Ellie Cotey at work in The Joffrey Ballet's costume shop. Photo by Temur Suluashvili, Courtesy Joffrey.

Building a full-length ballet from scratch is an intense process. For the world premiere of Anna Karenina, a collaboration between The Joffrey Ballet and The Australian Ballet, that meant original choreography by Yuri Possokhov, a brand-new score by Ilya Demutsky, costume and set designs by Tom Pye and lighting designs by David Finn.

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Trending
San Francisco Ballet in class during World Ballet Day 2016. Photo Courtesy SFB.

Here at Pointe, every day feels like World Ballet Day, though the official 2018 event took place on Tuesday. While WBD is a thrill for any bunhead, it can also be overwhelming. How are you supposed to sit in front of your computer all day when you have class and rehearsal and work and a life? We get it, and we're here to help.

To give you a chance to catch up, we've rounded up WBD videos from 26 companies. So grab some popcorn, a backlog of pointe shoes to sew, and settle in. If you start watching now, you might just be done in time for WBD 2019.

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News
Ballet Austin's Aara Krumpe in The Firebird. After 20 years, this is Krumpe's final season with the company. Photo by Tony Spielberg, Courtesy Ballet Austin.

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

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Viral Videos

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

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
Ballet Stars
An emotional Hallberg during bows after a performance of "Giselle" last May at the Metropolitan Opera House. Photo by Kent. G. Becker, Courtesy Simon & Schuster.

On November 7, David Hallberg's highly anticipated memoir, A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back, will be available in bookstores. (It's currently available for pre-order from Simon & Schuster and various other retailers.) Published by Touchstone Books, the autobiography details Hallberg's arduous recovery from a series of career-threatening injuries, and his triumphant return to the stage. Marina Harss spoke with the American Ballet Theatre principal about how his experience has changed him, his future with the Bolshoi and his desire to someday direct a company.


Courtesy Simon & Schuster

Why did you decide to write a memoir?

The initial seed was planted by New York Times dance critic Roslyn Sulcas. This was way before the Bolshoi. She just said you're traveling a lot now. You know, maybe just start to jot some things down about your experiences. So I took her advice, and then Simon & Schuster called and expressed interest in a book, and I dove in headfirst.

The focus of the book must have changed a lot after the injury.

Absolutely, and to be honest, the book had no backbone before the injury. It was "dance memoir 101." Not to say I didn't have a story to tell. But the meat of the book and for me, the heart, and soul, and the gut, is the nightmare that I went through with the injury.

As I was reading the book it felt almost as if you were a survivor of some kind of trauma.

It was emotionally traumatic. It was physically traumatic. It was mentally traumatic. Everything unraveled, and everything went wrong.

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Ballet Stars
World Ballet Day camera crew at The Australian Ballet. Photo by Kate Longley, Courtesy The Australian Ballet.

For some of us, every day feels like World Ballet Day LIVE. But the official event takes place on Thursday, October 5, with a free 22-hour live-stream relay showcasing The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet. Each will welcome the world into company classes, rehearsals and behind-the-scenes extras.


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From June 24–July 10, Houston Ballet is embarking on its biggest tour yet to Melbourne, Australia, hometown of artistic director Stanton Welch. Pointe asked demi-soloist Jacquelyn Long to keep a diary of her experiences.

July 8, 2016

With my sisters Tyler Donateli and Soo Cho

We are nearing the end of our tour and I think everyone is trying to rally as we approach show number 10. We've had a long week with performances every day, including some double show days.

I got to debut the part of Miranda this week! It was a lot of fun. She is quite a sassy character! It's difficult though—there is intense acting, fouettés and lots of jumping. It was rewarding to emote onstage and get lost in a character. Something fun about that role is she has to wear a red wig! I took a little time lapsed video to show you guys what wig prep in the ballet world looks like.

 

 

 

We took class in the Australian Ballet studios yesterday, which was very nice. We've been using the rehearsal room at the theater, which is pretty small in comparison to their studios and what we are used to back in Houston. We had another guest teacher this week as well, Australian Ballet artistic associate and principal coach Fiona Tonkin. I think everyone enjoyed her class. There was also a class onstage with an audience, which our ballet master Steven Woodgate taught. He had a microphone so that the people could hear him correct and teach. He used to dance with the Aussie Ballet and was always a part of these demonstrations when he was with the company. I think it was neat for him to do it again.

Soloist Allison Miller and dancers of the company at the Australian Ballet studios

 

XO,

Jacquelyn

 

More more news on all things ballet, don't miss a single issue.

From June 24–July 10, Houston Ballet is embarking on its biggest tour yet to Melbourne, Australia, hometown of artistic director Stanton Welch. Pointe asked demi-soloist Jacquelyn Long to keep a diary of her experiences.

June 30, 2016


Getting notes backstage after dress rehearsal. They were practicing scene changes on the stage, so we squished.

Opening night was a success! We had a dress rehearsal in the early afternoon with a different cast, and I think everyone was a bit tired. A few of us even napped in our dressing rooms to get a boost. There’s also a cafeteria in the theater, which is so nice. I wish we had one in Houston! Most of the dancers got their food and coffee there during the break.

The audience was packed for opening night. There were definitely some nerves in the air, but I think the cast felt very ready to get the shows rolling. The leads all danced beautifully. The show itself went very well from what I saw, and the audience was very responsive. There were even gasps during the fight scenes. We had an actual sword-fighting teacher work with us when it was originally choreographed, so it definitely gets scary. I'm scared on stage sometimes, and I know the choreography!

Before opening night as Katerina. Yes, I brought Cheez-Its to Australia!

After the show there was a reception with The Australian Ballet. It was very nice to mingle with the Aussie dancers. They were all so sweet and eager to help us with recommendations of restaurants and shops. Actually, everyone in Melbourne has been nothing but nice, from coffee baristas to shop owners. It makes traveling to a foreign country so much more fun.

I'm excited for another show tonight!

 

Xo,

Jacquelyn

(Photos by Jacquelyn Long.)

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

Iana Salenko, photo courtesy Zarely.

If you're wishing events like World Ballet Day LIVE came around more than once a year, you're in luck: Next week brings not one, but two ballet livestreams that you can enjoy right from your phone or computer. Mark your calendars, and prepare for a week of stellar ballet:

Zarely's first World Online Gala. This Sunday, more than 20 principal dancers from around the world will participate in a 10-hour online performance. The star-studded lineup includes Staatsballett Berlin's Iana Salenko, American Ballet Theatre's Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside, San Francisco Ballet's Yuan Yuan Tan, New York City Ballet's Lauren Lovette and The Australian Ballet's Amber Scott—to name just a few. The dancers will perform their favorite classical or contemporary works, and share personal stories of their own dance journeys. The event promises to be an inspiring way to kick off your week.

Catch it: January 31, beginning at 10:30 am EST. Watch the livestream here.

Yuan Yuan Tan, photo courtesy Zarely.

The 44th Prix de Lausanne. After all that starpower, tune in on Monday for the beginning of the 2016 Prix de Lausanne, and watch some of ballet's most exciting emerging talent. All week, the annual competition will stream daily backstage events, giving viewers behind-the-scenes access to the action. It all culminates in the finals on Saturday, February 6, when 20 young dancers will compete for one-year scholarships at the Prix's partner schools and companies. This will be livestreamed as well.

Catch it: February 1–6 on the Prix de Lausanne's website or YouTube channel. Find the full livestream schedule here.

World Ballet Day LIVE, a glorious, 23-hour livestream that takes us inside five of the world’s leading ballet companies, technically begins October 1. But while our calendars in the Western Hemisphere currently say September 30, in Melbourne, Australia—home of The Australian Ballet—it’s already the first of the month. Since the Australian Ballet kicks off the simulcast, that means the live-feed starts tonight—10:00 pm EST, to be exact. Here’s a rundown of the schedule (all indicated in EST):

 

10 pm–3 am: The Australian Ballet

3 am–6 am: Bolshoi Ballet

6 am–11 am: The Royal Ballet

11 am–4 pm: National Ballet of Canada

4 pm–9 pm: San Francisco Ballet

 

In addition, World Ballet LIVE will include pre-recorded footage from companies like Royal New Zealand Ballet, National Ballet of China, Hamburg Ballet, English National Ballet, Houston Ballet and many, many more. So set your alarms and get your coffee pot prepped for some serious ballet binging. For more information, visit worldballetday.com.

The Australian Ballet makes a rare visit to the U.S. next week. As part of its 50th anniversary season, the company is presenting a series of performances at New York City's Lincoln Center.

 

Most intriguing is a collaboration with Bangarra Dance Theatre, their country's leading indigenous dance troupe. Bangarra artistic director Steven Page has choreographed a new work using dancers from both companies. Warumuk, in the night fuses classical ballet with indigenous spirituality, and is inspired by Aboriginal stories about the stars. The original score was composed by the choreographer's brother, David Page, using songs in the indigenous language. Find out more at the Koch theater website.

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