Last summer, Mariinsky Ballet prima ballerina Uliana Lopatkina retired after more than 20 years as a principal. Adored in Russia and by audiences around the world, Lopatkina's virtuosity, elegance and humble presence have been sorely missed. Although best known for powerful interpretations of classical roles like Odette/Odile, Lopatkina also brought unparalleled drama to contemporary works, as in this clip by Dutch choreographer Hans van Manen. Lopatkina performed the austere, but emotionally fraught duet, titled Trois Gnossiennes, with her frequent Mariinsky partner Ivan Kozlov at the Hans van Manen Festival in 2007.


At the start of the video, the dancers are settled under a spotlight, commanding the stage with concentrated energy. Kozlov places his hands deliberately on Lopatkina's shoulders and she slowly rises onto pointe; the tension between them is palpable. Bursting from stillness, Lopatkina slides into van Manen's striking geometric shapes. Kozlov manipulates her supple limbs, creating even more extreme positions. In an unconventional lift, he supports her foot in his palm as she développés. He lowers her into a flexed arabesque and their bodies unfurl together. Their intense, though abstract relationship has us completely absorbed even in just a short clip. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

Viral Videos

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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Viral Videos

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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News
Competitors at last year's Prix. Gregory Bartadon, Courtesy Prix de Lausanne.

The weather is gloomy and winter shows no signs of ending anytime soon, but this week there's a small glimmer that might help bunheads make it through: The 2020 Prix de Lausanne, running February 2–9. This year's Prix welcomes 77 young hopefuls (including 10 Americans) to Montreaux, Switzerland, and a free live stream will be available daily.

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