Matthew Bourne's dramatic ballet The Red Shoes, which earned rave reviews in England last year, is heading stateside this month. Based on the Academy Award–winning 1948 movie of the same name, the show follows the passionate aspiring ballerina Victoria Page as she tries to dance her way to the top, but ultimately must choose between her love of dance and the love of her life. Joining Bourne's company, New Adventures, as guest artists are New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns, who will perform the role of Victoria for select performances at New York City Center; and American Ballet Theatre principal Marcelo Gomes, who will tour with the company, dancing the role of Julian Craster in select cities. DS chatted with Mearns to see what the rehearsal process has been like, and how it's been different from preparing for a typical NYCB season.
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.
The dual part of Odette and Odile in Swan Lake is THE role, the one every trina dreams of from the moment she first dons a leotard. It's also insanely difficult to perform, challenging even the most elite ballerinas with its multifaceted demands.
So what's it actually like to dance Odette/Odile? A new short film from American Ballet Theatre goes behind the scenes with three Swan Queens—principals Misty Copeland and Isabella Boylston and soloist Devon Teuscher—to find out.
We often call dancers superheroes, but rarely do we mean it literally. Today, though, we do: American Ballet Theatre's Gray Davis is a superhero.
The 31-year-old corps member was waiting for the train at NYC's 72nd Street Station on Saturday night with his wife, soloist Cassandra Trenary, who'd just performed in The Golden Cockerel at the Met Opera House. When they saw a woman push a man onto the tracks, Davis jumped down after him, risking his life to lift the man to safety.
What's one of the most important differences between ballet dancers and "normal" athletes? Misty Copeland says it best: "We're working like professional athletes are, and most of those athletes have state-of-the-art buildings and the environment they're in is very high end. We don't get the same funding and things like that as professional athletes and teams. So it's difficult."