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.
You’re going to want to catch "60 Minutes" this Sunday. Reporter Lesley Stahl will go backstage at New York City Ballet, following Robbie Fairchild as he learns the title role in Apollo. See the performance with Tiler Peck, Sterling Hyltin and Ana Sophia Scheller from the wings. That last iconic moment of a starburst? The back two girls aren’t in arabesque—they’re in a turned in second so that they can hide their torsos behind the other two dancers! You can see how they get into it from a whole new vantage point.
Sneakers aren’t the primary footwear you associate with New York City Ballet. But next Friday, NYCB dancers will slip out of their pointe shoes and into more casual kicks for the free Fridays at Noon series at the 92nd Street Y. Ellen Bar, a former dancer who now works as the company’s director of media projects, hosts the quirky program featuring past and present sneaker ballets.
I went to see NYCB again on Saturday, and was treated to another performance of Balanchine's Le Tombeau de Couperin, which is a vehicle for the company's very young, very hungry corps de ballet. I saw this piece for the first time a couple of weeks ago (on the same program as Episodes), and I enjoyed it just as much. It's Balanchine's architectural sensibility at its finest--marvelously kaleidoscopic patterns emerge and dissolve constantly, as the eight men and eight women constantly rearran
What an exciting trip this was! Overall, I was extremely impressed with the kindness and enthusiasm of the Cuban ballet fans. Dance is a huge deal in Havana--there are pictures of Alicia Alonso everywhere. Many people saw our first performance and insisted on coming back for the second one. They waited for us outside the stage door and took pictures and asked for autographs. They tried hard to communicate to us in broken English how much they enjoyed the program. I met some people in the hotel who had traveled from Argentina specifically to see the dance festival.
Wondering about what your ideal post-dance dinner should be? Curious about which cross-training strategies are best for your body? Head to New York City Ballet's Dance Wellness Workshop tomorrow at the company's rehearsal studios in New York.