Jennifer Stahl's blog

It seems like there's a point where dance critics have seen so much ballet that they forget to watch the performance. They've watched the same dancers and the same (or virtually the same) choreography so many times, their minds start to wander during a show. They find something onstage that bugs them, and think, "Aha! A brilliant idea for tomorrow's review."

 

David Hallberg is everywhere right now—from the Bolshoi and ABT to fashion magazines to TV. Today, NOWNESS.com, a luxury lifestyle website, premiered a new short dance film called "Hallberg at Work" featuring the ballet star in the ABT studios, performing a solo created for him by Marcelo Gomes. It's an intense, up-close five-minute clip that kind of feels like what would happen if Darren Aronofsky made a dance film...oh, wait.

 

What does it take for a dancer to become a dancewear designer? An eye for fashion—and a lot of sewing. Colorado Ballet's Tracy Jones, one of the dancers highlighted in Pointe's "Stars of the Corps" this issue, also owns her own skirt business, Tulips By Tracy. Enter our giveaway to win one of her skirts here.

 

What inspired you to start making skirts?

What you eat when you're injured can change how quickly you get back in the studio. In The Injury Diet: Foods That Heal in Pointe's current issue, Royal Winnipeg Ballet apprentice Emily Docherty shared how her stress fractures didn't get better until she looked at her nutrition. Now she pays close attention to her daily meals.

I've never met a dancer who didn't wish she had the perfect ballet body. But ballet is about making the most of what we do have—and directors understand that. During her interview for Pointe's June/July issue, Ballet BC artistic director Emily Molnar told writer Michael Crabb:

 

Who's ready for the Mariinsky Ballet to pop off their movie theater screen tomorrow? Ekaterina Kondaurova is! We love this pic of her in a tutu, tiara and 3-D glasses. She's starring in the James Cameron–produced live 3D screening of Swan Lake tomorrow. U.S. theaters will begin showing it at 6:30 pm. Check out fathomevents.com for ticket info and local listings near you.

Somewhere in the history of ballet, a rumor started that dancers weren't very smart. Luckily, there are plenty of brilliant ballerinas who prove that rumor wrong. Take, for example, Melissa Thomas, a former American Ballet Theatre dancer who just graduated from Columbia University with a degree in psychology. She's now planning to pursue a master's degree in social work and eventually practice clinical psychotherapy. But as she tells it, ballet not only gave her the discipline she needed to succeed in her second career, it also became a passion that will never leave her.

 

The Kennedy Center will be overrun with ballet dancers this week. The third Ballet Across America festival starts today, and it’s a truly national celebration: The three programs feature Richmond Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Sarasota Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, The Washington Ballet, Ballet Austin and Pennsylvania Ballet. Amy Aldridge, a PAB principal who performed in the festival’s first incarnation, is back to do Choleric in The Four Temperaments.

 

A dancer's relationship with her pointe shoes is so intimate, they become not just the tools of her trade, but extensions of her body. But have you ever thought about how they actually get made? This fascinating 2-minute video goes inside the London Freed factory to capture the makers performing their magic. See how they transform the raw materials into something a ballet dancer can depend on.

Is ballet's post-Balanchine choreography rut finally over? Roslyn Sulcas, a contributor to Pointe, argues today in The New York Times that it is. She points out that works by Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky and Wayne McGregor offer a completely new way of using the classical vocabulary.