Behind-the-scenes shot of NYCB dancers on set. Lawrence White, Courtesy Emily Kikta and Peter Walker.

What to Watch: NYCB Dancers Splish, Splash and Sauté in This New Site-Specific Video Series

Tonight, New York City Ballet opens its 53 annual summer season at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. But if you're away at a summer intensive or busy rehearsing at your home studio and can't make it to a performance, we have the next best thing: seven new site specific videos made by and featuring NYCB dancers.


This is the third year that NYCB corps dancer Emily Kikta and soloist Peter Walker have choreographed, co-directed and filmed a series of videos leading up to the company's SPAC season. According to Kikta and Walker, they took inspiration from the "water" focus of SPAC's season—this year, all the videos are aquatic-themed. The films were released each morning for the past week, and now we've collected them here for you to watch. Scroll through Kikta and Walker's seven new films below, and be sure to follow their new Instagram page @kw_creative for more from this creative duo.

SNOW

Looking to cool off from the summer heat? Watch Kikta's solo video, where she dances in the powdery Saratoga snow. We don't know how she does it without getting frostbite, but it brings a whole new meaning to the name Snow Queen!

What we love: Kikta's creative, contemporary floor work (or should we say, snow work) at 0:25.

HUMIDITY

For beautiful summer scenery, look no further. Principal Lauren Lovette choreographed this frolic through the Saratoga countryside amidst meadows, gardens and even a real-life farm featuring some very cute baby goats.

What we love: The beautiful pas de deux featuring NYCB corps members Olivia MacKinnon and Lars Nelson at 0:30.

RIVER

Talk about a dynamic duo—principal Anthony Huxley and corps member Devin Alberda perform a lively duet on a bridge overlooking a riverbed, and we're mesmerized by their coordination and the cannon choreography.

What we love: When the two dance in unison at 0:43.

WATERFALL

Here NYCB dancers go "chasing waterfalls," and perform in one of the coolest locations we've ever seen. Plus, Alberda had a chance to choreograph, and worked with Kikta on the video.

What we love: The angular, geometric choreography at 0:30.

CREEK

Watch Lovette take on a starring role in this fun, creek-side video. She and her colleagues look like modern-day Midsummer Night's Dream fairies, but with with sundresses and sneakers rather than tunics and tutus.

What we love: One of the coolest variations on a shoulder sit we've ever seen at 0:34.

LAKE

In this video, Walker and Kikta perform a dreamy pas de deux while dancing knee-deep in a lake. Watch their beautiful port de bras silhouetted by the Saratoga sunset.

What we love: How Walker and Kikta incorporate the water with their movement at 0:24.

POOL

Talk about squad goals: Catch the NYCB dancers performing poolside, featuring some synchronized swimming that makes us wonder if the company should start training for the 2020 Olympics.

What we love: The ladies' petit allegro section starting at 0:33, even if it makes our poor feet hurt just watching them jumping on concrete (please don't try this at home).

Latest Posts


DTH's Alexandra Hutchinson and Derek Brockington work out with trainer Lily Overmyer at Studio IX. Photo by Joel Prouty, Courtesy Hutchinson.

Working Out With DTH’s Alexandra Hutchinson

Despite major pandemic shutdowns in New York City, Alexandra Hutchinson has been HIIT-ing her stride. Between company class with Dance Theater of Harlem and projects like the viral video "Dancing Through Harlem"—which she co-directed with roommate and fellow DTH dancer Derek Brockington—Hutchinson has still found time to cross-train. She shares her motivation behind her killer high-intensity interval training at Studio IX on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Cicely Tyson and the Enduring Legacy of Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theatre of Harlem

Cicely Tyson, the legendary 96-year-old Black actress whose February 16 funeral at Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church was attended by, among others, Tyler Perry, Lenny Kravitz, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, is remembered for performances that transcended stereotypes and made an indelible impression on a nation's heart and soul.

Among the most fondly remembered is her breakout role in the 1972 movie Sounder, which depicts a Black sharecropper family's struggle to survive in the Jim Crow South. The role catapulted Tyson to stardom, winning her an Academy Award nomination and a reputation as someone committed to enhancing Blacks' representation in the arts. Throughout a seven-decade career, countless critically acclaimed, award-winning roles in films, onstage and on television reaffirmed that image. Yet one role reflecting the depth of that commitment is much less visible—the supporting one she played working with longtime friend Arthur Mitchell when he envisioned, shaped and established the groundbreaking Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

As Ballet Looks Toward Its Future, Let's Talk About Its Troubling Emotional Demands

As a ballet student, I distinctively remember being told that to survive ballet as a profession, one must be exceptionally thick-skinned and resilient. I always assumed it was because of the physically demanding nature of ballet: long rehearsal hours, challenging and stressful performances, and physical pain.

It wasn't until I joined a ballet company that I learned the true meaning behind those words: that the reason one needs thick skin is not because of the physical demands, but because of the unfair and unnecessary emotional demands.

Undoubtedly, emotional and physical strength go hand in hand to some extent. But the kind of emotional demand I am talking about here is different; it is not the strength one finds in oneself in moments of fatigue or unwillingness. It is the strength one must have when being bullied, humiliated, screamed at, manipulated or harassed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks