Houston Ballet Down Under #5: A Trip to the Bloch Store

From June 24–July 10, Houston Ballet is embarking on its biggest tour yet to Melbourne, Australia, hometown of artistic director Stanton Welch. Pointe asked demi-soloist Jacquelyn Long to keep a diary of her experiences.

Madeline Skelly and Natalie Varnum at the Bloch store.

July 3, 2016

Hey everyone, I hope you have been enjoying my posts! We had three shows and a tech rehearsal since my last one and we just enjoyed a nice day off.

A lot of us have been shopping at some of the local Australian shops in our time off and updating our dance wardrobe. For instance, we've been frequenting the Bloch store, which is based in Australia! The most popular purchases have been their booties and warm ups. Also, dancers of the Australian Ballet have a line called Keto Dancewear that many of us have been quick to purchase! Below I am pictured with a group of us sporting our new leos and tights.

Sporting our new leos (from left): myself, Katherine Precourt, Melody Mennite, Kaleigh Courts, Jordan Veit, Emily Seymour and Natalie Varnum.

 

Nao Kusuzaki. Photo by Chunwei Chan, Courtesy Long.

We had a birthday on our day off: Nao Kusuzaki! Nao is another dancer who will be ending her career here in Australia. She joined the Houston Ballet from Boston Ballet in 2004 and was promoted to soloist in 2008. Nao dances with a grace that will be missed. She will be studying to achieve a business degree.

Well, Happy Independence Day to everyone in America! It feels strange to not be home to see any fireworks, but we have another show tonight. It is the premiere of the third cast of leads, so I'm sure that will be exciting!

 

XO,

Jacquelyn

 

For more news on all things ballet, don't miss a single issue.

 

 

Ballet Stars
Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC

It's hard to imagine the National Ballet of Canada without ballerina Greta Hodgkinson. Yet this week NBoC announced that the longtime company star will take her final bow in March, as Marguerite in Sir Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

Keep reading... Show less
News
Alice Pennefather, Courtesy ROH

You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)

Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of:

Keep reading... Show less
Viral Videos

What do Diana Vishneva, Olga Smirnova, Kristina Shapran and Maria Khoreva all have in common? These women, among the most impressive talents to graduate from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in recent years, all studied under legendary professor Lyudmila Kovaleva. Kovaleva, a former dancer with the Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky), is beloved by her students and admired throughout the ballet world for her ability to pull individuality and artistry out of the dancers she trains. Like any great teacher, Kovaleva is remarkably generous with her wealth of knowledge; it seems perfect, then, that she appears as the Fairy of Generosity in this clip from a 1964 film of the Kirov's The Sleeping Beauty.

Keep reading... Show less