"Bunheads" Recap: Reality Checks

The best "Bunheads" episodes—at least from the perspective of us bunheads—are the ones that involve lots of dancing. And the series' Nutcracker-themed summer finale episode last night certainly had plenty of dance, from Boo and Carl's sweet Fred-and-Ginger number to Michelle's fantastic Cabaret dream sequence (more of Sutton Foster doing what Sutton Foster does best, please!). Was most of the choreography a bit on the wacky side, as per "Bunheads" tradition? Well, yes; Michelle's Wall-Street-with-shades-of-The-Green-Table take on the Nutcracker battle scene, while kind of great in its own quirky way, was definitely out there. But the episode did a good job capturing the manic bustle and anxiety of Nutcracker season. Backstage spats? Mary Poppins bags stuffed with emergency show supplies? False eyelash-induced panic attacks? All so real.

What rang most true about this episode was Sasha's showdown with "The Ringer," the technical wünderkind Fanny shipped in when it looked like she might be in need of a Clara. Even if, like Sasha, you're your studio's star pupil, there's always someone who can battement higher and do more pirouettes than you can. Feeling eclipsed, especially when you're used to being the center of attention, is a painful but inevitable occurrence in the ballet world.

Here's hoping we see more of The Ringer next season. Competition is a good thing: It pushes us to get better. And Sasha, talented as she is, could use a little pushing.

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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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