This past year saw a bounty of ballet beauty. There were jaw-dropping premieres, some exciting new collaborations and a number of promising dancers who began to make their mark. As senior editor of Pointe, I got to witness much of it, and I have to say I had a blast. Here are my personal top 12 highlights of 2012.
What does Baryshnikov wake up to every morning? Sketches of Ballets Russes legends Sergei Diaghalev and Vaslav Nijinsky drawn by French novelist Jean Cocteau in 1917. A colored pencil illustration of bugs and birds signed "To Misha with Love, Merce Cunningham." A doodle by Trisha Brown of her own feet.
Between Nutcracker and holiday madness, it's all too easy to wear your body down and become vulnerable to colds. The moment we start sneezing, most of us instinctively reach for a glass of orange juice. A better bet? Grab a kiwi! One cup of the fruit has 273 percent of your daily vitamin C. And with 5 grams of fiber and only 100 calories, it's waistline-friendly, too.
Lagging behind on your holiday shopping? Never fear—there’s still time! Discount Dance Supply is offering a free upgrade to three-day shipping today. Check out their stocking stuffers for under $25; you can have as many as you need delivered by Friday.
Getting to attend the annual Dance Magazine Awards is one of my favorite perks of this job. The caliber of artists you get to rub shoulders with each year is kind of amazing, if a bit overwhelming. The first time I went, as a Dance Magazine intern, I remember seeing Alessandra Ferri float up the aisle to accept her award with the exact same effortless fluidity she moves with onstage.
It's almost audition season. Are you ready? Being a successful auditioner is a specific talent that's about more than great dancing. You have to find a way to feel comfortable in that room, not let yourself get freaked out by the people with the clipboards, and figure out how to harness that adrenaline to fuel your energy and sharpen your focus.
Last night I got to see American Ballet Theatre in Alexei Ratmansky's Nutcracker. I absolutely love this production. The choreography is thrilling, with psychological twists and an epic grand pas de deux. I'll admit it: I even cried at the end.
Wish your pointe shoes were slightly less painful? Get more sleep! A recent study found that when people stayed in bed for at least 10 hours a night, by the fourth day they experienced a 25 percent decrease in pain sensitivity. Researchers think this happens because we have more pain receptors in our blood system when we're exhausted. How's that for an excuse to sleep in?