Dance News

Attention, bunheads! A new video is circulating the web, and it's a beauty. Dancing on Rough Ground highlights Anastasia Kurkova, who left the Bolshoi Ballet to join one of Germany's premier ballet companies, Staatsballett Berlin. (It's a part of the I Am Berlin film series—a sequel to I Am Los Angeles—featuring an assortment of people and places to offer a unique view of the city.)

To ballet peeps, the dialogue spoken by Kurkova in Dancing on Rough Ground isn’t all that new. She talks about the challenges familiar to most dancers—competition with others, slippery floors, learning discipline at a young age. But the clips of her practicing in the studio, rehearsing new choreography and warming up on stage are all well worth a watch. (Swoon.) Take a look:

Want to take a trip to Berlin now for the company's next performance? Me too. In the meantime, check out some ballet eye candy from other Staatsballet Berliners, and visit the site for more. There are a ton of pics—the best Tuesday present I can think of.

Photo ©Bettina Stöß

Photo ©Bettina Stöß

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

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