The dance community in and around New York City is coming together to film an "It Gets Better" video. It's part of a global movement jumpstarted by the popular columnist Dan Savage to give young gay people messages about the potential of their lives, to inspire hope for teenagers who may be struggling with harassment.
Houston's dance scene is about to get a little richer. The newly-launched Vitacca Productions & Company will include a pre-professional troupe, a choreographic fellowship, outreach initiatives and commercial dance services for conferences, galas and other events. The company is led by Kelly Ann Vitacca, who serves as Dance Houston's creative director and worked as artistic coordinator for Houston Ballet. Renowned ballet master Phillip Broomhead, of The Royal Ballet and Houston Ballet, will be artistic advisor and ballet master.
Tired of eating the same old thing for breakfast every day? Try this simple but tasty recipe from Pointe's favorite dancer-chef, Shelby Elsbree of the Royal Danish Ballet. "I like to start my day with a 'breakfast of champions,' as my Dad likes to put it," says Elsbree. "Something that will keep me satisfied and energized for a full day of dancing."
Can stretching before class hurt your dancing? New science suggests it might. Yesterday, I listened to a recent interview on NPR’s Fresh Air program with The New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds, who just came out with a book called The First 20 Minutes. Reynolds explained that almost all research now suggests that stretching prior to working out is counterproductive: It causes your brain to think you're going tear the muscles.
Just in time for their Met season, American Ballet Theatre is launching its own iPhone app. I just downloaded it yesterday and am already addicted. You can browse through all of the company’s upcoming performances and learn who’s dancing which night. Contact the box office, add the show to your calendar and let all of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers know when you’re going. All of the company’s latest news is right at your fingertips, along with a continually updated archive of choreographers, composers, designers and ballets since ABT’s founding in 1940.
Pointe just launched its new iPad app! Download each issue on your tablet. Just like the print edition, the app will put you backstage and up close with top stars and choreographers. It gives dancers everything they need to succeed in ballet: tips on technique and artistry, intimate photos, audition advice from artistic directors, the latest fitness info, and more. This interactive version offers extra iPad-only videos and slideshows. Find it in the app store.
Haven’t nailed down any summer plans yet? There’s still time to apply to the Royal Academy of Dance’s two-week Performance Course, new to the United States this year. Instead of focusing on technique, the spotlight in this intensive shifts to choreography, with a number of dance professionals setting original work on the students. After a morning class, dancers spend their days learning everything from modern to musical theater pieces, which they then perform at the end of the workshop.
New York City's Steps on Broadway (with P3Productions) is putting together a new reality tv show that will follow the personal journeys of a handful of Steps regulars. They are currently casting dancers to film a reel to send out in hopes of getting picked up.
The producers want New York City-based dancers (ages 17 and up) of all genres. Any professional, student, retired dancer or dance teacher who makes Steps a regular part of their life is invited to apply. Filming will start this summer.
Ballet superstars don't get much bigger than Wendy Whelan and Desmond Richardson. This winter, the two inimitable dancers teamed up for a one-night-only performance in New Orleans to commemorate Richardson's last season as a performer with Complexions. If you haven't seen Jim Lafferty's gorgeous shots of their rehearsals in our April/May issue, you're missing out. This is one outtake we didn't have room for in the magazine, and I had to share it.
The word “character” in ballet can be used to describe a type of dance, such as the folk dances in Swan Lake, or the act of embodying role. At the "American Ballet Theatre: A Cast of Characters" event at the Guggenheim museum, the dancers performed excerpts from a range repertoire that ABT will presenting at New York City's Metropolitan Opera House this coming season, and spoke about their artistic process with panelist John Meehan, a professor of dance at Vassar College and former ABT studio company director.