Daily Dance

By Miami City Ballet's Sara Esty

 

The mood is a little tense as Alexei Ratmansky peeks in the window during our warm-up barre. The dancers exchange smiles, as if to agree silently to our excitement. After class, we are all introduced to Mr. Ratmansky, and settle in for a talk. He greets us warmly, and at once all our nerves seem to disappear.

Since my last blog about New York City Ballet's corps de ballet in Le Tombeau de Couperin, I've been thinking a lot about young dancers, and how they transform from students into professionals.

I went to see NYCB again on Saturday, and was treated to another performance of Balanchine's Le Tombeau de Couperin, which is a vehicle for the company's very young, very hungry corps de ballet.  I saw this piece for the first time a couple of weeks ago (on the same program as Episodes), and I enjoyed it just as much.  It's Balanchine's architectural sensibility at its finest--marvelously kaleidoscopic patterns emerge and dissolve constantly, as the eight men and eight women constantly rearran

Since 1997, American Ballet Theatre's "Make a Ballet" program has offered NYC schoolchildren the opportunity to design and produce original performance pieces.

Last night I went to see New York City Ballet, which is coming to the end of "Balanchine Black and White Week", celebrating the choreographer's black and white leotard ballets.  On the program was Episodes, Le Tombeau de Couperin, and Symphony in Three Movements.  Awesome lineup.

 

In a previous blog, called "Tutu Torture", I wrote about how magical ballet costumes are, and how they are often the first things that make little girls (and sometimes boys) want to dance.  However, we love to wear them, and one of the things dancers love most about performing is, arguably, wearing a costume.  But what is it about costumes, anyway?  Why do we love them so much, even though they sometimes get in the way of our dancing? (Ahem, TUTUS, I'm looking at you).

 

In the past few weeks, I've been lucky enough to film the photo shoots of two very lovely dancers: National Ballet of Canada corps member Adji Cissoko, and American Ballet Theatre principal Veronika Part.  On the surface, these ballerinas could not be more different.

 

I was pretty excited for my first Philadanco show on Friday evening, never having seen the company before, but always hearing great things about them.  On the program were Christopher Huggins' "Bolero", Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's "By Way of Funk", Ray Mercer's "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", and Huggins' "Enemy Behind The Gates".  I could go on and on about how great the dancers were, and how balletic the movement was.  Anybody could have seen that these dancers have very solid ballet training that they maintain constantly.  In fact, much of the dancing (though non in poin

Last Saturday, I went to see the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in Nearly Ninety, and I was pretty blown away.  During the 80-minute piece, the dancers' energy never flagged or faded, and the ever-shifting patterns onstage continuously delighted my eye.  Cunningham's choreography is in some ways so very abstract and stark, but in others, it reminded so much of modern dance's classical roots.