Jennifer Stahl's blog

Heading to a performance after class? Showing up with pink tights and a red face is not your best look. Here's a funky trick to quickly bring your skin back to a calmer shade: Suck on an ice cube. Pressing ice to the roof of your mouth will constrict the blood flow in your cheeks, almost instantly reducing redness.

I wish Marcelo Gomes were my best friend. The man is a joyous ball of energy that I want to share mac & cheese with, and take out disco dancing on a Saturday night, and maybe swap some juicy gossip with while getting our toenails painted. So far, I've settled for simply watching his glorious dancing at ABT.

Most summer intensives are winding down this month. If you're looking to tack on an extra week, but want to do something a bit funkier than Giselle variations, check out BalletLab Chicago. The contemporary ballet workshop, led by choreographers Paige Cunningham Caldarella and Emily Stein, takes place July 30 to August 3 at Visceral Dance Center in Chicago. After morning technique classes, dancers will learn new choreography to be performed in an informal showing on the last day.

Put down the Pop-Tart. Loading up on healthy fuel in the morning will lead to much more productive day in the studio. Ballet Memphis dancer Stephanie Mei Hom, who loves to cook—and eat!—likes to wake up to a boost of nutrients and antioxidants. Here's one of her favorite breakfast dishes.

 

Super Food Breakfast


Ingredients:

1 sweet potato cubed

1/2 onion diced

1 clove garlic minced

1/2 bunch of kale chopped

Celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1 tbs olive oil
2 over-easy eggs

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."

 

Read the full interview here.

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.

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."

Where can you find Pointe covers adorning heavy machinery? The Gaynor Minden factory, of course. Apparently our December 2010/January 2011 cover featuring Alina Cojocaru in her signature Gaynors festoon the factory's walls and machines. This Eagle Tribune article about the building's new solar panels takes readers inside the space where the company produces around 100,000 pointe shoes a year. Alina would inspire me to make that many shoes, too.