Daily Dance

I went to the YAGP "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow" gala on Tuesday night, and I've been thinking about it ever since.  I was blown away by the variety and beauty of the dancing, especially by the likes of SFB's Yuan Yuan Tan, NYCB's Tiler Peck and Daniel Ulbricht, and Gallim Dance.  The Bolshoi star Ivan Vasiliev and Ballet Nacional De Cuba's Viengsay Valdes finished the evening with the Don Quixote pas de deux, and I have to admit that, having never seen either of them perform, I was anticipating it with excitement.

 

I was filming a photo shoot for Pointe the other day, featuring ABT dancers Blaine Hoven, Eric Tamm, Alexandre Hammoudi and Daniil Simkin.  Lucky me!  They're all so cute.  But that's not all I took away from that day.  While I watched the guys figure out their poses and do them, I was struck by how different their attitudes (not the leg kind) were from those of the ladies we shoot.  The women are usually much more intense, trying very hard to show off their best assets, be it extension, line, or even contemporary edginess.  They tend to gravitate towa

I went to see the Paul Taylor Dance Company on Saturday night.  On the program was a piece I'd never seen before, although so many ballet companies perform it: the lovely and amusing Company B.

 

There have been so many blog posts and articles about how ballet and ballerinas are portrayed in Black Swan, that I feel sort of guilty piling yet another one on, but I'm going to anyway.  A recent conversation with a friend suggested just one more topic that can be addressed as a result of the movie: The violence of ballet itself.

 

In January, I wrote about making plans for the year ahead, and drawing on past experiences to make sure you're taking the right steps.  There are those among us, though, that are about to embark on a journey that nothing can really prepare you for: College!

 

Click here to watch video footage from the 2011 Tremplin Jeunes Ballets. Look for more on the event in an upcoming issue of Pointe.

The dreaded audition tour: It's a time-consuming, expensive, nerve-wracking part of a young dancer's career. And yet, until a few years ago, it was pretty much the only way to get a job, particularly if you had your sights set on a company on the other side of the country--or the world.

There was great excitement in our offices here yesterday afternoon, due to NYCB principal Jenifer Ringer's appearance on "Oprah".  Aside from Oprah asking the usual, and rather tired, questions about Black Swan (see my earlier post about this topic), there was one thing that Jenifer said that I found very relevant.  She has struggled with an eating disorder in the past, and after Oprah asked her about her reaction to Alastair Macaulay's infamous

I went to see New York City Ballet on Saturday night, and was introduced to Balanchine's absolutely delightful Cortege Hongrois.  There are so many reasons why this ballet is great, but the three aspects I enjoyed the most are the deceptive simplicity of the choreography, and the soloists Ana Sophia Scheller and Savannah Lowery, who were in the lead ballerina roles.

 

This morning, there was a very interesting article in the New York Times' Style section about Benjamin Millepied. It's quite long, and pretty thought-provoking. As we all know, Millepied is engaged to Hollywood star Natalie Portman (of Black Swan), and the couple is also expecting a baby. The article explores his rise to fame, and the reasons why he is famous. The surprising thing is, it's not really because he's a great dancer.

 

I'm sure many of you have done yoga.  It's quickly becoming compulsory in summer intensives and college dance programs, and many professional dancers swear by it as a great supplement to their classes.  Yoga comes easily to ballet dancers, as the flexibility, discipline and core strength required is often already there.  But while I've heard so many dancers talk about the physical benefits of yoga (increased flexibility, strength, and balance), I don't often hear many talk about the mental benefits.