Margaret Fuhrer's blog

All the ballerinas of the Paris Opéra Ballet are renowned for their crystalline precision, honed in the company's notoriously rigorous school. But Isabelle Guérin, an étoile with POB from 1983 to 2001, set an especially high standard for technical purity. The slow, mournful pace of Nikiya's death scene from La Bayadère lets us luxuriate in her flawless lines. Here's a recording of that solo from a 1994 performance in Paris. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

 

Beautiful National Ballet of Canada principal Heather Ogden seems to be artists' muse of choice these days. A few months ago, director Ben Shirnian and fellow NBC principal Guillaume Côté released a hypnotic video starring Ogden.

Choreographer and New York City Ballet soloist Justin Peck must be one of the busiest guys in ballet: Somehow he's dancing full-time while also creating what seems like a never-ending string of imaginative new works. His latest for NYCB, Everywhere We Go, premieres May 8. It marks Peck's second time using music by indie darling (and talented classical composer) Sufjan Stevens, and his first time working collaboratively with Stevens on a score.

Last night, I attended the final round of Youth America Grand Prix's New York City finals. Every year, I'm overwhelmed by the level of talent at the competition, and this year was no exception. There's nothing more exciting than spotting the stars of tomorrow, today.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet has been director-less for nearly a year. Longtime leader Benoit-Swan Pouffer, who shaped the company into an avant-garde powerhouse with a European accent, stepped down last May. Yesterday, however, it was announced that Alexandra Damiani will become Cedar Lake's new artistic director.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Jerome Robbins Dance Division has an astonishing collection of dance videos—more than 24,000 films, including hundreds of hours of ballet footage. Recently the library has begun digitizing its remarkable archives, and have even made some of those digitized films available online to the offsite public.

The most recent TED Conference, in Vancouver, Canada, recently came to a close. But the TED (technology, entertainment, design) organization—whose conferences feature all kinds of innovative presentations—isn't done sharing, as its slogan states, "ideas worth spreading."

There have been rumblings about Wendy Whelan's New York City Ballet retirement for a while now. As of this morning, it's official: The revered principal dancer will take her final bow with the company on October 18.

There's no word yet on what she'll dance for that last show, the culmination of three decades of extraordinary work with NYCB. Yet, however emotional that moment is guaranteed to be, this is just the end of one chapter in Whelan's remarkable career.

It seems like only a few days ago that Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev swept onto the international dance scene, bewitching audiences with their feats of daredeviltry. Yet it was back in 2006 that the pair made their breakout debuts as Kitri and Basilio in Don Quixote at the Bolshoi. They were babies, too: Osipova was 20 and Vasiliev, just 18. Here are a few exhilarating excerpts from that first performance. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland has been all over the news recently, promoting her revealing new memoir, Life in Motion.