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New Photography Books Shine Spotlight on Male Dancers

Ballerinas are ready subjects for blockbusting movies and bestselling biographies: Now, male dancers, too, are having a moment—one that we hope sparks a trend. In his new photography book, Les Danseurs, Matthew Brookes focuses his lens on men of the Paris Opéra Ballet. In powerfully composed black and white photos, Brookes highlights the strength of male dancers, but also a vulnerability and artistry that’s often overshadowed by luminous images of swans and sleeping beauties. And, in November, The Royal Ballet and Oberon Books will release a photography book depicting the career of one of the ballet world’s most virtuosic male stars, Carlos Acosta.

 

Boys may face less competition within the ballet world, but they face far more criticism from onlookers ready to stigmatize men in tights. (Check out American Ballet Theatre and Bolshoi Ballet star David Hallberg’s personal essay in Pointe’s last December/January issue). These photography collections are sure to place male dancers in the positive spotlight they deserve!

The Conversation
News
Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

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

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Ballet Careers
Jolie Rose Lombardo performing at ADC | IBC prior to her diagnosis. Richard Finkelstein, Courtesy Stephanie Lombardo

It was mid-January when 15-year-old Jolie Rose Lombardo first noticed the leg pain. A scholarship student at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, Germany, the Florida native felt fine dancing through full days of classes and completing her regular school schedule. It was only at night that what appeared to be sciatic pain would shoot down her right leg when she tried to lie down, making resting difficult. After a few sleepless nights, spent mostly standing up, she went to the doctor for an X-ray, followed by an MRI.

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Summer Intensive Survival
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It is easy to feel as though the entire ballet year revolves around summer: more hours in the day for dance, and another summer intensive to add to your resumé. You've likely dreamt about which program you want to attend, traveled to auditions and gotten excited about the new challenges in a big city school. But what if you find yourself staying home?

It can feel heartbreaking to watch your peers take off for their intensives. Whether you're staying home by choice or because of injury or finances, you can still improve and have fun at your local studio. Unlike those headed off to big intensives, you have flexibility and money on your side. Jody Skye Schissler, owner of Skye Ballet Center in Herndon, Virginia, encourages dancers to start by asking, "How can you make your summer more focused on yourself and what you need for your future?" Here are tips for making the most of your time at home.

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