Ballet Stars

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.

popular
Getty Images

During one of Charlotte Nash's first few weeks with Houston Ballet II, she was thrown into a run-through of Balanchine's Theme and Variations. "I had never really understudied before and I didn't know what I was doing," she says. "I fell right away and was quickly replaced." For Nash, now a dancer with Festival Ballet Providence, the episode was a tough lesson. "I was mortified, but then I said to myself, 'Okay, I need to figure out how to learn things more quickly.'"

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

Keep reading... Show less
News
The Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Greig Matthews in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

Keep reading... Show less
News
Herman Cornejo in Don Quixote. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre's fall season at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater offers a chance to see the company in shorter works and mixed-repertoire programs. This year's October 16–27 run honors principal Herman Cornejo, who's celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company. Cornejo will be featured in a special celebratory program as well as a new work by Twyla Tharp (her 17th for the company), set to Johannes Brahms' String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111. The October 26 program will include Cornejo in a pas de deux with his sister, former ABT dancer Erica Cornejo.

Keep reading... Show less