Updates from Rockette Lindsay and Mystere Dancer Arnaud
Arnaud is working hard onstage and off to meet the everyday demands of performing in Mystère.
Arnaud Betrand has enjoyed the last few weeks of perfect performances of Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. “We are all on cue and working hard,” he says. “All the shows have been great and we’ve had some amazing audiences.”
For his role as the Green Lizard, he spends a majority of the show close to the ground, using his arms just as much as his legs. With a whopping 10 performances each week, it’s essential for Arnaud to stay in top form and maintain his technique and strength. He starts each day by weight training. “At the gym I only lift weights, because I get a huge cardio workout during the show,” he says. Arnaud also takes one ballet, modern and Pilates class each week.
Arnaud celebrated his one-year anniversary in the Mystère cast in December. Reminiscing about his first days with Cirque, he says, “I was very careful in my first performances,” adding that being one body in a 72-member cast with tons of entrances and exits meant quickly replacing his new-to-the-cast nervousness with concentration. “I had to think hard about my staging, and the other artists’ staging,” he explains.
Arnaud’s free time is spent checking out a few new clubs in the Las Vegas area; however, his social life hasn’t been keeping him out too late. “I have really been resting and being good to my body,” he says.
Fit to Begin
By Laura Teusink
Radio City Rockette Lindsay Howe revs up for rehearsals.
On October 10, Lindsay Howe moved from Sacramento, CA, to Manhattan for the Rockette season. This year she got her own apartment about a 20-minute walk to Radio City Music Hall. By the time her cast (the Gold group) started rehearsals on November 5, the Blue group had already opened the show.
There are two Rockette casts (Blue and Gold) because there are too many performances for a single line to do. The Gold cast does primarily afternoon and evening shows, while the Blue cast does morning and afternoon shows. On one cast’s day off, the other cast performs all of the shows, and vice versa.
In preparation for rehearsals Lindsay had an hour-long appointment during which she met with the Rockette physician and a physical therapist as part of a “day of health” to aid in injury prevention during the hectic winter season. “My knees have been bothering me, so [the physical therapist] gave me some exercises I could do to make them better,” she says. The physical therapist prescribed Thera-Band exercises for her knees and stretching for her IT (iliotibial) band, an area that tends to get tight when dancing Rockette choreography in heels.
Lindsay also had an appointment with the wardrobe department. “My fitting was really easy this year because I have all the same costumes from last year,” she says. Certain elements of her costumes, like the spats for her Santa shoes and the marabou on her green opening-number costume, were refurbished to give them a fresh look. “The model costume is my favorite,” she says. “With all the rhinestones and the dip-dyed effect, it is very girly and fun. You also get to wear the white wig and that is fun, too.”
Well, this brings class videos to a whole new level! Choreographer Phil Wright and dancer Ashley Liai have been together eight-plus years, but she was still in total shock when he proposed to her mid-dance at Millennium Dance Complex earlier this week. Why? Well, the whole thing was unbelievably perfect.
In the dance industry, dancers don't always have a say in what they wear on their bodies. This can get tricky if you're asked to wear something that compromises your own personal values. So what should you do if you find yourself in this sticky situation? We sat down for a Q&A with "Dancing with the Stars" alumn Ashly Costa to answer that very question. Here's what she had to say about the options dancers have surrounding questionable costumes.
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽
Guys, we all knew this was coming—"World of Dance" was eventually going to eliminate someone. But man, is it brutal to watch these talented dancers give their all, only to be sent home. It's the name of the game, though, and after last night's episode, only two dancers per division remain. (At least Misty Copeland guest-judging was a silver lining!) Here's what went down last night: