We’ve all secretly—or not so secretly—dreamed of training under the one and only George Balanchine. His technique, incorporating extreme speed, angular lines and athletic strength, isn’t one that's easily learned.
It was just announced yesterday that New York City Ballet will be starring in its own reality show, developed, produced and narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker. The docuseries, called "city.ballet," will air on AOL On this September, as AOL ventures into original programming for the first time. Catch the trailer here. The shots are so intimate you can almost feel the pressure to perform, and you can almost smell the dancers' sweat.
Mark your calendars: There's some great ballet coming into your life over the next couple of weeks—all of which you can catch from the comfort of your couch. Keep an eye out for these programs:
Wendy Whelan: "Restless Creature" The New York City Ballet superstar will preview her new project at the Guggenheim Museum. She'll perform excerpts from new duets created collaboratively with choreographers Joshuah Beamish and Brian Brooks, and show a solo by Shen Wei.
When Carrie Lee Riggins joined New York City Ballet at 16, she had no clue how to cook. And living in New York City, she never had to—delivery was just at the other end of a phone call. Jump ahead sixteen years to the present day, and she found herself still lost in the kitchen. So she wrote an email to the Food Network’s reality competition show “Worst Cooks in America,” featuring restaurateur Bobby Flay.
No dancer should ever leave home without a good dose of inspiration. We've found one that's kind of awesome: The free New York City Ballet iPhone app. It’s constantly updated with fun new pictures of the dancers—both on stage and off—and has a Twitter section that shows a feed of tweets from company members. Best of all, it contains links to top NYCB video clips with dancers explaining their approaches to roles and dishing about what it’s actually like behind the scenes. Find it in the App Store.
Tiler Peck and Robert Farichild are making a special guest appearance in the New York Philharmonic's presentation of Carousel this weekend. To build anticipation, the company just posted some footage of the dancers rehearsing in the studio with choreographer Warren Carlyle. It's amazing to watch how quickly and fully Peck transforms into her character. Check it out here.
Although the New York Philharmonic's upcoming production of Carousel focuses on Rodgers & Hammerstein's iconic music, the show will also feature one exceptional moment of dance: It's just been announced that New York City Ballet principals Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild will guest star in a pas de deux in Act II. Peck will dance the role of Louise and Fairchild will portray the Carnival Boy, dancing choreography by Warren Carlyle. The show, performed in New York February 27–March 2, will be telecast nationally on PBS through "Live From Lincoln Center" on April 26.
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.
Successful ballet dancers all share one trait: a relentless determination to improve. To close out 2012, Pointe reached out to dancers we covered this past year to find out their resolutions for the next one.
Last week, the Pointe staff got to spend a day with New York City Ballet's ever-lovable Lauren Lovette and Daniel Ulbricht for an upcoming story we're working on. It turns out "60 Minutes" reporter Lesley Stahl got the same treat.