Sir Frederick Ashton first choreographed the Voices of Spring pas de deux on Royal Ballet stars Merle Park and Wayne Eagling in 1977 for a ball scene in Johann Strauss II's operetta Die Fledermaus. The lively duet is a favorite in galas and mixed bills these days, but Park and Eagling's version from this 1983 video is a spectacular, must-see combination of cheek and elegance.


From the moment the couple enters, with Eagling carrying Park over his head as she spills flower petals across the floor, their joy is uncontained. They feed off each other, the audience and the ball guests sitting on stage. The two somehow make the unexpected direction changes look breezy and playful. Famous for her animation on stage, Park is effervescent as Eagling whips her through endless turns and tosses her into the air. The challenging lifts, like supported grand jetés, one handed presses and torch lifts, are an impressive display of the dancers' skill and the choreographer's creativity. Eagling even partners while balancing in arabesque and attitude! Our favorite moment: Eagling's brilliant batterie at 1:40, followed by a wild pirouette where he throws his head back in abandon. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

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Earlier this month, 15-year-old American dancer Ava Arbuckle was one of eight scholarship winners at the Prix de Lausanne. For her classical selection, Arbukle, clad in an ultra-feminine, rosette-covered tutu, performed Flora's variation from The Awakening of Flora, Marius Petipa's 1894 one-act ballet about the Greek goddess of Spring. Back in 2007, historian and choreographer Sergei Vikharev reconstructed the work for the Mariinsky Ballet, with Evgenia Obraztsova, then a soloist at the Mariinsky and now principal at the Bolshoi Ballet, originating the titular Flora.

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Yesterday, the first of Nike's new Common Thread video series dropped, and we were thrilled to see that it featured dancers; namely, Dance Theatre of Harlem member (and June/July 2017 Pointe cover star) Ingrid Silva, and Florida-based ballet student Alex Thomas. Even better, it's narrated by tennis phenom Serena Williams. This series of short videos celebrates Black History Month by focusing on representation in sport. (We're not crazy about ballet being called a sport, but we'll let it slide.) In each installment, athletes united by a common thread discuss their passion, and the lack of role models they saw in their fields while growing up.

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Happy Valentine's Day! Below, Josephine Lee plays a version of the Newlywed Game with Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancers and couple Michael Montgomery and Shuaib Elhassan.

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Profiles

Former American Ballet Theatre principals Cynthia Gregory and Fernando Bujones—known for their inimitable stage presence and penchant for flair—dazzle in this performance of the Black Swan pas de deux. They draw the audience into their characters' worlds, even in a gala performance

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