Blogs

There was great excitement in our offices here yesterday afternoon, due to NYCB principal Jenifer Ringer's appearance on "Oprah".  Aside from Oprah asking the usual, and rather tired, questions about Black Swan (see my earlier post about this topic), there was one thing that Jenifer said that I found very relevant.  She has struggled with an eating disorder in the past, and after Oprah asked her about her reaction to Alastair Macaulay's infamous

Step into the creative process of some of New York City's most exciting up-and-coming choreographers. This month, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center is launching Playground, an open workshop series for professional dancers to experience a choreographer's method and movement ideas. Sponsored by Home4Dance, the mission is to build a community of artistic exchange. For just a $5 suggested donation, any professional dancer can spend a couple hours in the studio with one of several promising choreographers. The workshops take place every weekday from 1–3 pm starting on February 28.

Russian Culture Now is offering new scholarship awards to students passionate about either the fine arts or Russian culture.

 

Nope, we're not talking about sending flowers and chocolates on Valentine's Day; we're talking about improving your pas de deux skills. 

 

I went to see New York City Ballet on Saturday night, and was introduced to Balanchine's absolutely delightful Cortege Hongrois.  There are so many reasons why this ballet is great, but the three aspects I enjoyed the most are the deceptive simplicity of the choreography, and the soloists Ana Sophia Scheller and Savannah Lowery, who were in the lead ballerina roles.

 

We've all got our favorite ballet dancers and choreographers. Who's yours?

 

This morning, there was a very interesting article in the New York Times' Style section about Benjamin Millepied. It's quite long, and pretty thought-provoking. As we all know, Millepied is engaged to Hollywood star Natalie Portman (of Black Swan), and the couple is also expecting a baby. The article explores his rise to fame, and the reasons why he is famous. The surprising thing is, it's not really because he's a great dancer.

 

Can't make it to Switzerland this weekend? No problem! You can watch the Prix de Lausanne finals live online.

 

Beginning at 9 am EST, the competition will host a live broadcast of the competitors' performances at www.prixdelausanne-live.com. If you download the free Prix de Lausanne app, you can even watch it directly on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

 

I'm sure many of you have done yoga.  It's quickly becoming compulsory in summer intensives and college dance programs, and many professional dancers swear by it as a great supplement to their classes.  Yoga comes easily to ballet dancers, as the flexibility, discipline and core strength required is often already there.  But while I've heard so many dancers talk about the physical benefits of yoga (increased flexibility, strength, and balance), I don't often hear many talk about the mental benefits.

 

Thanks to the popularity of Black Swan, featuring Natalie Portman as the tortured ballerina Nina Sayers, I get asked a lot of questions by non-ballet people (pedestrians), about the actual experience of being a ballet dancer.  The same thing happened after Center Stage came out--all of a sudden, everyone was interested in what the world of ballet was like, and if it bore any resemblance to the worlds these movies created.  Most people are disappointed when I say no, not really.  Those movies exaggerate every thing, and every stereotype about ballet to such a