Susan Jaffe was barely 19 years old when she leapt into the spotlight at American Ballet Theatre. 1982—the year that her Swan Lake debut had critics raving—also revealed her contemporary chops in works like Lynn Taylor-Corbett's Great Galloping Gottschalk. In this clip from a 1985 recording, Jaffe dances a pas de deux from the piece with Robert La Fosse, who had a successful career as a principal dancer at both ABT and New York City Ballet.


Jaffe and La Fosse, now both teachers (Dean of Dance at University North Carolina School of the Arts and Barnard Dance Department lecturer, respectively), were two of the homegrown stars that Mikhail Baryshnikov sought to nurture as director of ABT. Great Galloping Gottschalk is danced entirely to the music of 19th century New Orleans-born composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. The name of this pas, “The Dying Poet," belies its carefree spirit. Jaffe and La Fosse bound gaily through Taylor-Corbett's constantly moving choreography. In one playful moment of many, Jaffe stands behind La Fosse and, with a wave of her hand, manipulates him into a backwards somersault and a (beautifully!) sustained arabesque. Simple pearl-blue costumes and Gottschalk's twinkling score complete the light-hearted feeling of the pas, which ends with La Fosse carrying Jaffe offstage in a twirling lift, like a windmill in a spring breeze. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

News
A still from Dancing Dreams. Courtesy OVID

If you're seeking an extra dash of inspiration to start the new season on the right—dare we say—foot, look no further than dance documentaries.

Starting August 23, OVID, a streaming service dedicated to docs and art-house films, is adding eight notable dance documentaries to its library. The best part? There's a free seven-day trial. (After that, subscriptions are $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.)

From the glamour of Russian ballet stars to young dancers training in Cuba to a portrait of powerhouse couple Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, here's what's coming to a couch near you:

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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.