Would you like to absolutely drown in beauty today? Yes? Of course you would. And we've got just the video for you: "Now More Than Ever," created by Ezra Hurwitz for the Ballet Across America festival, which is currently underway in D.C. The four-minute fantasia features American Ballet Theatre stars Isabella Boylston, Stella Abrera, James Whiteside, Marcelo Gomes and Calvin Royall III performing ravishing bits of choreography in, on and around the historic Kennedy Center.
There are gauzy, gorgeous ballgowns. There are beautifully unexpected uses of the KenCen's opulent spaces. There are worshipful shots of these extraordinary dancers doing extraordinary things.
It's irresistible. Just luxuriate in it. And D.C.-area friends, be sure not to miss the Ballet Across America programs, which are curated by two complete unknowns named Misty Copeland and Justin Peck.
Big ballet news today! American Ballet Theatre just announced a transatlantic "dancer exchange."
OK, yes, when I first heard that, I started hyperventilating a little. Were any of my darling ABT people going to be, uh, "traded" to some European team?
But fear not: This exchange is for a few guest performances only, giving audiences on both sides of the Atlantic a taste of world-class dancers they may have never seen before.
Here's how it's going to go down:
This June, Royal Ballet principal dancer Steven McRae will perform as Lankendem in ABT's Le Corsaire, and this July, Royal Danish Ballet principal Alban Lendorf (he's AMAZING, guys) will dance Prince Désiré in ABT's Sleeping Beauty. That's round one.
Then for round two, in December, ABT will send principal Cory Stearns to the Royal Ballet and soloist Isabella Boylston (one of our favorites!) to the Royal Danish Ballet, to dance in their respective Nutcrackers.
Anyway, sounds pretty nifty, right? And if you're not familiar with any of these great dancers, check out our slideshow below!
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If you're a devoted Jennifer Lawrence fan—and if you're not, really, we're not friends—you've probably noticed that J. Law has been in Budapest recently, filming her new ballet spy movie Red Sparrow. If you're also a devoted Isabella Boylston fan—and if you're not already, you need to be—you've probably noticed that the American Ballet Theatre principal has also been hanging out in Budapest for the past few days. And she posted an Insta shot of her partnering with ballet bad boy Sergei Polunin, one of Lawrence's Red Sparrow co-stars.
A photo posted by Isabella Boylston (@isabellaboylston) on
Sooooo what does that all mean? It means that, as IMDB confirms, Boylston is Lawrence's dance double for the film. Which is, obviously, FABULOUS news. With Polunin and Boylston on board, it's pretty much inevitable that Red Sparrow will include some spectacular dancing.
Here's another tantalizing tidbit: Last week, one Mr. Justin Peck posted some gorg shots of— yup—Budapest. Sure, it could just be a coincidence. But Sergei Polunin and Isabella Boylston doing Justin Peck choreo in a major motion picture? YES. YES PLEASE.
Sparkles? Check. Elegance? Definitely. Three of our favorite dancers? You bet.
There are a million and one stories about dancer style, but fewer opportunities to see dancers shine as models—a different undertaking altogether. In these glowing images from Allure, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater II member Courtney Celeste Spears are almost unrecognizable—but in the best possible way. They all look like seasoned editorial models.
Of course, we're not surprised that a dancer's poise would come in handy during a bona fide fashion shoot, and we've already seen Boylston and Mearns in video campaigns. But there's something special about a great editorial shot for print, and now these ladies have us wishing for a tutorial to recreate their great looks.
Here's Boylston in a collab with Saks and Manolo Blahnik:
And of course, Mearns has slayed in two different Cole Haan campaigns.
We love, love, love it when fashion magazines do right by dance. And it's hard to do righter than Elle magazine's "The Movement" series—a collection of videos in which top-level dancers talk about their journeys and give intimate performances showcasing their talents.
"The Movement" isn't confined to a single dance genre; it includes stars from the worlds of ballet, tap, modern and commercial dance. And Elle lets each artist choose the topic of conversation in her video, which makes the clips deeply personal. They're more than just gorgeous—though, yes, they're definitely gorgeous, too.
We hear tapper Chloe Arnold talk about how she broke into tap's "boy's club":
American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston discusses dealing with criticism:
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Rachel McLaren talks about learning to embrace her body:
And commercial dancer Jessica Castro gives advice to aspiring professionals in "a letter to a young dancer":
Yes, Elle, YES. Watch the whole series here.
There's nothing cooler (or more fascinating) than getting the inside scoop on a prima ballerina's life. What does she eat before a performance? What's her favorite workout? Does she have any guilty pleasures? Any pre-performance rituals? We need. to. know.
Thankfully, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is dropping tips everywhere these days (and just in time for #MotivationMonday). Boylston is currently ABT's youngest principal and debuted as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, just last week. So basically, when she doles out advice, we listen!
This week, she talked with The New Potato. The biggest takeaway? This ballerina loves her food. More precisely: her pasta (yes, girl!). "My favorite pre-show food is pasta," she says. "If I’m on the road, I’ll order some spaghetti from room service. After a show I’ll eat anything—a burger, steak, fish, or more pasta!"
Isabella Boylston outside the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. (photo via The New Potato)
Boylston also dishes on her post-rehearsal routine, saying she doesn't work out much outside of the studio, but that she always makes sure to roll out her muscles with a foam roller and takes hot bubble baths with Epsom salts. And for curing those pre-show jitters? "My biggest pre-show ritual is listening to music and drinking coffee. I always get really nervous before a big show, so it helps me stay in a positive state of mind," she says. "Sometimes I take a hot shower at the last minute before I go onstage to get my blood going–and I give my rings to my dresser, Tomoko, for safekeeping."
Plus, Bolyston's biggest piece of advice: "Don’t limit yourself. You can do whatever you set your mind to, as long as you don’t let fear or worrying about your perceived shortcomings get in the way of working towards your goals."
Inspiring, right? Head over to The New Potato to read even more about the principal and have a fabulously motivated Monday!
When non-dancers see a ballerina nail the role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, they're impressed. But when those of us who know dance see the same feat, we're totally, completely astounded. Because we understand how incredibly difficult it is just to SURVIVE the role's insane technical demands—let alone to develop a nuanced interpretation of one of ballet's most complicated characters.
That's why Cosmopolitan's interview with American Ballet Theatre principal (/style icon) Isabella Boylston about her Odette/Odile journey is especially fun for us insiders. OK, no, we don't need things like its explanation that fouettés are "quick spins while whipping a leg." But it is interesting to hear about the intensity of the rehearsal period that led up to Boylston's first shot at the role back in 2011—the hard work that resulted in her Swan Lake success. (And it was definitely a success. Girl is a BEAST.)
#sautdechatGOALS: Boylston as Odette in Swan Lake (photo by Gene Schiavone)
For example: At a showcase performance shortly before her debut, Boylston wasn't able to finish the Black Swan fouetté sequence—so she drilled those fouettés like crazy in the following weeks, working on them every day in the studio to ensure that she'd have no problem killing them onstage. And I especially love this fun fact: Boylston spent many of her precious hours of downtime at the New York Performing Arts Library, watching archival footage of past Swan Lake performances for inspiration.
Basically, the article is yet another reminder that looking like a superhuman onstage is the result of many, many hours of very human effort offstage. Read the whole thing here. And if you're in NYC, be sure to catch Boylston dancing Odette/Odile with ABT at the Metropolitan Opera House this June.
Ugghhhh life is so unfair, you guys. Why is it that the most beautiful, most talented ballerinas are also—almost without exception—sartorially gifted, too? What is it about being a top-tier ballet dancer that gives you crazy fashion spidey senses? Is there some mystical connection between gorgeously archy feet and the ability to come up with effortless, perfect outfits mere mortals could never pull off?
I don't know. What I do know is that impossibly chic American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is my style spirit animal. And she recently shared her fashion secrets with Glamour magazine. And that makes me happy enough to see past the fact that I am SO JEALOUS OF HER LIIIIIIFE OMG.
Oh fer PRETTY. (photo by Katie Friedman for Glamour)
There's nothing especially earth-shattering about her advice—skinny jeans and t-shirts are always great, you can find serious gems for basically no money at thrift stores, cool leggings are completely acceptable street attire, dressing up is AWESOME when you have designer friends who can create gowns for you—but that doesn't make it any less fun to read. And the accompanying photos, naturally, are fantastic.
Go drool over the whole story here. You're welcome.