As you know, French artist JR collaborated with New York City Ballet on 2014's Les Bosquets, a dance that combined ballet and jookin'. It was inspired by a housing project in Montfermeil on the outskirts of Paris—the epicenter of social and political protest in 2005.
I love JR's work. I'm totally obsessed with his Instagram and am consistently intrigued by his politically charged art works, which are often executed on an epic scale. That's why I'm so curious to see what his latest film is all about. Les Bosquets is inspired by the stage production of the same name, and it will premiere at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival on April 18.
So far, I can only tell you that it includes Lauren Lovette in a white tutu and pointe shoes, a ballet corps dressed in mod-ish pop art unitards (looking more like a scary army than a flock of swans), Lil Buck jookin' up a storm and buildings being demolished. How will all these elements be combined in a narrative that tackles racial inequality, poverty and the status of an immigrant in today's world? Who knows? But I'm excited to find out!
Plus, the gala dinner setup was gorgeous! (photo via NYCB)
For ballet nerds like me, there are few things more exciting than watching young dancers develop into beautiful, authoritative artists. Last night, New York City Ballet's spring gala opened with a work that let some of my favorite rising stars prove just how much they've grown up.
That'd be Christopher Wheeldon's Soirée Musicale, an alternately elegant and playful little ballet that gives nearly every cast member a moment in the spotlight. And what a cast it was!
We got Brittany Pollack, Lauren Lovette, Taylor Stanley and Chase Finlay, recently-promoted dancers I've followed since their apprenticeships. And then there were the newbies I've just begun to pick out of the corps: Sara Adams, Harrison Ball, Indiana Woodward and Peter Walker. Nearly all of them are under the age of 25—many have only been in the company for a year or two—but they danced with the confidence of seasoned pros. A special highlight came toward the end: a poignant, romantic pas de deux for Lauren and Chase that signaled what might be the beginning of a beautiful partnership.
The gala was packed with many other fun treats too, of course. There was a second premiere by Wheeldon, a pas de deux in homage to Jerome Robbins' West Side Story danced by the sublime Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild. There was the exhilarating nonstop acceleration of the final section of Robbins' Glass Pieces, featuring what seemed like the entire company. Queen Latifah stopped by to serenade Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar as they glided through Balanchine's "The Man I Love" pas de deux from Who Cares?. And Ashley Bouder and Andrew Veyette had a jaw-dropping "anything you can do, I can do better" competition in the cheeky Stars and Stripes pas de deux.
But it was those young, newly-minted stars that stuck with me as I left Lincoln Center last night. In a gala that was all about high-wattage brilliance, they shone brightest.
Congratulations to the gaggle of New York City Ballet dancers who were just promoted! No fewer than 11 of the company's finest are feeling pretty great today. Here's the rundown:
Adrian Danchig-Waring, Chase Finlay and Ask la Cour are now principals.
Lauren King, Ashley Laracey, Megan Lecrone, Lauren Lovette, Justin Peck, Brittany Pollack, Georgina Pazcoguin and Taylor Stanley are now soloists.
We're just about bursting with happiness for all of these lovelies—I mean, the list is basically a rundown of our NYCB faves. But we're especially glad for Miss Lauren Lovette and Mr. Taylor Stanley, our September 2010 cover stars, who we've been rooting for from the very beginning.
Just look how young and adorable they were at their cover shoot! And now they're all growed up. We feel like proud parents. *sniff*
(All photos by Erin Baiano)
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Olympic gymnast, recent Mirror Ball Trophy winner and all-around adorable human Laurie Hernandez has gifted us the most AMAZING holiday present of all time: a video of her stopping by New York City Ballet to learn a dance from The Nutcracker. 🙌
The video, shot by Teen Vogue, shows principal Lauren Lovette leading Hernandez in a barre warmup (along with other NYCB dancers) and then teaching Hernandez a bit of the Sugarplum Fairy's variation. Obviously Hernandez's technique isn't ballerina-worthy, but she's a great student and super eager to learn—it's clear her passion for dance is 💯. (She also SLAYS the #studiostyle game. Polka dotted tights?! Yes, Laurie, YES.)
Check out the full video of her visit below, including her final solo performance on the iconic David H. Koch stage at Lincoln Center. It's the gift that keeps on giving—replay to your heart's desire. (Seriously, it never gets old.)
Cue New York City Ballet principal Lauren Lovette in a behind-the-scenes video for Allure. Rather than talking about her shoe prep, she goes into detail about her foot prep. If you've taken a look, you might think that Lovette's banana feet don't need much maintenance. Think again! Even Lovette's drool-worthy arches require care and strengthening to get through the incredibly demanding roles she dances each night.
Check it out—you might pick up a few pro-tips for yourself!
When you hear "mattress ad," the first place your mind goes probably isn't "world-class ballerina." And yet: Airweave Mattress has tapped fabulous New York City Ballet principal (and choreographer!) Lauren Lovette for its latest ad campaign, and the result is beautiful.
It took us a minute, but the connection does make sense. Who depends on solid sleep more than a top-level athlete and artist, someone who needs both her body and her brain to be working at max capacity? And we have to hand it to Airweave for doing more than a hit-and-run–style campaign: Rather than simply taking photos of Lovette channeling Aurora on one of their mattresses, the brand posted a pretty extensive interview with the ballerina on their site, in which Lovette describes her career and talks about her pre-performance ritual. (Which, yes, includes serious sleep the night before.) There are also some pretty behind-the-scenes images of Lovette. All of which makes a visit to the site worth it, even if you're not exactly in the mattress market.
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Airweave frequently uses athletes to advertise its products (it's the official mattress supplier to Team USA), but it seems to have caught the ballet bug recently. Look what else just popped up on its Instagram page:
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Every July, New York City Ballet heads to Saratoga Springs, NY for their annual residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and every July, us members of the dance world watch in envy as NYCB company members' Saratoga photos start filling our Instagram feeds.
Sara Mearns rehearsing onstage at SPAC (Photo by Kyle Froman Photography)
They've got it all: Lake days! Home-cooked meals! Hikes through gorgeous meadows! Dancing their incredible rep on a giant, outdoor stage! And best of all, engagements! (Congrats to Chase and Lauren!!!!)
I can't believe this day has come! This girl @laurenlovette has been the love of my life since we met and I have been lucky enough to spend the past two years with her by my side making me the best man I can be and now she agreed to be with me for the rest of our lives. I am truly the luckiest guy in the world!
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Here are some of our favorite moments thus far:
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A photo posted by Ashley Bouder (@ashleybouder) on