You've probably heard about the documentary Ballet 422, which is in theaters February 6. The film is directed by Jody Lee Lipes, and chronicles the making of New York City Ballet's 422nd world premiere: Justin Peck's Paz de la Jolla.

Peck has been remarkably busy since press for the documentary started picking up steam early last year. He premiered Debonair at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Heatscape at Miami City Ballet and was appointed New York City Ballet's second ever choreographer in residence—where he has premiered two more ballets this season.

Ballet 422 shows Peck earlier in his career, as he's still working out the nuances of what goes into making a produciton. Lipes followed Peck from his apartment to the studio; backstage in the costume shop to conversations with lighting designers. "Jody has a quiet voice as a filmmaker," says Peck. "He was really unobtrusive during the creation of the ballet." Lipes agrees that his intention in making the film was to hang back and let the action unfold physically. "I was learning about the ballet world, too," he says.

If you've ever been part of a professional production, the film won't function as a huge revelation. But Lipes does a great job capturing the details of the creative process, and the result is a satisfying peek into the magic of NYCB.

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Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet

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

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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Lindsay Martell at a class performance. Courtesy Martell.

More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:

"Is your daughter the dancer?"

"Actually," I say, "I am."

"Wow!" they enthuse. "Who do you dance with? Or have you retired...?"

"I don't dance with a company. I'm not a professional. I just take classes."

Insert mic drop/record scratch/quizzical looks.

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Kevin Lloyd Photography, Courtesy Ballet Jörgen

Canada's Ballet Jörgen is committed to telling Canadian stories by Canadian choreographers. For its next full-length ballet, director Bengt Jörgen turned to what he calls "perhaps the most quintessential Canadian story" of all time: Lucy Maud Montgomery's beloved 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, about the flame-haired, precocious orphan Anne Shirley. Jörgen is choreographing the work, which will debut in Halifax, Nova Scotia (not far from Anne's fictional home in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island), on September 28 before embarking on a two-year tour of Canada and the U.S.

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