Daily Dance

In my last blog post, I wrote about how eagerly I was looking forward to seeing Balanchine's Serenade this past Saturday.  I was itching with anticipation.  Well, as always, it did more than not disappoint--it astounded and delighted me.  I always notice new things and details about the ballet when I see it, and that night was no exception.  But on the whole, it made me realize just how big a star the NYCB corps is in almost every Balanchine ballet, which I've mentioned before.  But now, I'm pretty much convinced that they are, collectively, the star of the

I'm going to see NYCB on Saturday, and Serenade is first on the program.  I've decided recently that it's probably my favorite ballet, and here's why:

 

From the very first moment the beautiful "Serenade for Strings" by Tschaikovsky begins, I feel goosebumps.  There's just something about those first few majestic phrases that is so moving and so pleasing.  I'm thinking about it right now, and it's making me smile in delicious anticipation of that moment tomorrow night.  Then the curtain rises, and it's bliss from then on.

 

Oh, ballet dancers: We're nothing if not perfectionists. From our first class we're programmed to eliminate flaws--or at least camouflage them.

My name is Charlotte, and I am a ballet-aholic.

 

I rang the doorbell at photographer Nathan Sayers' studio a couple of weeks ago, and was surprised to hear the sharp yapping of a little dog.  The door opened to reveal a little Yorkie (I think), and a laughing voice called "Henry! Come here!".  Henry turned and trotted into the studio, making a beeline for Sterling Hyltin, a principal with New York City Ballet, who was having her trademark mermaid hair coiffed by hair and makeup artist Chuck Jensen.

 

My favorite kind of ballerina is the kind that is not known for one particular quality.  I love watching someone whose dancing is multifaceted and can adapt to any kind of choreography, music or mood.  I think it's a sign of artistic maturity and a true understanding of all the possibilities of expression that ballet can present.  I was lucky enough to see two such dancers yesterday, Sofiane Sylve (a principal at SFB) and Savannah Lowery (a soloist at NYCB).  I was invited to watch a rehearsal they had with Avi Scher, and since I'm a huge fan of Sofiane's, and also now o

 

Now that all the summer dance programs are wrapping up, I've started thinking about my one experience going away to ballet sleepaway camp when I was 15.  I've always been something of a homebody, and I was really nervous about going away for eight weeks.  My coach at the time convinced me that it was a good idea, though, so off I went, moving into an upstate New York college dormitory with what seemed like hundreds of girls and about five boys.

 

When I stop and think about all the long years I've been studying ballet (20, to be exact), I always realize how much it has influenced the person I've become since I started.  It's unavoidable, when you've been working on something so hard for so long.  But since ballet has both its positives and negatives as a discipline, it's shaped me, and everyone else, I'm sure, in both good and not-so-good ways.

 

On Wednesday, I attended a photo shoot with Misty Copeland, a soloist at American Ballet Theatre.  Misty started ballet at 13, which is pretty late for a woman, but fell in love with it and made the choice to pursue it as a career.  It's a good thing she did, too, since she's an absolutely beautiful and amazingly talented dancer.

 

Since I last wrote from Las Palmas so much has happened!

In Las Palmas, I danced "Rubies" in our Ultimate Balanchine program. There were a few casting changes and I ended up with James as my partner (James to the rescue again!).  The change came right before the performance, and James and I had only a little time to rehearse together that day. It was a little scary but also a lot of fun for us.