As dancers, we know how crazy things can get backstage before a show. But backstage before a show by the world-class American Ballet Theatre at the 3,800-seat Metropolitan Opera House? That's a completely different level of crazy.
The New York Times recently took a camera behind the scenes at the Met as ABT got ready for a performance of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream. They condensed the two-hour tour into a seven-minute video ("Don't blink," says a helpful caption)—and captured a little bit of all the different parts of the Met's bustling backstage world.
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.
It’s no wonder Misty Copeland is a role model for countless aspiring ballerinas. Misty didn’t take her first dance class until age 13, at the local Boys & Girls Club in San Pedro, CA. Her natural strength and flexibility, plus a killer work ethic, meant she advanced quickly, and in 2000 she joined American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company. Misty became a member of ABT’s corps de ballet in 2001 and was promoted to soloist in 2007. Not afraid to think outside the ballerina box, Misty toured with Prince in 2011 and has made numerous TV appearances, including in a Dr. Pepper commercial last year. Now her followers can find inspiration in her book, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, which describes the ups and downs of her journey, including what it’s like to be one of the few black dancers in the ballet world. Get your copy of Life in Motion via amazon.com and bookstores March 4—and read on for The Dirt. —RZ
Misty Copeland in La Bayadère (Photo by Rosalie O'Connor)
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?
What’s one thing you can’t live without?
Who would play you in a movie?
What’s your dream role?
Juliet...today. It changes all the time.
What’s the strangest thing in your dance bag?
Men's Cologne. I prefer it to women's.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
RULING THE WORLD. Just kidding. LOL. Retiring from dance, traveling, having a family, continuing to diversify classical ballet.
What’s your most embarrassing onstage moment?
Falling on my face—which I've done too many times.
What have been your proudest career moments so far?
Dancing Firebird, helping bring Project Plié to fruition.
What's your advice for Dance Spirit readers?
Surround yourself with people who will support you. It's OK to accept help and advice!
Every NYC Dance Project image feels like a glimpse into something greater: a dance that's happening behind a curtain, in a private moment. Take, for example, one of Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal dancer Céline Cassone's photos, a commanding shot of her on pointe in passé, her fiery red hair flung upward over her face. Or, the image of Misty Copeland that perfectly portrays both her incredible strength and her ineffable grace. NYC Dance Project's photographers have taken powerful photos of dozens of famous subjects. But what inspires their iconic images? And how do you capture such stunning shots?
World-class ballet dancers. An elegant, light-drenched setting. Black-and-white cinematography. A serene orchestral score. It never fails, guys: Give us these ingredients, and we'll watch your video on loop, forever.
Ken Browar and Deborah Ory of NYC Dance Project show their mastery of that beautiful formula in a new video, "The Art of Movement," created to promote their stunning new photography book of the same name. (Be sure to enter our giveaway!) For two glorious minutes, we get to see American Ballet Theatre's Cassandra Trenary and Daniil Simkin doing what they do best. The location—the enormous top floor of NeueHouse Madison Square—adds ambiance. But the focus remains squarely on these dancers' exquisite artistry.
So much pretty.
It's pure ballet bliss. Happy Friday, everybody.