Blogs

Can stretching before class hurt your dancing? New science suggests it might. Yesterday, I  listened to a recent interview on NPR’s Fresh Air program with The New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds, who just came out with a book called The First 20 Minutes. Reynolds explained that almost all research now suggests that stretching prior to working out is counterproductive: It causes your brain to think you're going tear the muscles.

Just in time for their Met season, American Ballet Theatre is launching its own iPhone app. I just downloaded it yesterday and am already addicted. You can browse through all of the company’s upcoming performances and learn who’s dancing which night. Contact the box office, add the show to your calendar and let all of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers know when you’re going. All of the company’s latest news is right at your fingertips, along with a continually updated archive of choreographers, composers, designers and ballets since ABT’s founding in 1940.

Pointe just launched its new iPad app! Download each issue on your tablet. Just like the print edition, the app will put you backstage and up close with top stars and choreographers. It gives dancers everything they need to succeed in ballet: tips on technique and artistry, intimate photos, audition advice from artistic directors, the latest fitness info, and more. This interactive version offers extra iPad-only videos and slideshows. Find it in the app store.

Behind every great ballet dancer is a great mother who drove her to classes, bought her dozens of pointe shoes (and maybe even sewed them), told her when her bun looked like a mess, went into a tizzy when Suzie was cast as Clara instead of her daughter. It's not easy being a ballet mom. So be sure to thank yours this Sunday.

 

Happy mother's day!

Any ballet fanatic worth her salt has seen dozens of YouTube clips of the Black Swan pas de deux, and probably even knows the music and steps by heart. But do you ever wonder if the choreography has stayed the same since 1895 when Marius Petipa first choreographed it?

Pennsylvania Ballet presents Trey McIntyre's Peter Pan for the first time this month. PAB soloist Lauren Fadeley, who is dancing the part of Wendy, is guest-blogging the rehearsal and performance process for Pointe. Read her first posts here and here.

What's a better springtime treat than some ballet alfresco? Texan dance lovers are in luck: Houston Ballet will present three free performances at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park on May 11, 12 and 13 at 8 pm. The company will dance excerpts of Giselle, Swan Lake and Le Corsaire. Grab your free tickets (4 per person over age 16 while they last) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office the day of the performance between 10:30 am and 1 pm.

 

Haven’t nailed down any summer plans yet? There’s still time to apply to the Royal Academy of Dance’s two-week Performance Course, new to the United States this year. Instead of focusing on technique, the spotlight in this intensive shifts to choreography, with a number of dance professionals setting original work on the students. After a morning class, dancers spend their days learning everything from modern to musical theater pieces, which they then perform at the end of the workshop.

American Ballet Theatre principal Herman Cornejo, New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck, Alvin Ailey's iconic Matthew Rushing, Martha Graham Dance Company star Katherine Crockett. Artists from New York City's top dance companies are teaming up tonight for a benefit for the American Cancer Society. "Dance Against Cancer," produced by New York City Ballet's Daniel Ulbricht and former Carolina Ballet dancer Erin Fogarty, is now in its second year.