#TBT: Maria Alexandrova in "The Pharaoh’s Daughter" (2007)

Sandstorms, opium, lions, snakes—plot devices in The Pharaoh's Daughter read like a list of clichés about Ancient Egypt. Though 19th century ballets set in the Far East (ahem, Bayadère) tend to emphasize grandeur over cultural accuracy, the dancing is dependably show-stopping. In this clip, Bolshoi Ballet principal Maria Alexandrova performs Princess Aspicia's Act II solo from Pierre Lacotte's 2000 version (after Petipa's 1862 original). With no visible effort—or springs attached, that I can see—she jumps with stunning ballon in the first sissonnes. When the music changes meter, she développés crisply and then enveloppés slowly for a playful contrast. Lacotte choreographed some devilish transitions in and out of pirouettes but, as the 30 seconds of solid applause confirm, Alexandrova retains her regal poise throughout.


Alexandrova was grappling with a serious injury in the midst of the Bolshoi's acid attack scandal in 2013. Though typically media-shy, she decided to open up in the HBO documentary Bolshoi Babylon and in a rare interview with The New York Times. As a revered artist—a principal with the Bolshoi for over a decade—when Alexandrova speaks, the world listens.

Instagram

Are you a total bunhead who loves to write? You might be the perfect fit for Pointe. We're seeking an editorial intern who's equally passionate about ballet and journalism.

Keep reading...
Sponsored by Ellison Ballet
Rachel Neville, Courtesy Ellison Ballet

If you've got your heart set on dancing for, say, San Francisco Ballet, you should attend a school that specializes in Balanchine, right? Not necessarily: It's actually a misconception that you have to train in a particular style or technique in order to pursue a career in that style. Ellison Ballet in New York City—which specializes in Vaganova technique—is living proof: Graduates of Ellison's year-round program and summer intensives go on to ballet companies that perform in a wide range of styles, and use what they've learned from Vaganova to land jobs.

Here are five reasons why studying Vaganova technique can actually make you a sought-after dancer for any number of ballet companies:

Keep reading...
Ballet Stars
Karina González in Ben Stevenson's Coppélia. Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

Are you more of a Giselle or a Juliet?

I've always said that my favorite role is Juliet, because of her vulnerability and maturity throughout the ballet. But now that I've performed Giselle, I find her so incredibly enjoyable, from being a village girl who falls in love for the first time to the most tender, almost weightless dancing in Act II.

Are you more at home in the studio or onstage?

I love the time in the studio. The process of starting from zero to getting better each day is so rewarding. My favorite phrase in rehearsals is "Let's do it again, so I can sleep in peace tonight." I need to feel so comfortable in the studio so that when I am onstage there are no bad surprises.

Keep reading...
News
Getty Images

Dancers certainly don't need anyone to tell them how physical their profession is. But now, we have the data to prove it.

Researchers at InsuranceProviders.com analyzed data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a national organization developed through support from the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, to determine the 20 most physically demanding jobs in the country. They analyzed the level of strength, stamina, flexibility and coordination required for a host of jobs, and each category was assigned

Keep reading...