In one of my former lives, I worked in a little suburban dance boutique.One of the things we specialized in was fitting pointe shoes, and after learning the process, it became one of my favorite things to do.I especially enjoyed fitting the young girls that came in for their first pair of shoes, with their proud mothers in tow.These girls were always so excited to go on pointe, and their anticipation as they answered my questions about their feet and their training was al
When I was at an ABT summer intensive years ago, one of my teachers told our class that the most thrilling pirouettes aren't the tazmanian devilishly fast spins, but they are the slow, smooth turns that look like they're effortlessly in control. This made a huge impact on me because up until that moment, I had always been trying to speed up my pirouettes to make them look more impressive—and also because immediately after listening to this bit of wisdom I performed my first quadruple pirouette on pointe.
Last week, I was previewing a behind-the-scenes video I shot featuring San Francisco Ballet principal Maria Kochetkova. Maria is all the things you would expect from a principal dancer at one of the nation’s top ballet companies—elegant, expressive, sophisticated, and thanks to her Bolshoi Ballet School training, technically uber-refined.
It’s Monday evening, and I’m just finishing barre in Marisa’s 5:30 ballet class. Things haven’t been going well tonight—my body is not listening to me, and I’ve felt off-balance, stiff and awkward the whole time. I know what each movement should look like, but to me, it looks as if I’m falling far short today, and frankly, it’s depressing.
Yesterday Pointe had a photo shoot with a handful of super-talented dancers from Ballet Academy East. They were each fantastic: technically brilliant with strong, fit bodies and completely game for all of the crazy things we threw at them. (Be sure to check out the photos when our April/May issue comes out!).
What is it that makes certain performers magnetic?
This past weekend I saw Pacific Northwest Ballet perform at the Joyce here in New York City. I was taken aback by the bevy of beautiful bodies onstage. Almost every female dancer had exquisitely long limbs, ideal ballet proportions, feet to die for and even model-worthy facial features. They were Ballerina Barbie come to life—if Ballerina Barbie had been designed by George Balanchine.
Ever dream of what it would be like to dance with the Paris Opera Ballet? Frederick Wiseman's newest film La Danse goes behind the scenes to document every aspect of the company: sweaty, intense rehearsals with etoiles; administrative meetings about fundraisers and retirement benefits; painters adding another coat to the hallways; and even a beekeeper making honey on the roof of the Palais Garnier!
Congratulations to Vaganova Ballet Academy, Pointe Viewers' Choice winners for October. Their video, “Behind the scenes with Eric Conrad, Part I: Partnering Class” features three couples partnering in a classroom setting. Each couple demonstrates excellent technique through the adagio exercise of pirouettes, arabesque, penchee, and developpe. Each woman has her own strength, whether it be high extension, beautiful feet, or captivating port de bras.