Blogs

An earthquake in Portland this week sent rumbles throughout the national dance scene. It was centered at the studios of Oregon Ballet Theatre on Wednesday, when artistic director Christopher Stowell announced to the dancers and staff that he was resigning.

The Royal Danish Ballet's Ida Praetorius may only be 19, but she's quickly making her mark on the ballet world.

 

Last year, Pointe highlighted her as one of the standouts of 2011—when she was only an apprentice! Artistic director Nikolai Hubbe had cast her in the lead of Fleming Flindt's The Lesson for the company's U.S. tour, and she astounded us with her expressive movement and innate dramatic flair.

 

Forget about growing chia "pets"—that was for the 80s. Instead, sprinkle some chia onto your breakfast. As a recent article in The New York Times points out, these little seeds have recently made a comeback as a trendy health item. The nutritional buzz is more than just hype: Chia is loaded with fiber and calcium, and even offers some protein. Mostly though, it's a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially when eaten ground, rather than whole.

Misty Copeland has been one of my favorite dancers to watch this past year. The American Ballet Theatre soloist has always turned heads with her charismatic presence, but lately, she's polished up her technique and added a beautiful sense of nuance to her natural power—and it's made her simply magnetic on stage.

 

Last week, the Pointe staff got to spend a day with New York City Ballet's ever-lovable Lauren Lovette and Daniel Ulbricht for an upcoming story we're working on. It turns out "60 Minutes" reporter Lesley Stahl got the same treat.

The New York International Ballet Competition has long been a favorite launch pad for dancers looking to jumpstart their careers. Not only is it artistic director bait, with some of ballet's most powerful players in the audience at each round, but American Ballet Theatre and Joffrey Ballet regularly offer one-year contracts to the competitors of their choice. Talk about a career-making competition!

You’re going to want to catch "60 Minutes" this Sunday. Reporter Lesley Stahl will go backstage at New York City Ballet, following Robbie Fairchild as he learns the title role in Apollo. See the performance with Tiler Peck, Sterling Hyltin and Ana Sophia Scheller from the wings. That last iconic moment of a starburst? The back two girls aren’t in arabesque—they’re in a turned in second so that they can hide their torsos behind the other two dancers! You can see how they get into it from a whole new vantage point.

Love Thanksgiving but not the love handles that come with it? Finish your feast this Thursday with some black tea. A study in the journal Nutrition suggests that black tea may prevent your body from absorbing fat from food. The one caveat is that you have to drink it plain; milk may inhibit the fat-fighting effect.

Helen Pickett has just been named resident choreographer of Atlanta Ballet. The former Forsythe dancer has a contemporary aesthetic that intricately weaves ballet steps into quirky phrases, and she's made work everywhere from Boston Ballet to Vienna State Opera. Her new three-year appointment in Georgia will include both a series of premieres and an annual "Choreographic Essentials" workshop.

 

There are so many fantastically unhealthy “health” products out there. Granola, fat-free salad dressings, yogurt that comes loaded with corn syrup. Japan just came out with the latest diet illusion: fat-blocking Pepsi Special. Yes, you read that right. The new product includes wheat dextrin, a soluble fiber that moves food through your system so quickly you can’t absorb as much fat as you usually would.