It turns out that Queen Elizabeth was quite a fan—and friend—of Sir Frederick Ashton. A new book is publishing many of her private letters, including the one at right to the Royal Ballet choreographer. Check out her sketch of "ballet on a pinnacle"!
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Rodeo, Agnes de Mille's landmark Western Ballet, dancers from American Ballet Theatre have taken the ballet to the New York City streets—and rivers. On Wednesday, a New York Water Taxi filled with the costumed cast took off from 44th street, made a pit stop at the Statue of Liberty, and then headed to the South Street Seaport to give a tap lesson for 100 New York City public school kids.
Want to work out á la the Scottish Ballet? The company recently put out a pair of fitness videos that have been blowing up online. Although the 15–20 minute clips are aimed at a non-dance population, the exercises make nice cross-training routines for bunheads' upper bodies as well. One focuses on the core, the other on the arms. A third video is scheduled for release soon.
Now that fall's officially here, it's time to get down to business. But while it’s important to work hard in the studio, make sure you know when to take a break. A recent study in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that exercise, like anything else, can be harmful when over done. According to Dr. James O’Keefe of the Mid America Heart Institute of St. Luke’s Hospital, when an athlete exercises intensely for excessive amounts of time, the heart muscle begins to tear and releases troponin, the same enzyme that signals damage during a heart attack.
Start spreading the news: Valentina Kozlova is moving her competition to New York City. The Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition, formerly known as the Boston International Ballet Competition, will take place in June 2013 in Manhattan. The event is open to professional and pre-preprofessional entrants aged 13–25.
The level of ballet training offered at the college level seems to be rising every year. Just take a look through the programs in our higher education guide, and you'll find dozens of schools with quality classical programs.
It's the end of the week, and if you're like most dancers I know, your body is sore and achy all over. Well-meaning friends and teachers will probably tell you to hop in an Epsom salt bath. But will that actually help? Maybe, but most of the benefit comes from the bath, not the salt.
Heads up Angelenos: Los Angeles Ballet is launching a new outreach program, led by principal ballerina Allynne Noelle, along with dancer Christopher McDaniel. Their two-pronged goal is to enrich their community and bring awareness to the company. On one Sunday each month, they’ll offer a community day full of classes, lectures and events.
Armitage Gone! Dance just moved into a fancy new arts building in Jersey City, and they've got some pretty cool plans for how to use their first-ever permanent space. This weekend, the company will hold an audition for an awesome-sounding workshop. Called a “Professional Project,” the three-week intensive will give 20 advanced students and recent graduates a peek inside the reality of a dance company.
Alexei Ratmansky and American Ballet Theatre are a match made in ballet heaven. The artist in residence has a 10-year contract with ABT, and has choreographed abstract and narrative ballets for the company such as The Bright Stream, The Nutcracker and Firebird. At the Guggenheim’s Works & Process on Sunday, ballet mistress Nancy Raffa, and principal David Hallberg discussed what it's like to work with Ratmansky. Apparently, Ratmansky comes to the studio very prepared, with his 2x4 inch black book containing choreography to each count of the score.