Rarely do we think of a dancer's daily work as glamorous. Waking up the body, trying to get in tune with our physical selves in class, and then working to the point of exhaustion in rehearsal and performance, day after day...at certain moments, it can feel more like a grind than anything else.
It's safe to say that Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild aren't your average ballet dancers. Over the past few years, the New York City Ballet principals have collaborated with the likes of contemporary choreographer Larry Keigwin and jookin star Lil Buck, and both appeared in the New York Philharmonic's presentation of the classic musical Carousel. They not only seem to be everywhere, all the time, but also to be unfazed by any style or setting.
Frequently two different choreographers use the same piece of music. But what happens when one choreographer makes two works to the same score? We'll find out later this month, when Emery LeCrone premieres both a classical and a contemporary interpretation of Bach's Partita No. 2 in C Minor, created for the Guggenheim's Works & Process series. The work's March 23, 7:30 pm performance will be livestreamed here.
These days, we know Svetlana Zakharova as an international ballet superstar. As a young student at St. Petersburg's prestigious Vaganova Academy, however, she was...well, still a superstar, just on a slightly smaller scale. Here are some excerpts from her graduation exam in 1996. You'll probably pick her out right away, but just in case: She's on the left in the first clip. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!
When you get sidelined by an injury, you try physical therapy, Pilates, swimming—anything that might get you back onstage ASAP. But when you return, something always seems a little different. Maybe that right knee doesn't feel as secure when you're jumping, or your left hip grips a little more during développé. It's hard not to wonder: Was there something else you should have been doing while you were out?
When ballet companies perform Swan Lake, all buzz tends to be about the ballerinas dancing Odette/Odile. But what would the work be without its corps of swan maidens?
Though not in the spotlight, their task is, in many ways, just as challenging as the Swan Queen's: They must maintain perfect unison, moving and breathing as one, to create some of the ballet's spine-tingling moments. Oh, and they have to avoid foot cramps (not to mention suffer through itches that can't be scratched) during long periods of standing, when they're essentially living scenery.
Gelsey Kirkland caused quite a stir when she left New York City Ballet in 1974. Then a rising star in Balanchine's company, she joined American Ballet Theatre at Mikhail Baryshnikov's behest, and became one of the Russian star's most frequent partners. Baryshnikov's high-wattage performances never outshone Kirkland, however. With her exquisite control, meticulous attention to detail, and heart-stopping vulnerability, she became a legend in her own right.
This fall, visual artist JR's The Eye of New York City Ballet, a large-scale installation for the company's annual Art Series, took social media by storm. (Just search the Instagram hashtag #NYCBArtSeries if you don't believe me.) But will he have as much success making art for the stage?