Last night was the Capezio 125 Years Anniversary Celebration, and they put on one fabulous show. It was all in celebration of the dancewear company that Nigel Lythgoe (in his introduction speech) called “the Sopranos of dance.” And he’s got a point: Capezio probably sold you your first pair of pointe or tap shoes, but did you know that Salvatore Capezio opened his first store at the age of 17, and the company has been passed down within his family for five generations? Plus, every pair of shoes is handmade!
Capezio also knows how to celebrate in style: Stellar performances included American Ballet Theatre’s Misty Copeland and Jared Mathews, Momix, The Lombard Twins, Rock Steady Crew and The Rockettes. (Phew!) Here were some of my favorite moments:
* Is that a centipede? A scarily-long arm? No, it’s iLUMINATE, one of the most innovative new dance groups around. Perfectly timed lights keep you guessing the whole time. Check them out on "America's Got Talent" to see for yourself:
* Don’t you love when a bunch of boys come together to show off tricks, flips and flawless technique? Did I mention they were shirtless? The Bad Boys of Dance’s choreography to Queen and Michael Jackson music was red hot, and it was fun to pick out some of my favorite male dancers like Jakob Karr and Rasta Thomas.
* There’s nothing classier, sexier or jazzier than original Fosse choreography. Especially when it’s done by Broadway greats. Jennifer Dunne, David Warren Gibson and Dana Moore were flawless as they revived The Mansion Trio from Pippin. And, man, could they pull off those fishnets and high-cut leotards! Here's a great video from 1972:
* Broadway legend, Ann Reinking shocked us all by appearing to introduce Tommy Tune as the winner of the 61st Capezio Dance Award. Looking stunning in white, she brought back memories of the classically dressed Grace Farrell she played in Annie (pictured). Oh yeah, and only Tommy Tune could make a bright red suit look timeless.
* Some of the best moments were the out-of-the-blue cameos by dance celebs who made me smile. And Mandy Moore’s Break the Floor routine was full of them. Not only did it feature many of my favorite comp kids and teachers (they couldn’t even all fit onstage at once!), but TWitch and Nick Lazzarini also fought to be Moore’s dance partner. Before long, TWitch was stolen away by none other than “Dance Moms’” Abby Lee Miller! The audience went wild.
Thanks for a great night, Capezio! And thanks for all the shoes.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer