Ballet Stars

The Standouts of 2018: Ballet Nacional de Cuba's Corps de Ballet in "Giselle"

Ballet Nacional de Cuba's corps de ballet performs Giselle's famous arabesque chugs. Photo by Carlos Quezada, Courtesy The Kennedy Center.

During the Ballet Nacional de Cuba's tour to Washington, DC's Kennedy Center earlier this year, the company brought longtime artistic director Alicia Alonso's Giselle. And while the production was admittedly well-worn and the style of dancing old-fashioned, the dancers rose to the occasion, led sensitively by longtime BNC star Viengsay Valdés in the title role.


Photo by Carlos Quezada, Courtesy The Kennedy Center.

But it was BNC's corps of women in Act II that really impressed. Unlike the cold, lissome sprits in more modern productions, these wilis had a more terrifying presence, possessed by an almost zombie-like intensity. Yet what was most striking was their unparalleled precision, whether they were settling into a Sylphide-like tableau or merging into razor-sharp lines. With each collective breath or tilt of the chin, the stage shifted in both mood and shape, creating an eerily spectral landscape for Giselle and Albrecht to dance within. Finally, with Albrecht in a heap at their feet, the dancers rose to sous-sus for one long, suspended balance. Not a single foot wavered on pointe as the clock slowly struck four, giving us one last glimpse of the wilis' unified strength before they disappeared into the forest.

The Conversation
Ballet Careers
Cathryn Lavery via Unsplash

Some days, your to-do list might seem like it's a mile long: On top of your dance commitments, do you really have time to sew new pointe shoes, squeeze in cross-training, tweak your resumé for audition season, meal-prep and clean your apartment? Trying to stuff too many things into one day can only leave you frustrated when every item doesn't get crossed off.

Keep reading... Show less
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?

Keep reading... Show less