William Shakespeare's plays have provided inspiration to dozens of choreographers, but have you ever wondered how dance-makers translate his complex writing into beautiful dancing?

This video from The Royal Ballet (a company full of natural dance-actors) provides an amazing illustration. Christopher Wheeldon's latest full-length ballet, The Winter's Tale, features Royal Ballet principal Edward Watson as the jealous and possessive King Leontes. In this video, actor Geoffrey Streatfield recites some of King Leontes' lines while Watson dances the scene they inspired. You can see how Leontes is teetering on the brink of madness—both in Streatfield's acting and Watson's movement.

 

It's like a peek inside Wheeldon's creative process!

Curious about how the rest of The Winter's Tale looks, translated into a ballet? The Royal has a ton of information on it's website about how the ballet was choreographed, designed and composed.

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.

 

Giveaways
Modeled by Daria Ionova. Darian Volkova, Courtesy Elevé Dancewear.
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News
Boston Ballet's Kathleen Breen Combes, María Álvarez and Dawn Atkins. Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Jacob's Pillow.

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

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Ballet Stars
Alexandra MacDonald (front row, third from left) didn't win a medal at the Genée International Ballet Competition, but says she came home inspired and newly motivated by the people she met there. Photo Courtesy Genée IBC.

Ballet competitions are an exciting part of any dancer's career. Yet while scholarships, prize money, job offers and the prestige that comes with winning a medal are compelling incentives to participate in one, they're not the only benefits. In fact, many dancers who go home empty-handed still look fondly on the experience and go on to become successful professionals.

This week, the 2019 Genée International Ballet Competition kicks off in Toronto. From August 20-29, over 50 dancers, ages 15–19 and trained in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus, will perform three solos in the hopes of winning a medal and a $10,000 cash prize. Many past medalists have gone on to illustrious careers—but so have those who didn't win anything. We spoke with three Genée alumni now dancing professionally who know what it's like not to place. Read on to find out why they deem their comp experiences a success, and how you can make the most of yours—whether you win or not.

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Ballet Stars
Skylar Brandt and Josephine Lee. Screenshot Courtesy Lee.

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop chats with American Ballet Theatre soloist Skylar Brandt to hear about how she prepares her pointe shoes. We think Brandt might win an award for how long she makes her shoes last; watch the below video for the staggering number of days (or weeks!), and to hear about all of her unique customizations and pro tips.