After making a splash in Chicago and DC, Paris Opéra Ballet has set up camp in New York's Lincoln Center for the next two weekends. Tonight, étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot performs the lead in Maurice Béjart's Bolero. In Pointe's April/May 2010 issue, we asked Gillot what skill she would most like to have. Her response?
"To control the weather, so that I can take care of people."
We’ve always been told that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But new research from the University of Iowa shows that the benefits of apples go far beyond good annual check-ups. It turns out that apple peels are bursting with ursolic acid, a weight loss substance that promotes muscle growth. Between the fat burning and muscle building, this fruit makes the perfect post-rehearsal snack—just don’t cut off the skin.
In ballet, there's an eight-letter word so powerful it makes even the most experienced dancers quake. (No, I’m not talking about fouettes!) Audition—it’s a loaded word that brings to mind numerical identities, a whispering panel and hundreds of other bunheads who all seem to have better feet and 180-degree turnout. Last night's episode of "Bunheads" showed that, although many dancers define an audition’s success by whether they get accepted, those who can see the whole picture know that getting in isn’t everything.
Joy Womack just signed a contract with the Bolshoi Ballet, becoming the first American woman ever to dance for the iconic Russian company. The historic move is especially significant because Joy wasn't always a prodigy destined for ballet greatness. As a teenager at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC, she was actually told she didn't have enough turnout or flexibilty, and was asked to leave the school.
"Breaking Pointe" closed out the season last night heavy on the drama, light on the dancing. Although the finale ostensibly focused on the simultaneous excitement and let down during the close of a run, most of the episode concentrated on Katie's goodbye and Rex and Alison's breakup. Even Christiana ended up in tears (seemingly due to something about the pressure of being too good?).
I'm starting to get jealous of Chicago. Ever since ballet lover Rahm Emanuel become mayor of The Windy City, it's been rapidly blossoming into an even more attractive dance hub. During the Paris Opéra Ballet's visit last week, their performance of Giselle was streamed live for the public from an 18 by 32 foot LED screen in Millenium Park. And next month will bring the largest-ever Chicago Dancing Festival, full of free performances, dance films, discussions, tributes and interactive work.
Heads up Californian bunheads: the Anaheim International Dance Festival is coming back this summer. From August 10-12, dancers ages 10-22 are invited take workshops with renowned master teachers such as Miami City Ballet founder Edward Villella, former New York City Ballet principal Darci Kistler and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater rehearsal director Matthew Rushing.
When Adam Sklute spoke to Pointe earlier this year about his company's decision to participate in "Breaking Pointe," he said one of the driving reasons behind allowing cameras into his studios was the opportunity to set "the record straight about the real dramas and the real joys that happen in the ballet world, without having to play into stereotypes."