Blogs

Last night I attended Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance's Summer Soiree, the second event of its 2011 Salon Series. It was truly an evening of artistic innovation and collaboration, complete with live music, visual art—and of course, dancing.

 

This summer, a handful of students attending summer intensives around the country will be sharing their experiences with Pointe. Here, Maddy Graupmann recounts her first few days at Houston Ballet.

 

Hello! I'm Maddy Graupmann and I am 17 and a level 7 student in Houston Ballet's Summer Intensive. This is my second summer in Houston and I just completed the year-round program there as well.

 

This summer, a handful of students attending summer intensives around the country will be sharing their experiences with Pointe. Here, Andrea Thompson recounts her first few days at San Francisco Dance Conservatory.

 

"There will be an orientation meeting at 8:15am on the first day." After that…show up for class at 9, leave at 6. That's all we need to know as far as the schedule.

 

If Step Up can do it, why not Giselle? On July 12, you'll be able to watch ballet dancers sauté off the screen in 3D for the first time in history! Movie theaters nationwide will present the Kirov Ballet's Giselle at 12 pm and 7:30 pm (local time). Bolshoi Ballet star Natalie Osipova and Kirov phenom Leonid Sarafanov perform the leads in St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre. For a list of participating theaters in your area, check out fathomevents.com.

For everyone getting ready to head off to summer intensives, here's another thing to add to your packing list: some good books! Reading can be a great way to give your exhausted body a much-needed rest. Books in print, e-reader editions, books online, whatever floats your boat, check out some of the great works out there about dance. 

The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together by Twyla Tharp

Registration is now open for the 40th Prix de Lausanne. The prestigious Swiss competition has launched many a dance career, and awarded hundreds of scholarships to top schools around the world. One of the coolest things about this particular competition? It always reserves a certain number of spots for students from small studios in order to even out the playing field so that the finals don't solely consist of dancers who come from big-name schools. I love that!

 

Bournonville training creates some of the most elegant male dancers in the ballet world. Their upper bodies seem to move with poise, ease and a mix of strength and lightness, no matter what sort of footwork is going on underneath. This was especially evident last night at the Royal Danish Ballet's performance in Lincoln Center, when a couple dozen or so of the company's men danced Bournonville Variations, a mash-up of traditional classroom exercises created by the other Mr. B.

Heads up NYC dancers—starting this Friday, 30 studios in the city are offering free classes for National Dance Week! There's a kickoff flash mob in Union Square tomorrow night (Aren't those supposed to be a surprise? Well, anyways, it's free dance!) and a culminating performance at Peridance's theater on Sunday, June 26 featuring Ballet Noir, Billy Elliot, plus a bunch of other companies and schools.

 

Find out the "when" and "where" of all the free classes at ndw-nyc.org/free-classes.

I wasn't planning to write about Ballet Nacional de Cuba, performing this week at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In fact, I was relieved that I didn't have to. How can you evaluate a company so storied? Its founder, the incomparable Alica Alonso, is already enshrined in the ballet canon. It is rabidly adored by its Cuban fans. It has catapulted so many spectacular Cuban dancers--Carlos Acosta, Jose Manuel Carreño, Lorna and Lorena Feijóo--into the international spotlight. The weight of its reputation, I thought, is too crushing; there isn't any room for objective analysis.

Keeping a snack in your dance bag is a must. But finding one that's portable, healthy and will sustain your energy? That can be a challenge. Energy bars are a frequent go-to solution for dancers. Unfortunately, however, they are often loaded with refined sugars and lack "real" ingredients.