All photos by Matthew Murphy

 

One look at Polina Semionova, the Moscow-born American Ballet Theatre principal, tells you destiny chose her to be a ballerina. Her supermodel looks—with that beautifully elongated torso and even longer legs—have made her a natural dancer, as well as a featured model of UNIQLO’s AIRism clothing line.


Pointe went backstage with Semionova during American Ballet Theatre’s spring season last year as she prepared to dance Odette/Odile in Swan Lake with David Hallberg. “It’s a combination of everything—beauty, emotion, partnership, contrast, technique, power and mystery,” she says. Though she has performed the role many times, it remains not only a signature, but a personal favorite. “The ballet is a piece of art that will never die,” she says. “Every time I dance it, I feel very honored.”

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Viral Videos
Brittany Cavaco in Until Midnight. Claire Morris, Courtesy Cavaco.

A white tulle dress, time travel, the Eiffel Tower at night... these elements come together in Until Midnight, a new dance film by Christopher Alexander of Zen Film Works. This eight-minute long vignette opens with Louise (played by Louise Schirmer), a former ballerina now living alone in old age. Through the delivery of a mysterious letter and a wristwatch from her past, she returns briefly to her youthful self, danced by former Washington Ballet dancer Brittany Cavaco. In a Cinderella-like twist, Louise has until midnight to find her beloved Jean Pierre (Sebastien Thill, former dancer with Paris Opera Ballet and Hamburg Ballet) for one last dance. According to Cavaco, all of the movement was improvised, created by herself and Alexander in each location.

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Ballet Training
Peter Boal in class a New York City Center. Courtesy PNB.

"People have so much fear associated with arabesque turns," says Peter Boal, artistic director of Pacific Northwest Ballet. Here, he shares images and ideas to help you confidently master this advanced pirouette. "It's a real accomplishment when you can put it all together."

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News
Ashley Bouder in George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova's Coppélia. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

Hollywood may have the Oscars, but ballet has the Prix de Benois de la Danse. Held every spring at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater, the prestigious international awards ceremony recognizes dancers, choreographers, composers and designers for their extraordinary work on and off the stage. This year's laureates, chosen by a jury, were announced during an awards ceremony last night, followed by a star-studded gala featuring many of the nominated artists.

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