Ballet Stars
Suzanne Farrell works with Sara Mearns during a rehearsal of George Balanchine's "Diamonds." Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy NYCB.

In a large practice studio inside Lincoln Center's Koch Theater, Suzanne Farrell watches quietly as New York City Ballet principals Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen work through a series of supported poses. As Janzen kneels to face her, Mearns brushes through to croisé arabesque, extending her leg high behind her. "I wouldn't penché there," says Farrell, gently. "You can, but I wouldn't."

"I get so excited here," says Mearns with a laugh. The three are slowly working through the pas de deux of "Diamonds," the ballet George Balanchine created on Farrell and Jacques D'Amboise in 1967 that makes up the third act of his full-length Jewels.

"I know," Farrell says. "But it's more exciting if the arabesque turn afterwards is sustained."

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News
Ramasar and Catazaro, photos via Instagram

One of the country's top arbitrators has decided to reinstate Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catazaro to New York City Ballet. The former principals were fired last fall for "inappropriate communications," namely graphic text messages.

The dancers' union, American Guild of Musical Artists, fought the termination, arguing that the firings were unjust since they related entirely to non-work activity. After a careful review of the facts, an independent arbitrator determined that the terminations were indeed "wrongful and unjust."

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News
American Contemporary Ballet presents five Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers duets this week. Victor Demarchelier, Courtesy ACB.

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

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Angle and Kowroski in Christopher Wheeldon's Liturgy. Photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy NYCB

When I joined the New York City Ballet, I had a million questions. How soon before a performance should I get ready? When should I eat dinner—before or after the performance? How long should I wear my false eyelashes before I throw them out? Should I practice hard steps onstage before the curtain goes up or save them for the show? How long should my warm-up be? How do I do well in this career?

Before long, I discovered that the older dancers were willing to help us newbies. Wendy Whelan, for instance, took me under her wing and helped me with everything from my hair and makeup to what to eat for energy before a performance.

I wanted to see what questions NYCB's newest batch of corps members Mira Nadon, Kennard Henson and Gabriella Domini had. To answer their questions, I spoke to two of our most senior dancers, Maria Kowroski (who's been with the company 24 years) and Jared Angle (who's danced here 21 years).

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Ballet Stars
Bouder in Lauren Lovette's "Red Spotted Purple." Photo by Bret Shuford, Courtesy Lake Tahoe Dance Festival.

Last week, Ashley Bouder joined an all-star cast of performers at the 5th annual Lake Tahoe Dance Festival. Co-directors Christin Hanna and Constantine Baecher curated a dramatic evening that included a world premiere by Marco Pelle, iconic masterworks by Lester Horton and Paul Taylor, contemporary favorites by Baecher and Robert Moses, and the California premiere of Red Spotted Purple—a solo for Bouder choreographed by her New York City Ballet colleague, Lauren Lovette.

Named after a butterfly, Red Spotted Purple was made for The Ashley Bouder Project's most recent season at the Joyce Theater's Ballet Festival. Lovette's playful and free-spirited solo seemed ripe for an outdoor performance, especially against Tahoe City's gorgeous landscape of pine trees and its blue lake. Featuring both a commissioned score by Stephanie Ann Boyd and a gorgeous dress designed by Michelle Smith of MILLY, the solo dance was in line with Bouder's mission to promote more diversity in ballet's creative process. I caught the performance in Tahoe City and chatted with the two women via email about the experience of making this dance.

How did this commission come about?

Ashley Bouder: I was brainstorming female choreographers that I'd want to create a solo for me. I thought, who better than a colleague that grew up watching me dance? There isn't a female choreographer out there that knows my dancing better, or my personality on and off stage. I think Lauren is brilliant, and after having seen her two pieces for NYCB, I felt that she could make something special with a clear point of view and message. I wanted the solo to open the [Joyce] program and I just knew she could make a statement piece to fit.

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Viral Videos
Bucharest National Ballet's 2013 trailer for "La Sylphide,' via YouTube

Few things are more powerful for promoting ballet performances than captivating trailers—especially in today's visually-focused, digitally-connected world.

We've rounded up some eye-catching ads from seasons past and present that not only make us wish we could have seen the show, but also stand alone as short films.

Bucharest National Opera's La Sylphide

Magnifying the scarf which—spoiler alert—brings about the ballet's tragic conclusion, this 2013 Bucharest National Opera's trailer turns that fateful fabric into a beautiful, deadly web. Its windswept movements form a dance of its own.

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Just for fun
Bucharest National Ballet's 2013 trailer for "La Sylphide,' via YouTube

Few things are more powerful for promoting ballet performances than captivating trailers—especially in today's visually-focused, digitally-connected world.

We've rounded up some eye-catching ads from seasons past and present that not only make us wish we could have seen the show, but also stand alone as short films.

Bucharest National Opera's La Sylphide

Magnifying the scarf which—spoiler alert—brings about the ballet's tragic conclusion, this 2013 Bucharest National Opera's trailer turns that fateful fabric into a beautiful, deadly web. Its windswept movements form a dance of its own.

Keep reading... Show less
Trending
Pari Dukovic, via Instagram.

In need of weekend rehearsal inspo? Harper's Bazaar has you covered, thanks to their May issue. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the dancer-favorite film, The Red Shoes, the mag combined some the world's biggest names in ballet with designer gowns (and red shoes, of course).

Photographed by Pari Dukovic, the full story is available on newsstands and the Harper's Bazaar site, and it includes insight on why the 1948 film still matters from American Ballet Theatre's Isabella Boylston and Misty Copeland as well as New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck.

"Watching The Red Shoes is like watching a ballet," Copeland tells Bazaar. "Just like Swan Lake, it has stood the test of time. You don't look at it and think, 'Oh, this was filmed in a certain time.' It's like experiencing a live performance."

Check out each of the dancers' portraits as they channel the film's leading lady, Vicky Page (played by real-life ballerina Moira Shearer).

Boylston in Dior with Christian Louboutin shoes

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popular
Suki Schorer teaching at SAB. Photo by Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy SAB.

There haven't been many dancers at New York City Ballet over the past nearly fifty years who haven't been directly influenced by Suki Schorer. This summer, June 15-17, ballet teachers will have a chance to learn how to effectively teach Balanchine technique from the former New York City Ballet principal and longtime School of American Ballet master teacher. The workshop, titled Step by Step with Suki Schorer, will be held at the Eglevsky Ballet studios in Long Island, NY.

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Ballet Stars
NYCB's Unity Phelan in Indonesia. Photo Courtesy PUMA.

Last month, New York City Ballet soloist Unity Phelan spent a whirlwind 10 days in Asia with PUMA, unveiling their ballet-inspired workout line, En Pointe, which was created with input from NYCB dancers. Phelan traveled to five cities—Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta and Shanghai—to give demonstrations and teach the NYCB x PUMA workout, which incorporates aspects of ballet physicality. Also on the tour was PUMA Team Faster trainer and former dancer Emily Cook Harris, who helped develop the workout with NYCB. We caught up with Phelan to hear all about the experience.

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Trending
Photo via @KurtFroman on Instagram.

Former New York City Ballet dancer Kurt Froman is best known for training celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence for dance roles on film. Yet Froman's Instagram has become our newest obsession for a whole other reason. Over the past few months, Froman has been posting rarely-seen clips of old NYCB rehearsal and performance videos. These videos feature Balanchine dancers from the early days, such as Suzanne Farrell, Arthur Mitchell, Karin von Aroldingen, Allegra Kent and Jacques d'Amboise as well as recently retired stars like Damian Woetzel, Darci Kistler, Peter Boal, Wendy Whelan and Lourdes Lopez. The videos are majority of works by Balanchine and Jerome Robbins (often in honor of his centennial this year), mixed in with a few television features on Balanchine.

If, like us, you're prone to geeking out over ballet history, you might want to set aside the rest of your afternoon (ahem, week) to dive in. We've posted some of our favorites below.

Allegra Kent and Jacques d'Amboise in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, early 1960s.

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