Before becoming a beloved prima ballerina with New York City Ballet, Wendy Whelan was just another girl growing up in Louisville, Kentucky. Tonight, local TV station KET will air "Wendy Whelan: Moments of Grace" on its Kentucky Muse program at 10 pm EST (and the station will rerun it next Wednesday at 8 pm). Those of us who live in other states can watch it stream online at ket.org/live. The documentary explores Whelan's childhood growing up in Kentucky, and gives an inside look at the impact of her roots on her incredible career.
Want to work on your versatility this summer? There's a new intensive you should check out: Modas Dance, run by former LINES Ballet school director Layla Amis and former San Francisco Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem dancer Duncan Cooper. The two regularly set up weekend workshops in studios throughout the country, and just launched their summer program last year. Their faculty members include the likes of Ashley Tuttle, Tai Jimenez and LINES ballet master Arturo Fernandez.
The only thing better than getting into a great summer intensive? Winning a full scholarship. The Joffrey Ballet School has teamed up with our sister publication Dance Magazine to offer 30 promising students full-tuition scholarships to Joffrey Ballet School programs, including Joffrey Ballet Intensive NYC, Joffrey West LA, Joffrey Jazz & Contemporary NYC, Joffrey NYC Young Dancer Program, Joffrey Southwest Dallas and Joffrey Miami. There's no need to audition.
Choreographers get inspiration from all sources. This winter, Diablo Ballet's Robert Dekkers is getting his from Twitter. Starting today, the California company is inviting people to Tweet their ideas for a new ballet using the hashtag #DiabloWebBallet. You can suggest emotions, moods, specific steps or music. Voting closes February 14, when Dekkers will choose the seven best suggestions and then spend two weeks putting them all together for The Web Ballet, to premiere March 1.
Stress fractures are one of the most common injures in ballet dancers. Keep your bones strong—don’t smoke. A new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health reports that even low or irregular amounts of smoking during girls' teenage years lowers their bone density. Adolescence is a critical time for bone growth: As much as 50 percent of your lifetime bone accrual happens during these years.
To kick off the new year, Pointe is offering up a fresh jolt of inspiration: We just released a special Photo Exclusive for the iPad. This digital edition, dedicated to our favorite images from the Pointe photo archives, is filled with never-before-seen shots of the most riveting dancers on the planet. See Polina Semionova perform from the wings. Catch a glimpse of Beckanne Sisk before she went pro. Take a peek at Misty Copeland in company class.
"Bunheads" returns this Monday night, bringing back the adorably nutty antics and zany ballets of Paradise Dance Academy. To celebrate the winter premiere of the show, Pointe is doing something a little different with our next cover: We're giving you an inside peek into the story of Kaitlyn Jenkins, the actress who plays Bettina "Boo" Jordan on "Bunheads." Jenkins grew up training intensively in the hopes of becoming a professional ballet dancer. But the reality was that her body never fit the ballet ideal.
American Ballet Theatre just announced an intriguing transatlantic dancer swap. Royal Ballet principal Steven McRae will come to New York to perform in ABT's Le Corsaire this June and Royal Danish Ballet principal Alban Lendorf will dance with the company in Sleeping Beauty this July. In exchange, ABT will lend principal Cory Stearns to The Royal Ballet in December and soloist Isabella Boylston to the Royal Danish Ballet for their Nutcracker.
After the abrupt departure of artistic director Christopher Stowell last month, the fate of Oregon Ballet Theatre seemed up in the air. But the picture's looking brighter already. Anne Mueller, who was the company's star dancer until her retirement in 2011, has taken over as interim artistic director through the end of the 2013 season.
What does Baryshnikov wake up to every morning? Sketches of Ballets Russes legends Sergei Diaghalev and Vaslav Nijinsky drawn by French novelist Jean Cocteau in 1917. A colored pencil illustration of bugs and birds signed "To Misha with Love, Merce Cunningham." A doodle by Trisha Brown of her own feet.