As an editor at Pointe, sometimes I feel like a kid in a candy store. I'm constantly surrounded by all things ballet, I'm able to see some of the best performances and I get to meet many of the dancers and artists I idolized when I was growing up. I know that I am one incredibly lucky bunhead. So as I stuff my face with turkey and pumpkin pie tomorrow, here are a few of the top ballet-related things I will be thankful for.

 

1. This performance of The Royal Ballet's Marienela Nunez in Kenneth MacMillan's Concerto. I think the word sublime might have been invented to describe Nunez' dancing in this ballet.

 

2. The rumble roller. Yes, I know it looks like a torture device. But just find one and lie on it. Your body will thank you.

 

3. Rosine Bena. The first true ballerina I ever saw, my first ballet teacher and the first person who made me understand the meaning of artistry.

 

4. Cedar Lake. I sometimes wish I lived in Europe so that I could see all of the innovative work they produce in a continent where arts funding and forward thinking are simply more plentiful. At least I can get a taste of that through Cedar Lake, which brings such amazing choreographers as Ohad Naharin and Hofesh Shechter to stage work here in New York. 

 

5. The smell of a brand new pair of pointe shoes. Dance Magazine's editor in chief Wendy Perron first pointed out to me how delightful it is to stick your nose inside a box (before it's been worn, that is).

 

6. Christopher Wheeldon's After The Rain. The hauntingly beautiful pas de deux, set to Arvo Part's Spiegel im Spiegel, brings me to tears every time.

 

7. Kirov Ballet second soloist Ekaterina Kondaurova. I think I would be entranced by her movement even if she were simply frying an egg. Luckily though, the Kirov casts her much more breathtaking movement by Forsythe and...

 

8. Alexei Ratmansky. When people like Jennifer Homans declare that ballet is dead, I am so thankful we have choreographers like Ratmansky to prove them dead wrong. 

News
The Washington Ballet's NEXTsteps program opens this week. Here are company dancers Ashley Murphy-Wilson and Alexandros Papajohn. Procopio Photography, Courtesy The Washington Ballet.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Courtesy Apolla

Ballet dancers today are asked to do more with their bodies than ever before. The physical demands of a ballet career can take an immense toll on a dancer's joints and muscles—subjecting them to pain, inflammation and an increased risk of injury. Considering all that is required of today's dancers, having a top-notch recovery regime is paramount.

Enter Apolla Performance Wear, which is meeting ballet's physical demands with a line of compression footwear that is speeding up the recovery process for professional dancers by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the joints.

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Ballet West in rehearsal for Le Chant du Rossignol. Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West.

Ballet West opens its season October 25–November 2 with a triptych of works from George Balanchine's early choreographic career with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Highlighting the program is Balanchine's 1925 The Song of the Nightingale (Le Chant du Rossignol), never before seen in the U.S. This ballet is not only the first piece that a then-21-year-old Balanchine made for the Ballets Russes; it also marks his first collaboration with Igor Stravinsky, and features costumes by Henri Matisse. To bring it to Salt Lake City, Ballet West is working closely with Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer, who reconstructed the work for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in 1999.

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Stella Abrera in Le Corsaire. Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre announced today that, after 24 years, beloved principal dancer Stella Abrera will retire from the stage this coming summer. Her farewell performance will be June 13, 2020, at the Metropolitan Opera House, dancing the title role in Giselle.

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