5 Things We Learned from "city.ballet." Season 2, Episode 1
Season 2 of "city.ballet."—the AOL On series that gives an insider's look at New York City Ballet—is live now! We're recapping one episode per week. Watch all 12 at dancemagazine.com.
It's baaaaack! We couldn't get enough of the first season of "city.ballet."—drama! intrigue! pretty feet!—and have been eagerly awaiting round two, which finally, finally premiered yesterday.
NYCB soloist Lauren Lovette in a still from "city.ballet."
Corps Stories, the first episode of the second season, follows some of New York City Ballet's greenest dancers. Here are five things we learned form the ep.
1) There are 52 corps dancers in NYCB. FIFTY-TWO. Just in the corps. This company does not mess around.
2) Unity Phelan is the cutest ever. The 19-year-old corps member is just so happy to be in NYCB, and that makes us happy, too. "When I walk into the studio in the morning, I feel like a puppy!" she says. Most dancers complain about packed rehearsal schedules, but when Phelan has a long day, she thinks, "I get to dance so many ballets today!" D'aww. We also get to see her rehearse one of her dream ballets, George Balanchine's Agon, which is totally fascinating.
3) Corps dancer Harrison Ball lives like a monk. He isn't your average 21-year-old: His apartment has no TV, no AC and (gulp) no wi-fi. Dude is intense.
4) He also has the world's chillest, most adorable cat. Schmoop!
5) And he's come up with a very apt metaphor for the dancer's love-hate relationship with ballet. "Ballet is a person to me," he says. "I spend my whole day with this person. It can be so loving and embracing. But it can be mean sometimes, too. I fight with it, I fight against it. Sometimes I just want to choke it." Amen.
Click the image below to watch the first episode of "city.ballet." season two!
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?