Dance News

...New York Magazine had to go and re-open that big bag of feels.

This week's issue of NYMag includes a gorgeous group of behind-the-scenes photos from Wendy Whelan's final performance with New York City Ballet. We see a little of everything: the three pairs of pointe shoes she wore during the show, her last bow, an emotional hug with her mom in her dressing room, an adorable moment from the speech her husband gave at the after-party. And each photo is accompanied by a lovely quote from Whelan.

Are you hunting for a box of tissues? Don't—because Whelan is so funny, and makes it so clear that these were all happy moments, that you'll end up grinning rather than crying. (On her husband's speech, for example: "[He] was talking about when we first hooked up and how I chose class over spending the morning with him having coffee. Argggh—too much information!")

Here are a few of our favorite images from the story. Click here to see the whole thing.

(All photos by Henry Leutwyler for New York Magazine)

One of Whelan's final bows

Pointe shoes from her last NYCB performance

A great big hug from her mom

Husband David Michalek talking early hook-ups at the after party

There's something about the onstage glamour and sparkle of ballet that makes peeks at ballet dancers' backstage lives extra thrilling. What goes on before they don those beautiful tutus? What's happening to the feet inside those shiny pointe shoes? Even as a former ballet dancer who pretty much knows the answers to those questions—i.e., ballet feet are kind of gross—I'm still fascinated by peeps into the wings.

You're probably already familiar with these gorgeous, high-gloss portraits photographer Henry Leutwyler took of the New York City Ballet dancers last year. But this past winter, Leutwyler went into the trenches with the NYCB dancers, following them through classes and rehearsals. He captured images of a grittier—if no less beautiful—ballet world.

His book of these photos, Ballet, comes out in December. Beginning tomorrow, the images are also on display at the Foley Gallery in New York. Here's a sneak peek at the collection, via New York Magazine.

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