"Bunheads" In Recital

Recitals have their own awkward charm. The littlest dancers always look adorable; the older ones try so earnestly that with every variation’s successful coda the audience breathes a sigh of relief.

 

Last night’s “Bunheads” episode managed to make recitals seem more inventive and better danced than any I remember sitting through. Fanny, the reliably lively Kelly Bishop, had created an ecological fable of a supermarket cashier, torn between evil plastic bags (danced by various talented extras) and a wholesome canvas one (the elegant Julia Goldani Telles). Political correctness never looked sillier, but when Fanny’s students gave it their all, the small screen momentarily captured the passion and sincerity that so many dance students show when they finally get up on stage to perform. Most likeable, as always, was Kaitlyn Jenkins as the conflicted cashier, bravely partnering Telles through a few lifts and generally adding a dash of genuine enthusiasm to the entire concept. The premise may have been far-fetched—like “Bunheads” itself—but its love of dance never seemed more real.

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Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem Archives

What to Watch: Dance Theatre of Harlem Streams Its Historic "Creole Giselle" on June 6

In 1984, Dance Theatre of Harlem co-founder Arthur Mitchell took one of ballet oldest surviving ballets, Giselle, and gave it a uniquely American twist: He moved the ballet's setting from medieval Europe to an Afro-Creole community in 1840s Louisiana. The resulting production, Creole Giselle, featured an all-Black cast and was hailed by critics as a groundbreaking achievement. While the ballet hasn't been performed for quite some time, it was filmed for television in 1987, starring current DTH artistic director Virginia Johnson in the title role.

This weekend, we'll have a chance to witness this important work. On Saturday, June 6, at 8 pm EDT, the company will stream Creole Giselle on its Facebook page and YouTube channel as part of its DTH on Demand Virtual Ballet Series. And throughout the week, DTH is hosting preview events on its social media platforms with original cast members and current company artists.


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Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You

Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!


Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

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