Margaret Fuhrer's blog

One of the things we love most about Black Swan is that it gets all the little details right--down to the practice clothes. Nina and Lily's refined leotards are exactly the sort of chic, understated pieces real ballerinas would wear. That's unsurprising, given that dancewear superstar Yumiko designed the leos especially for stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.

You have to wonder how much experience Petipa actually had with swans. They're elegant and graceful, yes--but they're also mean, hissy, scary even. The male swans of Matthew Bourne's wildly popular Swan Lake hit much closer to the mark, in that respect, than Petipa's tutu-clad flock. Bourne's beastly birds are seductive and arrogant--about as far from damsels in distress as you can get. Instead, they're symbols of freedom and empowerment. Bourne's Prince doesn't attempt to rescue his Swan--the Swan rescues the Prince.

Oh, ballet dancers: We're nothing if not perfectionists. From our first class we're programmed to eliminate flaws--or at least camouflage them.

Ah, summer in NYC's Central Park: Sun, fun and--hundreds of girls in pointe shoes? That was the delightfully incongruous scene this Monday, August 2nd as hundreds of ballerinas gathered in the park in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for "Most Ballerinas on Pointe at One Time." (The previous record of 220 was set at the Youth America Grand Prix last year.)  American Ballet Theatre's Craig Salstein and Michele Wiles led the attempt, which was the brainchild of former ABT trustee Ellen Schiavone and well-known dance photographer Gene Schiavone.

 

The New York City Ballet spent its winter season tackling Big Story Ballets: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Night's Dream. So when I entered the David H. Koch theater last night (right before Sarah Jessica Parker, no less!) for the company's spring gala, I was anticipating--OK, eagerly anticipating--a return to balletic abstraction, to sleek unitards and challenging music and movement for movement's sake.

It seems like ballet dancers have been popping up in all kinds of fashion spreads these days! First we noticed a few of ABT's most beautiful men in the February issue of Elle magazine, lounging at the ABT studios with model Nataša Vojnović (and some JKO School students). Then New York City Ballet soloist Ellen Bar appeared in a gorgeous gown in J. Crew's March catalogue.

Have you ever had a moment of epiphany while watching a dance group perform--a realization that if you were a professional dancer, you'd want to make that company your home? Because that's exactly what happened to me last night at The Joyce Theater. As I witnessed the awesomely versatile members of the Lyon Opera Ballet tackle three wildly different stylistic worlds--those of Merce Cunningham, William Forsythe, and Maguy Marin--I couldn't help but think, I wish I were up there with them.