#TBT: Karen Kain and John Meehan in The Merry Widow

 

There’s something to be said for onstage chemistry—you certainly can’t believe in a love story without sensing it between the lovers! In this clip from the National Ballet of Canada’s 1987 televised performance of The Merry Widow, the electricity between the wealthy widow Hanna, played by former NBoC principal Karen Kain, and Count Danilo, danced by then American Ballet Theatre principal John Meehan, is palpable. The two characters, former lovers, find themselves thrust together after many years apart as part of an elaborate marriage scheme. And in Kain and Meehan’s playful performance, you sense their shared history—the way he arches his brow and holds his hand out expectantly for her, the way she side-glances knowingly and teasingly resists. With exuberant tosses of the head, they let their guards down, their flirtations betraying past hurts and signaling the reconciliation to come. It’s obvious these two are still in love, all thanks to Kain and Meehan’s authentic connection.

 

Since leaving the stage, both have made huge contributions to the ballet world. Kain, long understood as one of NBoC’s biggest stars, now leads from the front of the studio as the company’s artistic director. Meanwhile, Meehan went on to direct the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company and Hong Kong Ballet, and now serves as chair of Vassar College’s Dance Department. Happy #TBT!

Ballet Stars
Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC

It's hard to imagine the National Ballet of Canada without ballerina Greta Hodgkinson. Yet this week NBoC announced that the longtime company star will take her final bow in March, as Marguerite in Sir Frederick Ashton's Marguerite and Armand.

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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:

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News
Alice Pennefather, Courtesy ROH

You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)

Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of:

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Viral Videos

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