Ballet premieres are uniquely thrilling: The curtain rises, and suddenly you're watching a combination of music and movement and design that no one has ever seen before. It's pretty cool to see all the puzzle pieces come together in a single moment.
But fabulous as that is, ballet dancers know that the really interesting stuff goes on backstage, in the months before the glitz and flash of opening night. How do the choreographer and the dancers work together to shape the ballet? What inspires the costume designers? How does the orchestra figure out how to tailor its playing to the needs of the dancers? Knowing those nitty-gritty details makes watching the finished product an even richer experience.
Former New York City Ballet soloist Ellen Bar—the director of the awesome NYC-as-dance-playground film version of Jerome Robbins' NY Export: Opus Jazz, and currently NYCB's director of media projects (read: the brains behind their great video campaigns)—gets all that. She's working with NYCB to produce a documentary, Ballet 422, following the life of a new work, from its earliest rehearsals to the stage. Her subject is pretty nifty, too: the ballet Paz de la Jolla, choreographed by up-and-comer Justin Peck (who's also a NYCB soloist).
Bar and NYCB are running a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money needed to complete the documentary. Click here to find out more and donate to the cause.
(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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get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.
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