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.
In ballet, your body is everything. But would you know what to do if you got injured in the middle of rehearsal?
For the fifth year in a row, Bebe Neuwirth, founder of The Dancers' Resource of The Actors Fund, presents "Healing The Dancer," a free seminar that offers practical health tips for professional dancers. This year's guest panel will explain the complexities of navigating the Workers' Compensation system, including instructions on how to report an injury at work. Robert LaFosse, former ABT and NYCB dancer is going to be the keynote speaker.
The mood is a little tense as Alexei Ratmansky peeks in the window during our warm-up barre. The dancers exchange smiles, as if to agree silently to our excitement. After class, we are all introduced to Mr. Ratmansky, and settle in for a talk. He greets us warmly, and at once all our nerves seem to disappear.
The National Ballet of Canada is offering its very own summer intensive for the first time this year. It runs July 4 through 15. Intermediate to advanced ballet students ages 14 to 18 are invited to the company's Toronto studios to train with professional artists from the National Ballet and other companies. Dancers will take classes in ballet, pointe, repertoire, jazz and hip hop every day from 9 am to 3 pm. The 10-day course costs $750. For more details, see national.ballet.ca.
Alina Cojocaru has no tendons—I am convinced of it! Legs aren't supposed to float up that high quite that easily. It's kind of absurd. Just like her supernatural sense of balance. Seriously, I'm pretty sure she could drink an entire cup of coffee while hanging out on pointe in arabesque.
Well, this is going to make for one awesome "first dance:" At American Ballet Theatre's gala on Monday night, Ethan Stiefel proposed to Gillian Murphy backstage right after she finished performing Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. And...she said yes! The couple has been dating for over a decade after a close friendship blossomed into something more.
I went to see NYCB again on Saturday, and was treated to another performance of Balanchine's Le Tombeau de Couperin, which is a vehicle for the company's very young, very hungry corps de ballet. I saw this piece for the first time a couple of weeks ago (on the same program as Episodes), and I enjoyed it just as much. It's Balanchine's architectural sensibility at its finest--marvelously kaleidoscopic patterns emerge and dissolve constantly, as the eight men and eight women constantly rearran