This Week in Dance

Few ballerinas are as adventurous as New York City Ballet’s Wendy Whelan. “I like to be the paint and the brush,” she says, “but just not the person holding the brush.” At the Guggenheim’s Works & Process this weekend, Whelan discussed and performed excerpts of "Restless Creature," a suite of duets created collaboratively with contemporary dancer-choreographers Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks and Alejandro Cerrudo.

 

The amount of thought that goes into dancers’ daily habits seems nuts. But we can't help it: The stakes are high when everything from what you snack on to how you clip your toenails affects your performance. In Pointe's April/May issue, we went inside the routines of six dancers to find out their secret obsessions.

Few topics in the dance world are more fraught than motherhood. No, we’re not talking about the dragon mothers on “Dance Moms,” but the challenges of balancing pregnancy and parenting with the physical demands of dance. Not only do artists struggle when pregnancy changes their dancer bodies, but the stress and schedule of performing and touring aren’t always compatible with parenthood.

 

It seems like the catwalk has become a sort of second stage for dancers these days. The latest ballerinas moonlighting as runway models are Miami City Ballet's Callie Manning, Suzanne Limbrunner and Adriana Pierce. The three dancers made their fashion debut last Friday while showcasing Palm Beach County-based designer Robin Fleming's DUCHESA couture collection for Miami Fashion Week.

Last fall, American dancer Eva Mohn joined Sweden's eclectic Cullberg Ballet. The company, founded in 1967 as part of Sweden's National Touring Theatre, showcases zany choreography and distinctive stage personalities. Here, Mohn shares her experience with pointemagazine.com.


Want to improve your turnout? Of course you do. (What ballet dancer wouldn't?) Check out this excellent clip of movement guru Irene Dowd explaining two exercises that can help you increase your outward rotation. Dowd, a longtime faculty member at Juilliard and author of the iconic kinesiology book, Taking Root to Fly, uses imagery and anatomical concepts to help dancers find more stability and ease of movement.

Few things in life are more beautiful than Alessandra Ferri. Personally, I could watch old videos of her for hours on end. And it turns out I'm not the only one still in love six years after her retirement: This Friday, the Italian International Dance Festival will present the former prima with the IIDF A Heart For Art Extraordinary Dancer Award at the festival's gala performance in New York City.

Audition season is one of the most grueling parts of a dancer's year. But don't let cattle call burnout keep you from getting into the company of your dreams. To offer a dose of inspiration, Pointe peeked inside an open call for Boston Ballet and picked artistic director Mikko Nissinen's brain for his best audition advice. In the feature, he gives the best defense of falling I've ever heard: It just means he's sure to notice you. He also offered this tip:

 

Some mornings, the only thing I want to eat is an ice cream sundae. (Okay, maybe most mornings.) A healthier option? A yogurt parfait. With some maple syrup and crunchy granola, this recipe from Pointe's favorite dancer-chef, Shelby Elsbree, hits the spot no matter how badly my sweet tooth is acting up.

 

Greek Yogurt & Granola Parfait:

1 cup of Greek yogurt

1/2 cup of apple sauce

1/3 cup of granola

1 to 2 tablespoons of maple syrup