Everything Nutcracker

Scroll Through the Winning Photos of our  #pointenutcracker Contest

Allison Whitley of The Dallas Conservatory. Photo via @allydancer_123 on Instagram.

Over the past few weeks we've invited our readers to submit their favorite Nutcracker photos from rehearsal to performance. With hundreds of amazing options to choose from, it was hard to pick just one each day. We loved seeing the endless way that the Nutcracker comes together around the world. We've compiled our 16 photos of the day here, but be sure to search #pointenutcracker on Instagram and Facebook to scroll through the dozens of other incredible images.

New Jersey Ballet. Photo via @njballet on Instagram.

Ballet Arkansa's Megan Hustel with Paul Tillman. Photo via @meghust on Instagram.

Eliza Rod Bell. Via @elizarodbell on Instagram.

Dancers of Alabama Ballet photographed by Melissa Dooley. Photo via @melissadooleyphotography on Instagram.

Dancers of Boston Ballet. Photo via @bostonballet on Instagram.

Luna Hoetzel of California Dance Theatre. Photo via @california_dance_theatre on Instagram.

Madison Ballet photographed by Darren Lee. Photo via @darrenleephotography on Instagram.

Hammond Ballet Company. Photo via @hammondballet on Instagram.

Indiana Ballet Conservatory. Photo by Jason Lavengood via @inballetconservatory on Instagram.

Alabama dancer Caitlin McAvoy. Photo by Melissa Dooley via @melissadooleyphotography on Instagram.

Allison Whitley of The Dallas Conservatory. Photo via @allydancer_123 on Instagram.

Julia Grace. Photo by Andrew Buss Photo via @julia_ballet5 on Instagram.

Chauncey Hildestad of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Photo by James McGrew via @oregon.ballet.theatre on Instagram.

Daria Ionova of the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Saint Petersburg with Misha Barkidjija. Photo via @ionovaworld on Instagram.

Dayton Ballet 2. Photo via @daytonballet2 on Instagram.

Emily Stute and Katie Stute at New England Academy of Dance. Photo via @neadance on Instagram.

Summer Intensive Survival
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There's a sweet spot toward the end of August—after summer intensives have wrapped up and before it's time to head back to school or work—where the days are long, lazy and begging to be spent neck-deep in a pile of good books. Whether you're looking for inspiration for the upcoming season or trying to brush up on your dance history, you can never go wrong with an excellent book on ballet. We've gathered eight titles (all available at common booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble) guaranteed to give you a deeper understanding of the art form, to add to your end-of-summer reading list.

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James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico warm up onstage. Angela Sterling, Courtesy SDC.

On a sunny July weekend, hundreds of Seattle-area dance fans converged on tiny Vashon Island, a bucolic enclave in Puget Sound about 20 miles from the city. They made the ferry trek to attend the debut performance of the fledgling Seattle Dance Collective.

SDC is not a run-of-the-mill contemporary dance company; it's the brainchild of two of Pacific Northwest Ballet's most respected principal dancers: James Yoichi Moore and Noelani Pantastico. The duo wanted to create a nimble organization to feature dancers and choreographers they felt needed more exposure in the Pacific Northwest.

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Roman Mejia in Robbins' Dances at a Gathering. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

The Princess Grace Foundation has just announced its 2019 class, and we're thrilled that two ballet dancers—New York City Ballet's Roman Mejia and BalletX's Stanley Glover—are included among the list of über-talented actors, filmmakers, playwrights, dancers and choreographers.

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The Royal Ballet's Alexander Campbell and Yasmine Naghdi in Ashton's The Two Pigeons. Tristram Kenton, Courtesy ROH.

While most ballet casts are 100 percent human, it's not unheard of for live animals to appear onstage, providing everything from stage dressing to supporting roles. Michael Messerer's production of Don Quixote features a horse and a donkey; American Ballet Theatre's Giselle calls for two Russian wolfhounds; and Sir Frederick Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee requires a white Shetland pony. Another Ashton masterpiece, The Two Pigeons, is well known for its animal actors. But though ballet is a highly disciplined, carefully choreographed art form, some performers are naturally more prone to flights of fancy—because they're birds.

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