for class at 9, leave at 6. That's all we need to know as far as the schedule.

 

Bournonville training creates some of the most elegant male dancers in the ballet world. Their upper bodies seem to move with poise, ease and a mix of strength and lightness, no matter what sort of footwork is going on underneath. This was especially evident last night at the Royal Danish Ballet's performance in Lincoln Center, when a couple dozen or so of the company's men danced Bournonville Variations, a mash-up of traditional classroom exercises created by the other Mr. B.

Heads up NYC dancers—starting this Friday, 30 studios in the city are offering free classes for National Dance Week! There's a kickoff flash mob in Union Square tomorrow night (Aren't those supposed to be a surprise? Well, anyways, it's free dance!) and a culminating performance at Peridance's theater on Sunday, June 26 featuring Ballet Noir, Billy Elliot, plus a bunch of other companies and schools.

 

Find out the "when" and "where" of all the free classes at ndw-nyc.org/free-classes.

I wasn't planning to write about Ballet Nacional de Cuba, performing this week at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In fact, I was relieved that I didn't have to. How can you evaluate a company so storied? Its founder, the incomparable Alica Alonso, is already enshrined in the ballet canon. It is rabidly adored by its Cuban fans. It has catapulted so many spectacular Cuban dancers--Carlos Acosta, Jose Manuel Carreño, Lorna and Lorena Feijóo--into the international spotlight. The weight of its reputation, I thought, is too crushing; there isn't any room for objective analysis.

In ballet, your body is everything. But would you know what to do if you got injured in the middle of rehearsal?

 

For the fifth year in a row, Bebe Neuwirth, founder of The Dancers' Resource of The Actors Fund, presents "Healing The Dancer," a free seminar that offers practical health tips for professional dancers. This year's guest panel will explain the complexities of navigating the Workers' Compensation system, including instructions on how to report an injury at work. Robert LaFosse, former ABT and NYCB dancer is going to be the keynote speaker.

 

Alina Cojocaru has no tendons—I am convinced of it! Legs aren't supposed to float up that high quite that easily. It's kind of absurd. Just like her supernatural sense of balance. Seriously, I'm pretty sure she could drink an entire cup of coffee while hanging out on pointe in arabesque.

 

Heads up New York dancers! Peridance Capezio Center is offering a great deal through Groupon today. For $25, you get your choice of any three classes (usually $51). Step into the studio with Alexandre Proia, Igal Perry, Graciela Kozak, or any other of the studio's great ballet teachers.

 

Do you work in the dance field in New York City? Help Dance/NYC's Junior Committee figure out how to serve you best. They just launched a census to gather research on the hurdles and contributions of people ages 21–35 who work in dance.

 

A ballet class is a ballet class is a ballet class…or at least that’s what I was trying to convince myself before my Boston Ballet company audition at the School of American Ballet. Despite the reminder from friends that I do pliés and tendus practically every day,e and that this day was no different, the atmosphere and my nerves made me feel as if even turnout was something foreign to me.