Recently retired Miami City Ballet dancer Ezra Hurwitz has found a second calling as a filmmaker. His latest is a peek into the life, or maybe the mind, of New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns.

Mearns is well known as a dazzling, glamorous and dramatic ballerina. Hurwitz's lovely film, which shows her day as largely self directed and solitary, confirms her star status. Rather than letting the camera exalt Mearns' physical capabilities, Hurwitz uses a restrained, almost secretive approach. The result lends a dream-like quality to the film—echoed by Mearns' statement that she never thought she would be where she is. "I still can't believe I'm doing the roles that I am, today," she says. It turns out that even the most confident onstage performers have a chaotic inner monolgoue of doubt, incredulity, gratitude and determination.


In fact, Hurwitz's choice to play Mearns' insights as a voice-over throughout the film is highly effective. It seems like an authentic stream of consciousness, like the viewer is quietly travelling with Mearns' thoughts as she goes about her day. She is refreshingly honest, and beyond simply showing her dancing, Hurwitz shows how dance is Mearns' life.

The Conversation
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Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Jolie Rose Lombardo performing at ADC | IBC prior to her diagnosis. Richard Finkelstein, Courtesy Stephanie Lombardo

It was mid-January when 15-year-old Jolie Rose Lombardo first noticed the leg pain. A scholarship student at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, Germany, the Florida native felt fine dancing through full days of classes and completing her regular school schedule. It was only at night that what appeared to be sciatic pain would shoot down her right leg when she tried to lie down, making resting difficult. After a few sleepless nights, spent mostly standing up, she went to the doctor for an X-ray, followed by an MRI.

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Summer Intensive Survival
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It is easy to feel as though the entire ballet year revolves around summer: more hours in the day for dance, and another summer intensive to add to your resumé. You've likely dreamt about which program you want to attend, traveled to auditions and gotten excited about the new challenges in a big city school. But what if you find yourself staying home?

It can feel heartbreaking to watch your peers take off for their intensives. Whether you're staying home by choice or because of injury or finances, you can still improve and have fun at your local studio. Unlike those headed off to big intensives, you have flexibility and money on your side. Jody Skye Schissler, owner of Skye Ballet Center in Herndon, Virginia, encourages dancers to start by asking, "How can you make your summer more focused on yourself and what you need for your future?" Here are tips for making the most of your time at home.

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