Profiles

Red, White and Ballet: Celebrate July 4th With These American-Inspired Ballet Videos

New York City Ballet principal Tyler Angle in Balanchine's Stars and Stripes. Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB.

You might be on layoff or have a break from your summer intensive today, but ballet is probably still on your brain. That's okay—kick back, relax and enjoy these American-themed ballet videos.


Justin Peck's "Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes"

This ballet just makes you want to jump up and dance. Justin Peck's acclaimed interpretation of Aaron Copeland's score Rodeo keeps the sense of freedom, open spaces and frontier camaraderie of Agnes de Mille's original 1942 ballet— while imbuing it with New York City Ballet's trademark speed, abstract storytelling and musicality. Russell Janzen, Sara Mearns and the male corps of New York City Ballet shine in this 2019 performance.

Agnes De Mille's "Rodeo"

Does this piece bring to mind the musical Oklahoma!? Agnes de Mille's success in creating Rodeo led to her being hired to choreograph the original Rogers and Hammerstein classic. Dancing cowboys tear up the stage in this scene from a 2009 production by Colorado Ballet.

George Balanchine's "Rubies"

"Rubies," from George Balanchine's full-length Jewels, conjures up the Big Apple's fast pace, bright lights, glamour and show biz. In this 2017 Pacific Northwest Ballet performance, principal Lindsi Dec sparkles as the "Tall Girl" soloist in the ballet's finale.

Christopher Wheeldon's "The American"

After you've had a slice of apple pie, enjoy this dreamy dance dessert: Christopher Wheeldon's The American, performed here by Sarasota Ballet. "I always feel like the pas de deux is like spun sugar: delicate but light with a sense of breath," says Wheeldon répétiteur Michele Gifford in this interview during a recent staging at Festival Ballet Providence. "It's really elegant. It also reminds me of a lazy summer day."

George Balanchine's "Stars and Stripes"

The Fourth of July isn't complete without fireworks—in this case, the balletic fireworks of Stars and Stripes, Balanchine's quintessential all-American ballet. Patriotic spirit and dance pyrotechnics join forces in this 2019 NYCB performance led by Megan Fairchild and Tyler Angle.

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Are you a total bunhead who loves to write? You might be the perfect fit for Pointe. We're seeking an editorial intern who's equally passionate about ballet and journalism.

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Viral Videos

Earlier this month, 15-year-old American dancer Ava Arbuckle was one of eight scholarship winners at the Prix de Lausanne. For her classical selection, Arbukle, clad in an ultra-feminine, rosette-covered tutu, performed Flora's variation from The Awakening of Flora, Marius Petipa's 1894 one-act ballet about the Greek goddess of Spring. Back in 2007, historian and choreographer Sergei Vikharev reconstructed the work for the Mariinsky Ballet, with Evgenia Obraztsova, then a soloist at the Mariinsky and now principal at the Bolshoi Ballet, originating the titular Flora.

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Profiles
National Ballet of Canada's Chelsy Meiss wearing the personal "Dying Swan" tutu of Canadian ballet star Evelyn Hart. "Our costumes have the ability to transcend ballet lineage across countries and through the past, present and future," says Meiss.

Traditionally, ballet costumes are made to have a life of 20 to 30 years. But they sometimes remain in use for much longer, being worn and altered to fit dozens of dancers. Multiple rows of hooks and bars show this progression, but it's more apparent inside the costume, where numerous labels can be found bearing the names of all past wearers.

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Viral Videos

Yesterday, the first of Nike's new Common Thread video series dropped, and we were thrilled to see that it featured dancers; namely, Dance Theatre of Harlem member (and June/July 2017 Pointe cover star) Ingrid Silva, and Florida-based ballet student Alex Thomas. Even better, it's narrated by tennis phenom Serena Williams. This series of short videos celebrates Black History Month by focusing on representation in sport. (We're not crazy about ballet being called a sport, but we'll let it slide.) In each installment, athletes united by a common thread discuss their passion, and the lack of role models they saw in their fields while growing up.

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