Diana Vishneva gave her final performance with American Ballet Theatre last month after 12 years as a principal. The Russian ballerina made her first appearance with ABT even earlier as a guest artist in 2003. In this video of Aurora's Act III variation from the same year, it's easy to see why Vishneva was in demand all over the world.


While Vishneva has become well known for her dramatic roles, as well as her contemporary work, she is simply exquisite in this quintessential classical variation. At some moments she dances with calm, regal precision; at others, like the manège at 1:40, she floats across the stage with the joy and abandon of a young princess on her wedding day. Her long, sinewy limbs make every movement luxurious, and perfectly accented details demonstrate her individual artistry.

Even though she is saying goodbye to New York, Vishneva's career is sure to keep up its spectacular pace as she heads back to Russia to continue dancing with the Mariinsky Ballet, her home company of 22 years, and to work on new projects. The world will be watching to see what she does next! Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

Viral Videos

French ballerina Zizi Jeanmaire first gained fame when she premiered the titular title role in Roland Petit's Carmen in 1949, opposite Petit as Carmen's lover Don José. With her famously cropped hair (and cropped tutu!), Jeanmaire's performance as the seductive gypsy took the world by storm, catapulting her and Petit's careers.

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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.

Ballet Stars

English National Ballet star Alina Cojocaru was still a Royal Ballet principal in 2006 when she guest-starred in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of The Sleeping Beauty. And as this clip of her Aurora proves, she is indeed a vision in Act II's dream scene. Dancing alongside Andrian Fadeyev and Daria Pavlenko as Prince Désiré and the Lilac Fairy, the Romanian ballerina has an air of otherworldly majesty.

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