Show and Tell: Jordan-Elizabeth Long

When Miami City Ballet soloist Jordan-Elizabeth Long previously danced with the Royal Swedish Ballet, professional hairdressers styled her performance hair. “If you came in with a messy bag full of pins, they got really annoyed,” Long says. Ever since, she has kept her pins organized in a multicompartment plastic case. In fact, Long’s dance bagMore »

#TBT: Monica Mason as Myrta in Giselle

Dame Monica Mason, The Royal Ballet’s former artistic director, has likely stood before a corps of white-tutu−clad dancers thousands of times. In this Giselle clip from a Bavarian State Ballet performance filmed in 1979, she leads the wilis not as their director, but as their queen. Though Mason is a natural Myrta, she offsets herMore »

#TBT: Susan Jaffe as Kitri in Don Quixote

Kitri’s Act I variation in Don Quixote is short—but not exactly sweet. Though this clip from a 90s documentary lacks the ballet’s usual setting of matadors milling around a Spanish plaza, former American Ballet Theatre principal Susan Jaffe doesn’t need scenery to draw her audience in. Kitri’s power moves are all about passion, and theyMore »

#TBT: Sofiane Sylve in Sleeping Beauty’s Vision Scene

Remember in the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty when Aurora’s fairy godmothers fight over which dress is best, pink or blue? Watching Petipa’s ballet, you might face a similar conflict: Do you prefer the young, spirited Aurora decked in rose pink from Act I? Or the cool yet lovely dream princess from Act II? InMore »

The Making of a Tour

What does it take to bring a major production on tour? In July, Houston Ballet mounted a 12-show run of artistic director Stanton Welch’s Romeo and Juliet in Melbourne, Australia. The tour was the company’s Australian debut, and a homecoming for Welch, who is from there. The ballet premiered in Houston the previous year, andMore »

#TBT: Anna Pavlova in Californian Poppy (circa 1916)

Anna Pavlova may be best known for someone else’s choreographic work (Michel Fokine’s The Dying Swan), but she, too, was a choreographer. Similar to the famous solo, Pavlova’s dances often emulated nature—like in Dragonfly and Californian Poppy. In this clip of the latter, circa 1916, Pavlova’s “poppy” flutters through space on a string of bourrées.More »

#TBT: Diana Vishneva and Vladimir Malakhov in Kazimir’s Colors

Paintings infrequently inspire ballets. Notable exceptions include Yuri Possokhov’s Magrittomania, based on the works of surrealist painter René Magritte, and Christopher Wheeldon’s recent Strapless, centered on the woman in John Singer Sargent’s painting “Madame X.” Different though Magritte and Sargent’s paintings are, they both depict people in one way or another—ready material for choreographers. Thus,More »

#FlashbackFriday: Nadia Nerina and David Blair in La Fille mal gardée

How would you like to see the opening night cast of Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée—yes, from 1960—perform the ballet’s ribbon pas de deux? Nadia Nerina and David Blair, former principals of The Royal Ballet, appear in this clip from a BBC broadcast filmed two years after La Fille premiered. The video mayMore »

#TBT: Lucia Lacarra and Cyril Pierre in the White Swan Pas de Deux

Lucia Lacarra, formerly a principal with Bavarian State Ballet (Bayerisches Staatsballett), has such extreme flexibility that she almost looks like a rhythmic gymnast. It takes a true artist to tame such a facility and deliver an emotionally memorable performance. The Spanish ballerina never fails to do so. Take a look at Lacarra with partner (andMore »

#TBT: Marie-Agnès Gillot and José Martínez in “Sylvia”

Is there anything more heart-wrenching than a tale of doomed lovers? It’s no wonder that so many enduring ballets don’t end in happy embraces. John Neumeier’s modern Sylvia plumbs the depths of the story for its most melancholy notes. Paris Opéra Ballet étoiles, who make up the ballet’s original cast, are masterful storytellers in theMore »