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The New Ballerina Project Book is Finally Here!

Dane Shitagi, Courtesy Chronicle Books

Earlier this year, we shared that photographer Dane Shitagi's Ballerina Project—his gorgeous, ongoing collection of dance photos that have dominated our Instagram feeds for years—would be coming to an end. But all is not lost—starting September 17, you can enjoy over 170 of these photographs in Ballerina Project, a stunning new book showcasing Shitagi's work.


Courtesy Chronicle Books

For 18 years, Shitagi photographed hundreds of ballet dancers in locations all over the world—streets, beaches, rooftops, you name it. (I'm biased, but one of my favorites is this image of my friend Violeta Angelova, hanging gracefully from Brooklyn's Williamsburg Bridge.) His work became a viral phenomenon on social media, where he has over a million followers in Instagram. His new book features over 50 renowned ballet dancers, with major cities like New York City, London, Buenos Aires and Paris serving as their backdrop.

Julie Doherty poses on the beach, from the book Ballerina Project.

Dane Shitagi, Courtesy Chronicle Books

So clear a space on your coffee table! This hardcover book is even bound in pink satin, a nod to pointe shoes. You'll be able to purchase Ballerina Project, currently available for pre-order, at book stores nationwide on September 17, including major retailers like Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Target. And New York City dancers, listen up: To celebrate its release, Rizzoli Bookstore is having a launch party on Sunday, September 15. Fans will be able to meet and get their books signed by some of Ballerina Project's featured dancers, including American Ballet Theatre's Isabella Boylston, Kathryn Boren and Brittany DeGrofft and High Strung Free Dance star Juliet Doherty. Click here for more information about this free event.

Viral Videos

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop chats with Ballet West soloist Chelsea Keefer to hear about how she prepares her pointe shoes. Keefer offers lots of darning tips, and shares all of the unusual ways that she uses rosin.

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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From left: Kathryn Posin Dance Company members Daniel White, Claire Mazza and Momchil Mladenov in Evolution: The Letters of Charles Darwin. Nan Melville, Courtesy Posin.

Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution might not seem like a natural fit for the ballet stage. But that's exactly the topic of one of choreographer Kathryn Posin's three new ballets, scheduled to premiere at New York City's 92nd Street Y September 13-14.

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At this point, you'd think we'd all be used to the level of technical absurdity Daniil Simkin achieves when he's playing around in the studio. But then he did this:

...and now we're low-key appalled in the absolute best way.

After we picked our jaws up from the floor, we were inspired to dig up clips of some of our other favorite dancers turning like it's no big deal. Here are just a few standouts.

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