In today's installment of "Hey, did you know that dancers are also incredible athletes?" news—a theme we'll never tire of, because it's SO DARN TRUE:
Have you seen the kind of fantastic new commercial from Uniqlo? It's an ad for their AIRism line of athletic wear, featuring lovely classical/commercial crossover dancer Sonoya Mizuno showing us just how movement-friendly the clothing is. (If Mizuno looks familiar, it's probably because you recognize her from High Strung—she played feisty sidekick Jazzy—or from the Wayne McGregor-choreographed Chemical Brothers music video she starred in earlier this year. Keep your eye on this one.)
The dance-world connections don't end there, either: Turns out American Ballet Theatre dancer and up-and-coming choreographer Gemma Bond acted as movement director for the shoot. Which explains why the whole thing looks so...right.
This isn't the first time Uniqlo has used a beautiful dancer in its ads. International ballet superstar Polina Semionova had her own AIRism campaign a while back—and also did a commercial demonstrating, in the most efficient way possible, just how stretchy the brand's ultra stretch jeans are:
I spent a while trying to think of a cleverer title for this blog. But then I gave up—because the plain facts of this story are awesome/crazy enough to stand on their own.
On August 30 in Berlin's botanical garden, a rare hybrid of the Rehmannia flower will be named "Polina S." after ballerina Polina Semionova. The Russian-born Semionova was formerly a principal with the Staatsballett Berlin, but she's guested with American Ballet Theatre for the past few years, and last year she joined the company full-time as a principal, so we've been seeing a lot more of her recently. If you're not a New Yorker or a Berliner, you probably know Semionova from that gorgeous music video that went viral a few years ago—and her recent ads for Uniqlo. Needless to say, she's exquisite.
I'm not quite sure why this flower-christening is happening, but I guess in a way it's natural to name a beautiful flower after a beautiful ballerina. (In fact, there's already a rose named for iconic prima Anna Pavlova!)
Here are the "Polina S." flower and Semionova side by side. What do you think?
Photo of Semionova by Stella del Monaco for Bloch
So, remember when New York City Ballet honored designer Valentino at a big gala that was attended by a gazillion movie stars, and it was awesome?
Well, American Ballet Theatre just announced the details of its Metropolitan Opera House gala this May, and it sounds like it's going to be equally glittery. Yay!
Providing the high-fashion connection is Christian Dior Couture, which is sponsoring ABT's gala. No word yet on whether or not that'll involve designing costumes for the ballets performed, but hey, at the least our favorite ballerinas will probably be decked out in some gorgeous Dior gowns at the dinner afterwards.
And what high-wattage stars will be attending? Honorary chairs Caroline Kennedy and Blaine Trump, for starters. But take a look at this honorary committee list: Kim Cattrall, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Stacy Keibler, Lea Michele, Kelly Rutherford, Zoë Saldaña, Ashlee Simpson, Aaron Sorkin, Stephanie Szostak and Uma Thurman. Straight A-list.
Finally, of course, there are the stars us nerds care about most: the company's principal dancers! And the gala cast list is enough to make your knees weak: Roberto Bolle, Herman Cornejo, Irina Dvorovenko, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Gillian Murphy, Natalia Osipova, Veronika Part, Xiomara Reyes, Polina Semionova, Hee Seo, Daniil Simkin, Cory Stearns, Ivan Vasiliev and Diana Vishneva. We haven't heard what they'll be dancing yet, but frankly even if they all just came out and stood next to each other onstage we'd be happy.
See you on the red carpet on May 13! Or, uh, no, we probably won't be walking the red carpet. But we'll definitely be stalking it. Close enough!
For most New Yorkers, the arrival of spring means long afternoons in Central Park, deciding to walk to the subway stop that's a few blocks farther away, eating brunch alfresco.
But for some lucky bunheads, spring means something else entirely: It's ballet gala season!
For a few glorious weeks in April and May, dance editors clutch their much-coveted single tickets and enter glamorous alternative universes: the Youth America Grand Prix gala, the New York City Ballet gala, the American Ballet Theatre gala. Yes, these glitzy events are opportunities to rub elbows with the sparkly people—ballet celebrities and celebrity celebrities both—and that's kind of fun. But they also feature a ridiculously high concentration of exciting ballet dancers onstage. How often do you get to see Ekaterina Kondaurova, Herman Cornejo, Misty Copeland, Tamara Rojo and Sergei Polunin on a single program (the YAGP gala)? How about an evening featuring nearly the entire NYCB roster, costumed by the likes of Rodarte and Gilles Mendel (last week's NYCB gala)?
Tonight is the ABT gala, and its lineup looks fantastic: nearly all the company's principals plus the likes of Polina Semionova, Diana Vishneva, Alina Cojocaru, Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev. I get a little shiver of happiness just listing all those names in the same sentence.
And though us editors don't even try to compete with the fancy people who'll make the best-dressed list, we still have a little fun with our outfits, too. After all, it's not every day that I have the opportunity to wear a floor-length pink silk skirt. Thank you, gala season!