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.


The couple, who married in 1954, were partners in life as well as onstage. They spent several years working in Hollywood, and later reprised their roles in Carmen for a version of the ballet in the 1961 French film Black Tights. This clip of Carmen's variation immortalizes Jeanmaire's sexy sophistication and brilliant commitment to a role.

Emerging from a back corner of the bar in the tavern scene, Jeanmaire toys with her fan as a tantalizing rhythm begins to build. The turned-in-and-out swivels and precise footwork in Petit's Latin-infused ballet vocabulary accentuate her long legs. Jeanmaire is equally astonishing with each coy profile and shoulder shrug as she is in the variation's finale of rousing fouettés. A duo ahead of their time, Petit's choreography and Jeanmaire's performance are still every bit as iconic as they were in the '60s! 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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