Ballet Stars

2018 Stars of the Corps: New York City Ballet's Lydia Wellington

"Very rarely do I come offstage without a smile on my face," says Wellington, here in Jerome Robbins' Goldberg Variations. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy New York City Ballet.

Lydia Wellington practically grew up at New York City Ballet. Her mom, a children's book author and illustrator and ballet enthusiast, used to take her to shows up in the fifth ring when she was a toddler—"it was cheaper than babysitting," says Wellington. So at age 7 it was almost natural for her to enter the School of American Ballet, where she spent the next 11 years, eventually graduating into the company.


Wellington in Justin Peck's "In Creases." Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB.

She's now 28, and has danced in the corps for 10 years, which might be frustrating for some, but not to her. "I've always loved being in the corps and dancing with my friends. The important thing for me is to be dancing." Even in a group, as in the ensemble of Balanchine's Concerto Barocco, her authority and innate sense of style stand out. These qualities are even more pronounced in roles like the First Theme in The Four Temperaments. She has presence.

Choreographer Justin Peck has honed in on this quality, casting her in his Pulcinella Variations and encouraging her to understudy Sara Mearns' role in The Decalogue. More recently, she has set her sights on the Second Violin part in Concerto Barocco, usually given to principals. "That," she says, "would be my number one dream role."

Viral Videos

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop chats with Ballet West soloist Chelsea Keefer to hear about how she prepares her pointe shoes. Keefer offers lots of darning tips, and shares all of the unusual ways that she uses rosin.

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
Dane Shitagi, Courtesy Chronicle Books

Earlier this year, we shared that photographer Dane Shitagi's Ballerina Project—his gorgeous, ongoing collection of dance photos that have dominated our Instagram feeds for years—would be coming to an end. But all is not lost—starting September 17, you can enjoy over 170 of these photographs in Ballerina Project, a stunning new book showcasing Shitagi's work.

Keep reading... Show less
News
From left: Kathryn Posin Dance Company members Daniel White, Claire Mazza and Momchil Mladenov in Evolution: The Letters of Charles Darwin. Nan Melville, Courtesy Posin.

Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution might not seem like a natural fit for the ballet stage. But that's exactly the topic of one of choreographer Kathryn Posin's three new ballets, scheduled to premiere at New York City's 92nd Street Y September 13-14.

Keep reading... Show less