Pacific Northwest Ballet's Angelica Generosa Shares Her Classic, Comfy Style In and Out of the Studio
"I love the feeling and look of effortless fashion," says Angelica Generosa. Preferring a classic style, the Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist keeps her wardrobe stocked with blazers. But they serve a practical purpose, too. "It tends to get chilly in Seattle, so it's the perfect accessory for layering," Generosa explains.
She's also quite fond of designer handbags. "They're my go-to accessory, and they're also my weakness when shopping," she says, naming Chloé, Chanel and Dior as some of her favorite brands. "I really appreciate the craftsmanship it takes to produce one—they're so beautiful and each has its own story, in a way."
In the studio, Generosa prioritizes comfort, and she'll change up her look depending on the repertoire (leotards and tutus for classical works, breathable shirts with workout pants for contemporary). But she always arrives to work in style. "I really love putting together outfits for even just going to the studio," she says. "It's another way of expressing my mood and what kind of vibe I'm going for that day."
The Details: Street
BCBG blazer: "It has some shoulder pads and a really cool pattern," says Generosa. "It reminds me of my mom and '80s fashion."
Zara blouse: She incorporate neutrals, like this white satin button-up, to balance bright pops of colors.
Madewell jeans: Comfort is a major factor for Generosa, who gets her fashion inspiration from her mom, friends and people she comes across day to day.
Chloé bag: "I tend to have smaller purses because I'm quite small. Bigger bags overwhelm me sometimes—unless it's my dance bag, of course!"
The Details: Studio
Label Dancewear leotard: "This was designed by my good friend Elizabeth Murphy, a principal dancer here at PNB. Her leotards always fit me really well."
Mirella leggings: "I get cold easily," says Generosa, who wears leggings and vests to stay warm throughout the day.
Freed of London pointe shoes: "When sewing them, I crisscross my elastics and use an elasticized ribbon from Body Wrappers," which helps alleviate Achilles tendon issues, she says. She then trims the satin off of the tip of the shoe. "Then I bend the shank a bit to loosen it up and cut a bit off where my arch is."
Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.
"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."
How It Works<p>UBC has divided various scenes and divertissements that make up <em>The Nutcracker</em> into categories. (Think Party Scene, Battle Scene, Snow Pas de Deux, etc.) Studios and conservatories, along with individual dancers, are asked to submit footage of these scenes from previous performances or in-studio recordings (though costuming and makeup is encouraged) to UBC through the company's<a href="http://universalballetcompetition.com" target="_blank"> website</a>. The entry fee for each submission is $45, with multiple-entry pricing available.</p><p>The competition will be <a href="https://www.universalballetcompetition.com/virtual-competition-schedule/" target="_blank">livestreamed</a> on December 12, featuring all submissions that make up Act I, and on December 13, featuring all submissions that make up Act II. "We thought it would be cool for parents and directors to see, say, 20 different versions of Mother Ginger for future inspiration," says UBC co-founder David Lucas. "It's a fun way to promote the different studios who are all facing challenges, embrace the season, and learn from one another."</p>
Getty Images<p>The jurors for the competition include: Pennsylvania Ballet assistant artistic director Samantha Dunster, Kansas City Ballet School director Grace Maduell Holmes, Royal Winnipeg Ballet associate director Tara Birtwhistle, Orlando Ballet School principal teacher Charmaine Hunter and international master teacher Duncan Cooper.</p><p>An online awards ceremony announcing each scene's top three submissions (and their subsequent cast members) will be held on December 14. The first-place clips will then be strung together to create a final cohesive recording of <em>The Virtual Nutcracker</em>, which audiences can stream for free on UBC's website on December 19.</p>
Back in April, it seemed like everyone in the performing arts was either coping with company shutdowns or watching future work evaporate before their eyes. As seasons were canceled or pushed off into the unknown future, choreographer Val Caniparoli took a deep breath and focused on a glimmer of hope: Finnish National Ballet had commissioned him to develop a full-length Jekyll & Hyde, and was determined to move forward with its November world premiere. So, Caniparoli hunkered down in his apartment while honing his vision at all hours to build this psychological thriller into a reality.
Before the Pandemic<p>Caniparoli had been deep inside the creation of his premiere, based on Robert Louis Stevenson's book <em>The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde</em>, for many years. While his ballet—which features scenic and costume design by David Israel Reynoso and music compiled from five Polish composers—is scheduled to debut in Helsinki on November 6, much of the designs, storyboard and research had already been accomplished before anybody had heard of COVID-19.</p><p>"There were a few companies interested in having me create this work, including Kansas City Ballet," says Caniparoli. In May 2019, he received funding to workshop his ideas for <em>Jekyll & Hyde </em>and approached KCB. Artistic director Devon Carney agreed for him to workshop his ideas with six dancers over two weeks. He and his frequent assistant Maiqui Mañosa used the time to develop a scene in a mental institution that includes 16 patients dancing on hospital beds.</p>
Chris Hardy, Courtesy Val Caniparoli
Man by Day, Choreographer by Night<p>Shortly after Caniparoli returned home to San Francisco, the city declared a shelter-in-place order. Accustomed to frequent travel for work, he was now stuck in his two-bedroom condo for the foreseeable future. But over 5,000 miles away, Onne suggested Caniparoli continue his choreographic process via Zoom. However, there was a catch: Finland is 10 hours ahead of San Francisco, and Caniparoli's assistant was locked down in Philadelphia. This unconventional solution was transforming into something much more unusual.</p><p>In May, Onne asked several dancers to come into the studios so Caniparoli could stage the scene in the mental institution. Not only was Caniparoli creating virtually for the first time, he was working the night shift, with six hours of rehearsals starting at 1 am San Francisco time.</p>
Zooming in for the Landing<p>In August, after five months of sheltering in place, Caniparoli finally returned to Finland to focus on finalizing his world premiere. "It all happened very fast. The decision was made that I could fly, but I had to get a negative result from a COVID-19 rapid test the day I traveled. From there, I spent the next two weeks in my hotel room under quarantine and back on Zoom for rehearsals."</p><p>Unable to risk going back home before the premiere, Caniparoli will stay in Finland through the first week of November. While FNB focuses on preparing for and performing its current season, which includes a delayed production from this past spring, Caniparoli continues to hold daily rehearsals for <em>Jekyll & Hyde</em>. He is also conducting Zoom rehearsals with Cincinnati Ballet and Oregon Ballet Theatre while continuing to arrange future work with companies around the globe.<em><strong></strong></em></p>
When Sir Frederick Ashton premiered Thaïs Pas de Deux, a duet set to the "Méditation" interlude from Jules Massenet's opera Thaïs, the ballet was immediately acclaimed as one of his masterpieces, despite the fact that it is only a few minutes long. In this clip from 2008, Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre, then principals of the Bavarian State Ballet, give a tender, enchanting performance that is six-and-a-half minutes of pure beauty.
Your partner accidentally drops you during a lift. You collide head-on with another dancer in rehearsal. Or you're hit in the face while you're spotting a turn. Even if you didn't lose consciousness, you may have a concussion, which can occur from a direct blow to the head or rotary force of the brain moving excessively or striking the skull.
As a dancer, your first instinct may be to keep going, but you shouldn't, says physical therapist and athletic trainer Carrie Gaerte, PT, DPT, ATC, who works with Butler University in Indianapolis and at Ascension St. Vincent Sports Performance. "What's really hard for dancers is admitting that maybe something isn't right," she says. "But the big thing about concussions is that your brain is not like your ankle, shoulder or knee. When your brain has an injury, that needs to take precedence over a role or a job."
If You Think You've Had a Concussion<p>"If you have a dramatic fall, hit your head and lose consciousness, that's an automatic 911 call," says Gaerte. Sometimes, though, a dancer might run into someone and jostle their head, but they feel fine completing rehearsal. It might not be until that next day or later that they notice any symptoms (see below). "That's when you call your sports medicine physician," she says, stressing that a general practitioner might not understand ballet's athleticism enough to suspect a concussion.</p><p>Following any impact, a dancer should spend about 48 to 72 hours (or until they are further evaluated by a sports medicine physician) in relative rest—meaning that you shouldn't dance, though the old advice about not falling asleep after a concussion doesn't typically apply to these types of sports-related head injuries.</p><p>When you speak with the physician, be very specific. Use language like "I think I may have sustained a concussion," advises Gaerte. Detail when and how you think it happened and any symptoms you're experiencing. "They will get a sense of your situation quickly, and there won't be as much of a delay in the start of rehab."</p>
Cervical tests may be used to evaluate a potential concussion.
Courtesy Carrie Gaerte
Symptoms<p>A concussion isn't always evident when it happens, so monitoring your symptoms is crucial. The most common symptom is a headache, as well as dizziness, feeling foggy, blurred or double vision, or balance problems. Less common symptoms include memory dysfunction, sensitivity to light, fatigue or trouble concentrating.</p><p>Collegiate or high-school level dancers may notice the impact in their academic classes. "Sometimes they'll say that they can't pay attention, they feel very tired, their homework takes longer to do, or they have difficulty studying or taking notes," says Gaerte. Even if a collision seemed uneventful, these symptoms signal that you should seek treatment.</p>
Diagnosis<p>Gaerte emphasizes that there is no single test to diagnose a concussion. A physician or athletic trainer may administer some of the following based on your symptoms: vestibular (balance) tests; oculomotor tests, which monitor your eye movements; cervical (neck) tests; or emotional tests, evaluating your moods.</p><p>One popular method in the sports world is ImPACT testing, which Gaerte hopes to implement with dancers at Butler. Athletes take a series of computer tests that evaluate neurocognitive function at the beginning of a season to establish a baseline. If a concussion is suspected, they can retake the tests to see where their deficits are and, later, how they've improved, says Gaerte.</p>
A physician or athletic trainer may administer a balance test if you think you've had a concussion.
Courtesy Carrie Gaerte