Brittany Cavaco in Until Midnight. Claire Morris, Courtesy Cavaco.
A white tulle dress, time travel, the Eiffel Tower at night... these elements come together in Until Midnight, a new dance film by Christopher Alexander of Zen Film Works. This eight-minute long vignette opens with Louise (played by Louise Schirmer), a former ballerina now living alone in old age. Through the delivery of a mysterious letter and a wristwatch from her past, she returns briefly to her youthful self, danced by former Washington Ballet dancer Brittany Cavaco. In a Cinderella-like twist, Louise has until midnight to find her beloved Jean Pierre (Sebastien Thill, former dancer with Paris Opera Ballet and Hamburg Ballet) for one last dance. According to Cavaco, all of the movement was improvised, created by herself and Alexander in each location.
American Ballet Theatre principal James Whiteside is known for more than just his uber-charismatic presence on the ballet stage; He doubles as both the drag queen Ühu Betch and the pop star JbDubs. Whiteside's newest musical release, titled WTF, came out last week, and is for sure his most ballet-filled song to date. Both the lyrics and the choreography are jam-packed with bunhead references, from theRose Adagio to Haglund's Heel to a framed portrait of George Balanchine. Not to mention the fact that he and his four backup dancers (Matthew Poppe, Douane Gosa, Maxfield Haynes and Gianni Goffredo) absolutely kill it in pointe shoes.
Hong Kong Ballet is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style. Today, the company releasedthe new phase of its yearlong ad campaign, which includes the below film, a Wes Anderson-esque romp through the city fusing ballet with pop culture,filled with ferry boats, pom pom-wielding grannies and dim sum served in hot pink containers.
Valery Panov and Natalia Makarova in The Sleeping Beauty, via YouTube.
The Soviet Union redefined standards in classical ballet in the 1960s, producing opulent story ballets and dancers with refined, yet daring technique. Dancers like Natalia Makarova and Valery Panov, who were among the leading performers with the Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky) at that time, were at the pinnacle of the art form. In this 1964 film of the Kirov's The Sleeping Beauty, Makarova and Panov dancetogether as Princess Florine and the Bluebird. Despite the nostalgic trappings of the soundstage dance film, their strength and intention in this pas de deux make for a timeless performance.
Natalia Makarova as Princess Florine and Valery Panov as the Bluebird ('Sleeping Beauty' 1964)