Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT

Watch This Behind-the-Scenes Video of ABT’s Whipped Cream

Fluffy snow yaks, dancing cupcakes and a slithering candy-cane worm. These, along with many more candy confections (and a creepy doctor with a massive head), make up the cast of characters in Alexei Ratmansky's new full-length Whipped Cream at American Ballet Theatre. The company, which performed the world premiere in California in March, is gearing up for the New York debut on May 22. Needless to say, there's been lots of anticipation over pop-surrealist Mark Ryden's fantastical costume and set designs.


In this video, the New York City–based PBS program "NYC-ARTS" goes behind the scenes with Ratmansky and two of the ballet's stars, Daniil Simkin and Sarah Lane, to give an inside look at how Whipped Cream came together.


Ratmansky tells PBS that he was looking for a full-length spectacle that would involve the entire company and a cast of children. He was inspired by Richard Strauss' 1924 score and libretto for Schlagobers, a ballet about a boy who overindulges on sweets at a Viennese pastry shop (and his resulting hallucinations). When Ratmansky saw a book of Ryden's work, he was determined to bring the ballet back to life—and insisted that Ryden, who had never created for a theatrical production before, design it.


Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT


"When I saw the designs of Whipped Cream, my first thought was how is this going to be possible?" says Simkin, who plays the Boy. The program shows how much work went in to adjusting to the costumes—and the results look spectacular. Lane, who makes her entrance as Princess Praline atop the aforementioned snow yak, tells "NYC-ARTS" that being among all the characters onstage feels like a party. "It puts you into a different world, and it helps a lot to get into your character."


Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT


For more news on all things ballet, don't miss a single issue.

Latest Posts


Courtesy ABC

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alicia Mae Holloway Talks About Her Time on ABC's “The Bachelor”

Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Carla Fracci and Stephen Jefferies in "La Esmeralda" (1987)

Carla Fracci, a former principal dancer of La Scala Ballet in Milan, is among the rare class of ballerinas who continued to perform into her 50s and beyond. Romantic ballets were her calling card throughout her career. In 1987, when Fracci was 51, she was featured in a television special, dancing reconstructed 19th-century ballets in the style of historical ballerinas. In this clip of La Esmeralda from the program, Fracci and her partner Stephen Jefferies, a former principal at The Royal Ballet, deliver an extraordinary performance, capturing the verve and spirit of their characters.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Make the Most of Performance Opportunities in a Pandemic?

My school is connected to a professional company that operates on a show-to-show basis. Students can audition for company performances when they're 15. My 15th birthday is in February, and I think that our directors are choosing people to participate in virtual performances based off of whether they have performed with the company before. This was supposed to be my big first year with the company, but COVID-19 has changed that. How do I make it known that I want to participate? Do you think I should wait until things are more normal? —Lila
Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks