Nureyev's impact on ballet reaches beyond his dancing. Not only did he increase the attention paid to male dancers at a time when most audiences focused almost solely on the ballerinas, he insisted on raising the level of ballet costumes. As a blog in the SF Gate mentions, "Nureyev not only insisted on construction that allowed for freedom of movement but also pushed to incorporate a greater level of detail into costuming." San Francisco's de Young Fine Arts Museum is currently exhibiting "Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance" featuring costumes he wore or helped design for his ballets. This Friday, the museum will host a special presentation about ballet costumes, featuring a performance by San Francisco Ballet trainees. The event, at 7 pm, is free to the public. See deyoung.famsf.org.
Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.
Alicia Mae Holloway
Renee Choi, Courtesy Holloway
Carla Fracci, a former principal dancer of La Scala Ballet in Milan, is among the rare class of ballerinas who continued to perform into her 50s and beyond. Romantic ballets were her calling card throughout her career. In 1987, when Fracci was 51, she was featured in a television special, dancing reconstructed 19th-century ballets in the style of historical ballerinas. In this clip of La Esmeralda from the program, Fracci and her partner Stephen Jefferies, a former principal at The Royal Ballet, deliver an extraordinary performance, capturing the verve and spirit of their characters.