As an editor at Pointe, sometimes I feel like a kid in a candy store. I’m constantly surrounded by all things ballet, I’m able to see some of the best performances and I get to meet many of the dancers and artists I idolized when I was growing up. I know that I am one incredibly lucky bunhead. So as I stuff my face with turkey and pumpkin pie tomorrow, here are a few of the top ballet-related things I will be thankful for.
1. This performance of The Royal Ballet’s Marienela Nunez in Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto. I think the word sublime might have been invented to describe Nunez’ dancing in this ballet.
2. The rumble roller. Yes, I know it looks like a torture device. But just find one and lie on it. Your body will thank you.
3. Rosine Bena. The first true ballerina I ever saw, my first ballet teacher and the first person who made me understand the meaning of artistry.
4. Cedar Lake. I sometimes wish I lived in Europe so that I could see all of the innovative work they produce in a continent where arts funding and forward thinking are simply more plentiful. At least I can get a taste of that through Cedar Lake, which brings such amazing choreographers as Ohad Naharin and Hofesh Shechter to stage work here in New York.
5. The smell of a brand new pair of pointe shoes. Dance Magazine‘s editor in chief Wendy Perron first pointed out to me how delightful it is to stick your nose inside a box (before it’s been worn, that is).
6. Christopher Wheeldon’s After The Rain. The hauntingly beautiful pas de deux, set to Arvo Part’s Spiegel im Spiegel, brings me to tears every time.
7. Kirov Ballet second soloist Ekaterina Kondaurova. I think I would be entranced by her movement even if she were simply frying an egg. Luckily though, the Kirov casts her much more breathtaking movement by Forsythe and…
8. Alexei Ratmansky. When people like Jennifer Homans declare that ballet is dead, I am so thankful we have choreographers like Ratmansky to prove them dead wrong.