The sweltering, humid heat of a Northeastern summer can make even the most good-natured person act, well, hot-headed. This would be an understatement in describing Lizzie Borden, the woman from Fall River, Massachusetts, who allegedly hacked her parents to death with a hatchet in 1892. The case was a media sensation, and it’s no surprise that choreographer Agnes de Mille—known for portraying American themes in her ballets like Rodeo—chose the story for a stage adaptation.
Misty Copeland isn’t the only ballerina to grace the glossy pages of mainstream magazines these days. The August issue of Glamour magazine features First Position star and Dutch National Ballet coryphée Michaela DePrince and her remarkable story. DePrince’s childhood in an orphanage in Sierra Leone and her rise to prominence in ballet’s world of swans and sylphs is without question inspiring, and not only for dancers.
Two years ago, Elizabeth Murphy was in the corps of Pacific Northwest Ballet (check out Dance Magazine’s feature of Murphy in August 2013) and sewing leotards for her friends as a hobby. Today, Murphy’s dance career has taken leaps and bounds—both onstage in principal roles and into the soloist ranks—and now she is jetéing into the world of commercial design. This summer, Murphy released her first line of leotards on Etsy.com.
In English, “le jeune homme et la mort” translates to “the young man and death.” There’s no missing the somber tone in this clip of Roland Petit’s short ballet. As the young man, Rudolf Nureyev dances in a reverie to the melancholic organ chimes. Throughout the technical tricks and complicated prop maneuvering that peppers Petit’s choreography, Nureyev never loses his trance-like stare. The reason for his reverie soon strides through the door.
National Ballet of China in The Red Detachment of Women, Courtesy Lincoln Center Festival
This July, the National Ballet of China tours New York and the D.C. area with two of the company’s original productions: The Peony Pavilion and The Red Detachment of Women.
Carlos Acosta’s name is synonymous with virtuosic and passionate performances. A principal with The Royal Ballet since 1998, Acosta soared onto the world stage in 1990 when he won the gold medal at Prix de Lausanne. With his powerful technique and Cuban charisma, he’s been stunning audiences ever since.
Pumpkin carriages and fairy godmothers are noticeably missing in Rudolf Nureyev’s production of Cinderella for the Paris Opéra Ballet. Rather than the traditional fairytale kingdom, Nureyev’s version takes place in Old Hollywood. As Cinderella, étoile Sylvie Guillem twirls in satin rather than tulle. When POB toured to the United States with this production in 1987, a New York Times reviewer called Guillem “a choreographer’s dream” and said that in Cinderella, she is “astounding in every move.”