5 Things We Learned from "city.ballet." Season 2, Episode 4
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.
In Episode 4 of "city.ballet." we meet the newest dance power couple: Sara Mearns and Josh Bergasse. She's a New York City Ballet principal, he's the Broadway choreographer behind On the Town—it's almost like a true-life Romeo and Juliet (minus the whole dueling families and death stuff). Are you a fan of cute rom-coms? You'll love this one. Here are five things we learn in the ep:
1. Mearns spent eight months off recuperating from a very serious back injury. But watch out, ballet world: She says she feels stronger, freer and more confident in her dancing than she did before her injury. (And she looks simply amazing, too.)
Sara Mearns and Chase Finlay rehearsing George Balanchine's Mozartiana. Photo courtesy AOL ON
2. In the last year, things have moved pretty fast for Mearns. She started dating Bergasse, the two moved into a pretty great apartment together (um, hello, view!) and everything's going swimmingly.
3. It is possible to date a dancer. Mearns explains what makes it work: "He's in the dance world, but not in my dance world." That. Makes. So. Much. Sense.
She's even gorgeous simply drinking coffee on her couch.
4. When you date a choreographer, he'll make ballets for you. We see Bergasse creating a piece for the Dancers Responding to AIDS Fire Island Dance Festival starring none other than his main squeeze. It's full of old-school musical theater kicks, lifts and flips.
Mearns in Ratmansky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy NYCB)
5.There may be the pitter-patter of little feet (and not the tap dancing kind) in the NYCB studios someday. Mearns spills the beans on camera: She totally wants to get married and have a family with Bergasse. Oh, what's that? He might not know that yet? Well, now he does. (And from what we've seen of this couple's relationship, we doubt he minds.)
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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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?