This Week in Dance

Sometimes ballet can feel a bit like arithmetic: Turnout should stay at exactly 180 degrees, arabesque should rise to at least 90 degrees, fifth position should have zero space in between your toes and heels. But although there are certain marks we all aim to hit, the artistry in ballet comes from the limitless ways there are to get there.

 

On Saturday night, Kanye West premiered his epic 35-minute long music video for "Runaway." When he first performed the song earlier this year at MTV's Video Music Awards, he brought a trio of ballet dancers with him onstage, so I was super curious to see how he'd incorporate dancers into his much-anticipated mini movie.

 

After years of trying to develop a beautiful line in ballet, and watching my fellow dancers try as well, my eye is trained to unconsciously look for ballet lines. I see them everywhere: in architecture and nature, in the way light plays off of buildings, in fountains and even random trash piles that resemble the famous Dying Swan pose.

Wondering about what your ideal post-dance dinner should be? Curious about which cross-training strategies are best for your body? Head to New York City Ballet's Dance Wellness Workshop tomorrow at the company's rehearsal studios in New York.

 

A master class can be many things: It can be a source of inspiration, a networking opportunity, the key to a new technical revelation, or simply an awesome time with an amazing dance celebrity. Manhattan Movement and Arts Center is offering a master class with the singular New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan next Monday from 7:30 to 9 pm. She will be teaching an Intermediate/Advanced level class. The fee is $20 (or $17 professional rate). Register here.

There's not a single ballet dancer I know who doesn't have a love/hate affair with her pointe shoes. Her artistry depends on her shoes never letting her down. But while they can give her the strength and support to find freedom onstage, if she doesn't have the right fit or doesn't understand how to use them, her shoes will simply be an endless source of blisters, bruised toenails, Achilles tendonitis and more.

 

When I daydream about Antony Tudor, I instantly picture his signature works: Leaves Are Fading, Dark Elegies and Jardin Aux Lilas. But with successful creation comes clear instruction; something I often forget when “cooing” over great choreography.

 

To drum up excitement for Fall for Dance (which starts tomorrow!) City Center gathered iMixes from a handful of the participating companies. Check out the songs that New York City Ballet's Teresa Reichlin, Robert Fairchild, Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle chose for their mix here. They have an awesome collection of Billy Joel, Vampire Weekend, The Clash and more. You can catch the dancers performing Ulysses Dove's Red Angles on Thursday and Friday this week.

 

As a ballet dancer, one of the last things you ever want to hear is a doctor or physical therapist tell you to take time off from dancing. You think, “There’s no way I’m doing that. I’ll be so out of shape!” However, sometimes it’s unavoidable. You just can’t dance, and you need to take a break to get better.