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The Royal Ballet's Francesca Hayward Is Feline Purrfection in the New "CATS" Trailer

Courtesy Universal Pictures

What do you get when you add Royal Ballet principal Francesca Hayward, Taylor Swift, Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, CGI fur technology, giant sets and unitards galore? The answer is the new CATS film, scheduled for major release December 20, 2019.


The official trailer has just dropped, and it's even bigger, furrier and more dance-filled than we ever could have imagined. Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1981 musical is based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, and tells the strange tale of the Jellicles, a tribe of cats tasked with deciding which of them will ascend to Heaviside Layer (roughly translated as cat heaven) and return to a new life. It was restaged for film in 1998. This new remake, directed by Tom Hooper of Les Misérables fame, is overflowing with Hollywood stars. In addition to Swift, the cast includes James Corden, Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Jennifer Hudson, who sings "Memory," the show's best-known song.

But of course, we're most excited for the dancing. Hayward makes her feature film debut as the white cat Victoria, and if this trailer is any indication, we'll get to see plenty of her leggy brilliance (check out 0:36 and 0:48 for a sneak peek). The film also features former NYCB principal Robbie Fairchild as Munkustrap, Royal Ballet principal Steven McRae and former soloist Eric Underwood, hip hop duo Les Twins and CATS on Broadway veteran Kolton Krouse.

Check out the trailer below meow! (Sorry we couldn't help ourselves.)

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When the news broke that Prince George, currently third in line for the British throne, would be continuing ballet classes as part of his school curriculum this year, we were as excited as anyone. (Okay, maybe more excited.)

This was not, it seems, a sentiment shared by "Good Morning America" host Lara Spencer.

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A still from Dancing Dreams. Courtesy OVID

If you're seeking an extra dash of inspiration to start the new season on the right—dare we say—foot, look no further than dance documentaries.

Starting August 23, OVID, a streaming service dedicated to docs and art-house films, is adding eight notable dance documentaries to its library. The best part? There's a free seven-day trial. (After that, subscriptions are $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.)

From the glamour of Russian ballet stars to young dancers training in Cuba to a portrait of powerhouse couple Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, here's what's coming to a couch near you:

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Just for fun
Via @lizzo on Twitter

On August 20, pop goddess Lizzo tweeted, "Someone do a ballet routine to truth hurts pls," referring to the anthem that's been top on everyone's playlists this summer. Lizzo might not know it yet, but ballet dancers are not known for shying away from a challenge. In the past two days, the internet has exploded with responses, with dancers like Houston Ballet's Harper Watters and American Ballet Theatre's Erica Lall tagging the singer in submissions.

Below are a few of our favorites so far, but we're guessing that this is just the beginning. Ballet world, consider yourselves officially challenged! (Use #LizzoBalletChallenge so we know what you're up to.)

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