Much of ballet's magic is the otherworldly presence dancers have when they step onstage—it's hard to imagine our favorite stars having lives outside the theater. But that's what makes documentaries like "The Dancer," a new short film by former Miami City Ballet dancer Ezra Hurwitz, so fascinating. During its six minutes, we follow New York City Ballet principal Gonzalo Garcia through his day. We meet his fuzzy cat inside his small NYC apartment, see his subway commute to Lincoln Center and even peek into the NYCB locker room.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Jerome Robbins Dance Division has an astonishing collection of dance videos—more than 24,000 films, including hundreds of hours of ballet footage. Recently the library has begun digitizing its remarkable archives, and have even made some of those digitized films available online to the offsite public.
The School of Alberta Ballet in Calgary has announced a new scholarship program for boys ages 9 and older. Up to 25 boys will be selected this spring to train in its Professional Division for free. Remaining auditions include Edmonton on April 6 and Calgary on April 13 and 14. For more information, see schoolofalbertaballet.com.
The most recent TED Conference, in Vancouver, Canada, recently came to a close. But the TED (technology, entertainment, design) organization—whose conferences feature all kinds of innovative presentations—isn't done sharing, as its slogan states, "ideas worth spreading."
There have been rumblings about Wendy Whelan's New York City Ballet retirement for a while now. As of this morning, it's official: The revered principal dancer will take her final bow with the company on October 18.
There's no word yet on what she'll dance for that last show, the culmination of three decades of extraordinary work with NYCB. Yet, however emotional that moment is guaranteed to be, this is just the end of one chapter in Whelan's remarkable career.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet co-artistic director Dwight Rhoden is bringing F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic The Great Gatsby to the stage. The work will premiere in Russia in October 2014 before embarking on a world tour. Though it has yet to be officially cast, the flashy trailer stars Ukrainian National Opera's Elizaveta Cheprasova as Daisy and Mariinsky Ballet's Denis Matvienko as Gatsby. And it seems to borrow a bit of drama from Baz Luhrmann's recent film adaptation. (If only Leonardo DiCaprio could dance his way into this ballet version, too.)
It seems like only a few days ago that Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev swept onto the international dance scene, bewitching audiences with their feats of daredeviltry. Yet it was back in 2006 that the pair made their breakout debuts as Kitri and Basilio in Don Quixote at the Bolshoi. They were babies, too: Osipova was 20 and Vasiliev, just 18. Here are a few exhilarating excerpts from that first performance. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!
Sometimes I wish I were best friends with all the world's ballet costume designers and wardrobe supervisors. They have such fascinating perspectives on ballet history and the dancing body, and they're gifted artists in their own right. Plus—at least according to the recent spate of behind-the-scenes videos that investigate ballet costume shops—they all seem to be really cool people.
Last week, we let you know about the Los Angeles auditions for the upcoming dance film High Strung—and got inquiries from a few East Coast dancers who felt left out in the cold. Well, if you missed the L.A. tryout, good news: The film, choreographed by Dave Scott, is holding another ballet audition, this time in New York City. (Looks like they still haven't found a dancer/actress for the lead role of Ruby.) It's coming up soon, too.