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.
As dancers, we thrive on that ability to transcend the normal and become someone (or something) else on stage. It places us among the lucky few people who have the opportunity to experience that intangible freedom of another world.
When I was at an ABT summer intensive years ago, one of my teachers told our class that the most thrilling pirouettes aren't the tazmanian devilishly fast spins, but they are the slow, smooth turns that look like they're effortlessly in control. This made a huge impact on me because up until that moment, I had always been trying to speed up my pirouettes to make them look more impressive—and also because immediately after listening to this bit of wisdom I performed my first quadruple pirouette on pointe.