This New Trailer Featuring Misty Copeland Has Us Counting Down the Days Till "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms" Hits Theaters
Misty Copeland as the Ballerina Princess in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Photo Courtesy Disney.
It's August—the sun is shining, summer intensives are winding down, and Nutcracker seems very far away. But this new trailer for Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is already getting us in the holiday mood. While this modern take on the classic holiday story, in theaters November 2, is not a dance film, it does include mega-stars Misty Copeland and Sergei Polunin as the Ballerina Princess and Nutcracker Prince.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is not all sparkles and candy. The film pulls from the ballet's darker, eerier roots, E.T.A. Hoffmann's 1816 "Nutcracker and Mouse King," although the storyline has been changed. Clara (played by Mackenzie Foy) is on a quest to find a key to unlock a box holding a gift from her late mother, an accomplished inventor. Her search takes her through four realms that should sound familiar to any bunhead worth their salt: the Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, Land of Sweets and the ominous Fourth Realm, home to an evil Mother Ginger (played by Helen Mirren). Beloved characters Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) and the Sugar Plum Fairy (Keira Knightley) join Clara on her journey.
Liam Scarlett, resident choreographer at The Royal Ballet, choreographed the film's dance sequences. Copeland and Polunin, paired together for the first time, are joined by a group of 18 dancers from a variety of countries and schools. Bringing the well-known story to life on screen provides a whole different perspective for dancers for whom the ballet is second nature. Scarlett made his Nutcracker debut as one of Fritz's friends at age 11; Copeland danced Clara at age 13, only nine months into her ballet training. We'll keep you posted as more details on the film are released—in the meantime, join us in counting down the days until November 2!
Gabriel Figueredo in a variation from Raymonda. VAM Productions, Courtesy YAGP.
This week, over 1,000 young hopefuls gathered in New York City for the Youth America Grand Prix finals, giving them the chance to compete for scholarships and contracts to some of the world's top ballet schools and companies. Roughly 85 dancers made it to the final round at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater on Wednesday. Today, the 20th anniversary of YAGP came to a close at the competition's awards ceremony. Read on to find out who won!
After a string of ballet-company rejections, Jennifer Sydor (here in Laura Peterson's "Failure") found success in other areas of the dance world. (Stephen Delas Heras, courtesy Jennifer Sydor)
In her senior year at Butler University, Jennifer Sydor auditioned for more than a dozen regional ballet companies—and got a string of "no, thank you" responses. "I have an athletic build, and my movement quality isn't the typical ballet aesthetic," Sydor says. "But I'd been laser-focused on ballet. When I didn't get a ballet contract, I was heartbroken."
Her one job offer came from Kim Robards Dance, a small modern company based in Aurora, CO. After attending KRD's summer intensive, Sydor ended up accepting a yearlong position with the troupe. "I was relieved and happy to begin my career," she says. She's been working as a contemporary dancer ever since.
In the dance world, rejection is part of the package. That doesn't make it any more pleasant. But whether you didn't get the Nutcracker role of your dreams or you weren't picked for a job despite feeling like you aced the audition, you can emerge from even the most gut-wrenching "no" smarter and stronger.
Ballet West principal Beckanne Sisk as Kitri (Luke Isley, courtesy Ballet West)
Guess who's baaaaack?! Your resident Dance Spirit astrologers! And on the eve of the Youth America Grand Prix awards ceremony, we thought it was the perfect time to pair each zodiac sign with a variation commonly seen during the competition. After many painstaking hours spent researching, consulting the stars, and staring wistfully into the sky, we compiled our data and present you with the definitive list of each star sign as a YAGP variation! As we said last time, don't @ us if you're not happy with your pairing—the stars don't lie, baby!