Blogs

Ballet fans have been looking forward to ABC Family's "Bunheads" for weeks now, since it advertises—from the title down—that it's all about ballet. But the first episode, at least, had a lot of plot exposition to get out of the way before digging into anything truly "bunhead"-y. A very quick summary: Onetime ballet dancer but current Las Vegas showgirl Michelle (Broadway star Sutton Foster, who is fantastic) is tired of performing in a feathered bikini but unable to get a "real" Broadway job.

Now that we've seen the first two episodes of The CW's Breaking Pointe, I'm left feeling like the producers are missing the point. So far, at least.

 

The show tries so hard to be dramatic. Which is understandable. They have to sell this to a mainstream TV audience. From the shadowy opening dance shots, to the voiceovers of Allison DeBona talking about how ruthless the competition is and Adam Sklute's comments about the expendability of dancers, everything bangs us over the head with "drama."

 

Pennsylvania Ballet's new school is holding a second audition next weekend. The training program is set to kick off in the fall with 120 students. Dancers will learn a technique based in Balanchine, with a heavy emphasis on artistry and performance quality. They'll also have opportunities to perform with the company. The school just announed that current company member Laura Bowman and former principal Martha Chamberlain will join its faculty. Guest faculty will include current principal dancers Amy Aldridge and Zachary Hench and former principals Alexei Borovik and Alexander Iziliaev.

The Australian Ballet makes a rare visit to the U.S. next week. As part of its 50th anniversary season, the company is presenting a series of performances at New York City's Lincoln Center.

 

Looking at pictures from Jacob's Pillow, I always hear sounds of birds tweeting to the strains of Tchaikovsky. No, I'm not actually hallucinating; I'm just craving some great dance al fresco. Luckily, the dance festival’s 2012 season kicks off next weekend—and it looks like it’s going to be another great summer up in the Berkshires.

 

The one thing better than performing? When your dancing helps raise money for an important cause.

 

The countdown to summer intensives has begun! And it’s time for a new set of nerves (and excitement) to kick in. How can you prepare your body and mind to get the most out of your summer training? Here are some tips from Shelly Power, associate director of Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, and Sabrina Lenzi, ballet mistress of Houston Ballet II.

 

Jeraldine Mendoza has had quite the first season at The Joffrey—and it just got better. The 20-year-old dancer was chosen as the first performing artist in Chicago to win a grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund in the Performing and Visual Arts. The award comes with $50,000 and a load of prestige.

 

Move over, Kanye. Florence + The Machine's new music video for the song Spectrum features great ballet dancers with real technique. The dancers from California's Southland Ballet Academy perform a twisted version of Swan Lake-esque choreography that gets "crazier and crazier," as co-director David Lachapelle puts it in a behind the scenes peek at the the making of the video.

The dance community in and around New York City is coming together to film an "It Gets Better" video. It's part of a global movement jumpstarted by the popular columnist Dan Savage to give young gay people messages about the potential of their lives, to inspire hope for teenagers who may be struggling with harassment.