It happens every year now: After seeing many, many Nutcrackers over the course of November and December (one of the perks of being a DS editor!), January arrives—and Sugar Plums and Dewdrops totally disappear from my life. Before long, serious Nutcracker withdrawal sets in.
It's pretty funny that I feel this way, considering that from age 6 to 18—when I danced in hundreds of Nutcracker performances—I'd scream whenever I heard the Party March play over the mall speakers. I loathed Nutcracker then. The brutal show schedule, the screaming children in the audience, dancing Arabian and Merlitons and Snow over and over and over (and then over again)—it was a nightmare slog, a marathon that, I thought, ruined the whole holiday season.
But I've loved rediscovering the ballet as an audience member. It's strange to think that through my performing years, I only actually watched Nutcracker two or three times. I missed out on the glories of Tchaikovsky's score (yes, even when it's broadcast over those tinny mall speakers). I didn't understand the magic of the snow scene (which is much easier to grasp when you're not worried about inhaling paper snowflakes). And, preoccupied with my own youth ballet's choreo, I didn't bother to seek out other chroeographers' interpretations of the ballet. Getting to know Nutcracker as George Balanchine and Mark Morris and Alexei Ratmansky see it? That's been the greatest holiday gift of all.
So if I'm grumpy for the next few days, you know what to blame: I've got the Nutcracker blues, and I've got them bad. Just don't tell 16-year-old me.
Bunheads, talk to us: Are you going through Nutcracker withdrawal? Or do you never want to hear "Waltz of the Flowers" again?
Since the NYC premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream at American Ballet Theatre's spring gala Monday night, the DS editors haven't stopped talking about its creepy-cute sets and costumes, created by artist Mark Ryden. Well, the obsession is about to get even crazier, because we just heard that Ryden's artwork for the ballet is now on display in not one, but TWO locations in NYC.
Yes, yes, we know: Dancers are athletes as well as artists. But we haven't seen anything hammer home just HOW athletic dancers are quite as well as this video from Self magazine, which features American Ballet Theatre principal/fairy princess Isabella Boylston trying to teach top-level CrossFit enthusiasts ballet.
There's a reason Mia Michaels' nickname is "Mama Mia." The legendary choreographer invests deeply in her dancers, whether they're competitors on "So You Think You Can Dance," members of the Radio City Rockettes, or part of her own elite assistant squad. And now, Michaels is launching a project that aims to give more dancers access to her gifts as a teacher and mentor.
And that's a wrap on "Dancing with the Stars" Season 24, ladies and gents! It's certainly been one for the books. From injuries to shocking eliminations, let's just say Season 24 has had its emotional ups and downs. But despite all that, the season made for some seriously phenom dancing and some killer performances. And as usual, we've loved watching every second of those cha chas, foxtrots, and waltzes.
Let's get right to the exciting stuff, though: Last night's winning couple of "Dancing with the Stars" is...
Nearly 80,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.
Want a chance to get personally involved in the HOTLY anticipated TV show "World of Dance"? Of course you do. That's why J. Lo. and the rest of the "WOD" team have launched an interactive version of the upcoming NBC series that lets Snapchatters get in on the action.
On Saturday morning, Russell Horning—aka 15-year-old Instagram king @i_got_barzz—was already kind of famous. His admittedly bad but weirdly mesmerizing dance videos had earned him shoutouts from the likes of Rihanna (and dance tributes from the likes of Josh Killacky).
But by Sunday morning? By Sunday morning, Russell Got Barzz had reached an entirely different level of memedom. Because Katy Perry tapped the teen—signature backpack and all—to perform "Swish Swish" with her on "Saturday Night Live." And the internet lost its darn mind.