This Week in Dance

For many students today, the last step before going pro is a traineeship—a one or two–year program where dancers can polish up their technique and gain professional performing experience. While more and more companies are launching trainee programs, the opportunities they offer (and tuition they require) vary dramatically. Some trainees get to take company class and dance with the corps in larger ballets. Others get private coaching from the ballet masters. In certain programs, trainees participate in some of the company's most innovative projects.

 

After weeks of questions, it looks like there are finally some answers as to who was behind the acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin. Last night, Russian police obtained confessions from three men, including Bolshoi dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko. It turns out that Dmitrichenko hired the other two to accost Filin as the director was getting into his car on January 17. On Russian state television yesterday, Dmitrichenko said he did not intend for the attack to go as far as it did.

The first season of "Bunheads" closed its curtains this week with the finale episode, optimistically titled "Next." A rambling bildungsroman, the show is essentially a choreography of stories about dancers at all ages following their dreams and facing reality. Michelle wakes up with a gorgeous Godot and courageously sets out for Los Angeles to audition for a part in a musical. Even though the audition is a sham, Michelle’s performances earn her the admiration of her bunheads.

No dancer should ever leave home without a good dose of inspiration. We've found one that's kind of awesome: The free New York City Ballet iPhone app. It’s constantly updated with fun new pictures of the dancers—both on stage and off—and has a Twitter section that shows a feed of tweets from company members. Best of all, it contains links to top NYCB video clips with dancers explaining their approaches to roles and dishing about what it’s actually like behind the scenes. Find it in the App Store.

 

Tiler Peck and Robert Farichild are making a special guest appearance in the New York Philharmonic's presentation of Carousel this weekend. To build anticipation, the company just posted some footage of the dancers rehearsing in the studio with choreographer Warren Carlyle. It's amazing to watch how quickly and fully Peck transforms into her character. Check it out here.

Few things in ballet are more satisfying than the feeling of soaring around effortlessly in a perfect pirouette. Los Angeles Ballet wants to teach you how to nail that smooth sailing sensation every time. This Sunday, February 24, LAB’s monthly community day will include a free workshop on turning, taught by master teacher Ikolo Griffin (a former dancer with San Francisco Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem).

This week’s episode of Bunheads is all about men and women, sex, love and marriage. The only dance scene features modern choreography in miners' hats, dancing in the dark with headlights. Even though the paucity of dance is disappointing, the episode makes up for it with a choreography of flirtation and independence set in the dance studio when it becomes the evacuation center for Paradise during a fire. After finding a condom under the girls’ lockers, Michelle worries that her bunheads are having sex, and makes the boys move their cots away from the girls.

Sir Anthony Dowell, principal dancer at The Royal Ballet from 1966 to 1984 and director of the company from 1986 to 2001, celebrates his 70th birthday this Saturday, February 16th.

When Diablo Ballet of California announced its new “Web Ballet” in January, nobody knew quite what to think. The company asked its fans to help choreograph the ballet, requesting Tweeted suggestions for the emotion of the dancers, the mood of the piece and even specific steps. Voters also chose their favorite of three music options.

In this week’s episode of "Bunheads," we see playful performances from two dancers, each at different stages of life, each confronting different insecurities. As Ginny watches her dance friends leave the studio to socialize—Sasha flirting with Roman and Melanie being captivated by Cozette and roller-derby—she isolates herself in the dressing room alone. Her friends ignore her when she states her intention to audition for the school play, convinced that, based on her past actions, she will chicken out at the last moment.