Ballet Stars

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

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

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).

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