Train With Carreño
Summer intensives run by name dancers have long drawn students hoping to catch a little stardust. This August, aspiring professionals can study with American Ballet Theatre’s Jose Manuel Carreño. The soon-to-retire principal has partnered with Sarasota Ballet CEO Robert de Warren to create the Carreño Dance Festival in Florida.

 

The program places a strong emphasis on performance skills. Students will take many of their classes on the stage of the Sarasota Opera House, forcing them to feel their lines without the mirror and project past the “fourth wall.” On most days, classes are open to the public so that students can practice being in performance mode. The intensive finishes with three concerts where students will dance alongside top international guest artists. Find audition details at carrenodancefestival.com. —Kristin Schwab

 

YAGP’s New Job Fair
Starting this year, Youth America Grand Prix will host a series of special audition classes for finalists looking to join a professional company. The Job Fair takes place on March 23, directly after the New York finals. Finalists from previous seasons can also participate for $25. See yagp.org. —Jennifer Stahl

 

Summer Study Scholarships
Need help covering the cost of your summer intensive? Dance Council of North Texas will award 30 scholarships totaling over $27,000 to exceptional young dancers this year. Dancers ages 13 to 21 can apply (even if you aren’t from Texas) and the money can be used at any summer intensive. Scholarships are awarded based on both talent and passion. Apply by February 9 at thedancecouncil.org. —JS


Fouetté To A Full Ride
New York City Dance Alliance is offering a new perk for finalists: the chance to win a college scholarship. Last year, NYCDA partnered with Marymount Manhattan College and University of the Arts in Philadelphia to award $500,000 in scholarships. This year, executive director Joe Lanteri hopes to bump that number up to $1,000,000, and already has added Point Park University to the 2011 roster. He’s raising additional funds through the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation, which includes a partnership with Radio City, a benefit at The Joyce Theater and a fundraising campaign in dance studios across the country. For more, go to nycdance.com and DanceU101.com —JS

Ballet’s Newest Competition
Varna, Lausanne, Jackson…and Boston? This spring, the city hosts the first ever Boston International Ballet Competition, founded by Valentina Kozlova. BIBC will challenge competitors to stick to their variations’ official choreography. “Dancers have a limited rep to choose from,” says Kozlova, “and they aren’t allowed to make changes just so they can do fantastic tricks.”



 

Apply by: February 1
Dates: May 12–16, 2011
Divisions: Senior (ages 19 to 25), junior (15 to 18) and student (13 and 14)
Open to: Students and professionals
Rounds: Seniors and juniors compete in three classical and two contemporary rounds; students have two classical and one contemporary round. Contemporary choreography is by Margo Sappington for the women and Edwaard Liang for men.
Judges: Mikko Nissinen, Violette Verdy and Septime Webre, among others
Prizes: Gold, silver and bronze medals, a grand prix, the “Maris Liepa Prize” for artistic excellence, scholarships and a contract at The Washington Ballet Studio Company.
Website: bostonibc.org
—Charlotte Stabenau








Your Best Body
Pilates hundred intermediate set-up, modeled by Jordan Miller. Photo by Emily Giacalone.

The Pilates hundred is a popular exercise used by many dancers for conditioning and warming up, but it's also one of the most misunderstood. Pumping your arms for 100 counts sounds simple enough, but it requires coordinated breathwork, a leg position that suits your abilities and proper alignment. Marimba Gold-Watts, who works with New York City Ballet dancers at her Pilates studio, Articulating Body, breaks down this surprisingly hard exercise. When done correctly, the benefits are threefold: "If you're doing it before class," she says, "the hundred is a great way to get your blood flowing and work on breath control and abdominal support all at once."

To Start

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Nod your chin toward the front of your throat, and reach your fingertips long.

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Pointe Stars

At just 16 years old, the Bolshoi Ballet's Maria Alexandrova already had the makings of a great artist. In this variation from Coppélia, she portrays the carefree Swanilda with blithe, youthful ease.

When she bounds on stage in her perky pink tutu, you immediately notice her legs–they just go on forever. In the first sequence of steps she keeps her jetés and développés low, but then the phrase repeats and she lets her gorgeous extensions fly. She sails through Italian fouettés and whirls around in piqués en manège that get faster and faster. While she nails all the virtuosic movement, Alexandrova also pays beautiful attention to detail throughout the variation. Even the simplest steps become something exciting, like her precise pas de bourrées beginning at 1:03 that sing with musicality.

Swanilda has been one of Alexandrova's signature roles throughout her career. For a fun side by side, watch her perform the same variation almost 20 years later in this video. Although Alexandrova formally retired from the Bolshoi in February, she still performs frequently in Moscow and internationally as a guest artist. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!


Pointe Stars
Ingrid Silva and her dog, Frida Kahlo. Photo by Nathan Sayers for Pointe.

You're probably already following your favorite dancers on Instagram, but did you know that you can follow many of their dogs, too? We rounded up some of our favorite dog-centered accounts and hashtags to keep you pawsitively entertained (sorry, we can't help ourselves).

Cora and Maya (American Ballet Theatre's Sarah Lane and Luis Ribagorda)

Sarah Lane and Luis Ribagorda's pups Cora and Maya update their profile pretty frequently. Often accompanying Lane to the ABT studios, they can also be seen using tutus or piles of pink tights as dog beds.

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Pointe Stars
Vladislav Lantritov and Ekaterina Krysanova in "Taming of the Shrew." Photo by Alice Blangero, Courtesy Bolshoi Ballet.

If you haven't checked your local movie listings yet for this weekend, hop to it. The Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema series and Fathom Events is broadcasting a performance of Jean-Christophe Maillot's The Taming of the Shrew to theaters nationwide on Sunday, November 19. (To see if it's playing near you and to purchase tickets, click here.) While the rest of the Bolshoi's cinema season features 19th- and 20th-century classics, The Taming of the Shrew gives audiences a chance to see the revered Moscow company in a thoroughly modern, 21st-century take on Shakespeare's famous play.

Aside from a limited run in New York City this July, American audiences have had little exposure to Maillot's 2014 production. To learn more, check out these two exclusive, behind-the-scenes webisodes below. Principal dancer Ekaterina Krysanova, who stars as the hotheaded Katharina, gives an intimate play-by-play of two major scenes in Act I. The first is her fiery rejection of three potential suitors (who all would prefer to marry Katharina's younger sister Bianca).

The second scene breaks down Katharina's first encounter with Petruchio (danced by the larger-than-life Vladislav Lantritov), the only man who seems to be able to challenge her. Here, too, we see the shrew's heart start to soften. (Don't miss her time-stopping attitude turn at 4:27.)

The Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema Series continues through June; for more details on upcoming screenings, click here.

popular
Smuin Ballet dancers Erica Felsch, Rex Wheeler, Mengjun Chen and Tessa Barbour in "White Christmas," choreographed by dancers Ben Needham-Wood and Michael Smuin. Photo by Keith Sutter, Courtesy Smuin Ballet.

Nutcracker-ed out? Or just can't get enough holiday ballets? These unique Nutcracker interpretations and non-Nutcracker productions will make your season bright.


The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Through December 30

Tchaikovsky's masterful Nutcracker score isn't just for classical ballet…

Hip Hop + a live DJ + an electric violinist unite in The Hip Hop Nutcracker, currently touring the U.S.

Familiar characters such Drosselmeyer, the Nutcracker, Mouse King and Marie (here called Maria-Clara) dance through an updated New York City storyline with choreography by Jennifer Weber, artistic director of the Brooklyn-based theatrical hip hop company Decadancetheatre.

Premiered in 2014, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is produced by New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

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Pointe Stars
Jurgita Dronina as Kitri in "Don Quixote." Photo by Angela Sterling, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

When Jurgita Dronina first danced Kitri for a guest performance of Don Quixote with Teatro Filarmonico-Fondazione Arena Di Verona, she was in essence cast against type. "Before Kitri, I was dancing only lyrical or dramatic roles, so I had to start from scratch in finding my own signature in the steps and my own interpretation of the character," says Dronina, who was dancing with Royal Swedish Ballet at the time.

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