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.
Congratulations to Luminario Ballet, Pointe's Editors' Choice Video of the Month winners for October. Their piece “Bouquet” was choreographed by Michael Smuin, former artistic director of San Francisco ballet, and set by San Francisco Ballet prima Evelyn Cisneros. The gentle and ethereal pas de deux features a brilliantly glowing couple as the blue-tinted lighting radiates off of their bright white hair, skin, and austere costumes.
The National Ballet of Canada launched its 2009/10 hometown season on November 13 by reviving its long-serving production of The Sleeping Beauty, first staged for the company in 1972 by former Soviet defector and ballet superstar Rudolf Nureyev.
A capacity audience at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre opera house gave opening night leads Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté a justly deserved ovation. There was equal applause for those in supporting roles, notably Bluebird pas de deux couple Sonia Rodriguez and Keiichi Hirano and for Principal Fairy Bridgett Zehr.
When ABT went on a tour to Beijing last month, Pointe asked corps member Katherine Williams (our "Dancer Spotlight" subject from June/July 09) to keep a diary of her experiences. Here's what she wrote: