Viral Videos

#TBT: Viengsay Valdés and Romel Frometa in the Diana and Actaeon Pas de Deux

Viengsay Valdés and Romel Frometa, via YouTube

The Diana and Actaeon pas de deux, from the ballet La Esmeralda, is a bravura tableaux ideal for festivals and galas. In this clip, we see Viengsay Valdés and her frequent partner Romel Frometa perform the piece at Japan's 2006 World Ballet Festival. Valdés, Ballet Nacional de Cuba's prima ballerina and now the company's deputy artistic director, epitomizes the fierce, independent goddess Diana with radiant confidence. Together with Frometa, a current dancer at BalletMet, the two elevate the pas deux to new levels with balletic fireworks that demonstrate their immense strength and trust in one another.


In the pas, Diana's initial hesitance to accept Actaeon's affections is highlighted by moments where the ballerina supports herself rather than relying on her partner—perfect opportunities to highlight Valdés's stunning balances. The Cuban ballerina's luxurious descent from a several-seconds-long sustained arabesque at 3:16 is particularly awe-inspiring. For both Valdés and Frometa, the softer side of their technique shows through in articulated steps, lilting hops and sweeping port de bras. In both his variation and the coda, Frometa explodes in impassioned jetés, stag leaps and barrel turns. Valdés's power, on the other hand, is more contained, burning just beneath the surface of her playful swagger, and ultimately revealed in a sequence of unwavering fouetté turns. With her grace and vigor, we can't wait to see what's to come for Valdés as she moves into the next phase of her career! Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

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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Ballet Stars

A little over a month ago Roberto Bolle gave his final bow with American Ballet Theatre, though thankfully he's not saying goodbye to ballet altogether. After 10 years dancing as a principal with ABT while guesting around the world and at his home company La Scala Ballet, he's now planning to focus on his own galas and projects in Italy. A frequent face in those galas is Polina Semionova, a principal guest with Staatsballett Berlin (and also a former principal with ABT). Semionova and Bolle have danced together for years, and while Bolle is renown for his partnerships with many ballerinas, the two make an exceptionally elegant duo. Here they dance Vladimir Burmeister's Black Swan Pas de Deux at the 2007 Tchaikovsky Gala in Milan.

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