The Ballet Boyz just might be Britain's coolest classical rebels. Former Royal Ballet dancers Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt broke off from that company in 2000 to start their own thing, choreographing a ballet for the two of them and Sylvie Guillem, launching an all-male troupe called TALENT, producing Darcey Bussell's farewell, creating a documentary about Christopher Wheeldon's work at The Bolshoi, collaborating on films with choreographer Russell Mailphant. They're remixed ballet into a truly 21st-century art form.
Healthy eating is always more fun when it comes in the form of finger food. Shelby Elsbree, a Royal Danish Ballet dancer and a prolific amateur chef, created this light and refreshing recipe: "I decided to try a spin on the summer salads I've been experimenting with this season, and came up with a fun way to serve one of my staple combinations."
Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Abigail Mentzer is a dancer's dancer. On top of her innate sweetness and lyricism, she also makes all the girls around her look good—in her handmade skirts. What started as a hobby four years ago has blossomed into a lucrative side business. This fall, Capezio's flagship store in New York will sell her Abigail Mentzer Designs in a trial run. Her skirts have done for dancers' bottom halves what Yumiko leotards did for the top.
Of all the legendary dancers Mikhail Baryshnikov partnered during his career, Liza Minnelli is not the first one you think of. But check out this amazing 1980 clip of the two performing "Too Darn Hot" from Kiss Me Kate. Unfortunately, they aren't scheduled to pull off another duet anytime soon. But they will have a reunion at NYC Dance Alliance Foundation's "Bright Lights Shining Stars" Gala on September 9.
The 2012 Princess Grace Award winners were just announced. The recipients in dance include Ballet West's favorite up-and-comer and "Breaking Pointe" star Beckanne Sisk, as well as Jamal R. Callender of Ballet Hispanico, Albert Gordon of The Washington Ballet School, Franco Nieto of Northwest Dance Project, Raymond S. Pinto from Juilliard and David Schultz from Hubbard Street. Student winners recieve a year's scholarship at their school; professionals have a year of their salary paid for by the Princess Grace Foundation.
For many dancers, the International Ballet Competition in Varna is the ultimate test of technique and artistry. In ballet, a gold from Varna is just as prestigious as all those medals Michael Phelps has hanging around his neck.
Good news for all aspiring ABT dancers: The company just annouced a new apprentice program. Each year, it will prepare six talented dancers to become apprentices with the corps de ballet under the guidance of ABT Studio Company artistic associate (and Pointe editor at large!) Kate Lydon and ABT ballet master Clinton Luckett. The dancers will train intensively for 10 weeks beginning in September, then dance as apprentices during The Nutcracker, and ABT's spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House.
Balanchine was the first to show off dancers' bodies in all their exposed glory with his leotard-and-tights ballets. These days, contemporary costumes offer even less coverage. Edgy ballet choreographers seem to be obsessed with bare legs right now. What's a dancer to do if she's got some dimples on the back of her thighs? Flush cellulite away by getting your body's lymph fluid moving with a few minutes a day in an inverted yoga pose—a shoulder stand, a head stand, even resting your legs up the wall. Anything that gets your feet above your heart will help.
Happy August! Our new issue is out, and it's chock full of great stories. My personal favorite to work on was The Dance Bag Diet in which top stars gave us a peek inside their daily snacking habits. Daniil Simkin turns out to be a bit of a cookie monster, Heather Ogden totes a grapefruit for the fresh scent it gives her bag, and Craig Hall likes to take a swig of water with peppermint oil before going onstage: “It’s like drinking a box of Altoids.”
For the second year in a row, Sacramento Ballet is teaming up with the Firefighters Burn Institute to create one hot 2013 calendar. Each month will feature a photo of a dancer and local firefighter partnered. The best part? You get to decide who makes the cut. Visit sacballet.org to vote for your favorite Sacramento Ballet dancers as many times as you want through August 10. Each vote is a tax-deductible fee of $2, and will benefit the Sacramento Ballet and the FFBI.