Ashley Bouder at Work

Photos by Kyle Froman

 

With her Bette Davis eyes and breathtaking jump, Ashley Bouder delivers a jolt of electricity every time she comes onstage. Her fiery classicism has positioned her for many of the great Balanchine roles, like Firebird, “Rubies” from Jewels and Theme and Variations. Pointe followed Bouder for a day just before the opening of the New York City Ballet spring season last April. She was rehearsing her debut in Liebeslieder Walzer with partner Tyler Angle. “Ashley has endless amounts of energy,” says Angle, who has known Bouder since he was 12. “She loves putting the work in. And she never meets you with less than 100 percent onstage.”

Bouder gets up around 8 am. “I have two dogs. I have to make sure they eat and I eat and they go out before I leave for class,” she says. She and husband, Matthew Dibble, now on the road with Come Fly Away, have a beagle, Scout, and a Boston terrier, Enid. After their walk, Bouder makes herself scrambled eggs with cheese and ham before heading out.

This work day began with Andrei Kramarevsky’s men’s class at the School of American Ballet. Afterwards she had a break, then rehearsal. Balanchine made the Liebeslieder role she was rehearsing on Violette Verdy, and Bouder has watched many old tapes. “Violette’s very romantic but also very internal,” she says. “A lot of it comes from the way she holds her head—back and with her eyes a little bit closed.” For Bouder, Liebeslieder offers an opportunity to show another side of her dancing. “I don’t want audiences to have a stereotype of me,” she says. “In the Balanchine repertoire, my roles tend to be all very difficult, very technical, with big personalities. Liebeslieder is completely the opposite. The challenge for me is to make it interesting. And to show people I can do this well.”

Latest Posts


Courtesy ABC

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alicia Mae Holloway Talks About Her Time on ABC's “The Bachelor”

Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Carla Fracci and Stephen Jefferies in "La Esmeralda" (1987)

Carla Fracci, a former principal dancer of La Scala Ballet in Milan, is among the rare class of ballerinas who continued to perform into her 50s and beyond. Romantic ballets were her calling card throughout her career. In 1987, when Fracci was 51, she was featured in a television special, dancing reconstructed 19th-century ballets in the style of historical ballerinas. In this clip of La Esmeralda from the program, Fracci and her partner Robert Jefferies, a former principal at The Royal Ballet, deliver an extraordinary performance, capturing the verve and spirit of their characters.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Make the Most of Performance Opportunities in a Pandemic?

My school is connected to a professional company that operates on a show-to-show basis. Students can audition for company performances when they're 15. My 15th birthday is in February, and I think that our directors are choosing people to participate in virtual performances based off of whether they have performed with the company before. This was supposed to be my big first year with the company, but COVID-19 has changed that. How do I make it known that I want to participate? Do you think I should wait until things are more normal? —Lila
Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks