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Commemorate 9/11 With This Poignant Dance Film

September 11, 2001, when a series of deadly terrorist attacks shook the nation, was one of the most painful days in American history. We all have different ways of commemorating the anniversary of 9/11, but one of the most moving tributes is New York City Ballet's "New Beginnings" dance film.

Released on September 12, 2013 (12 years after the attacks), "New Beginnings" honors the resilience of a city that endured great tragedy. Shot in the early morning hours, it features principal dancers Maria Kowroski and Ask la Cour performing the tender pas de deux from Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain. With the New York City skyline in the background, and One World Trade Center as a focal point, the poignant performance reminds us of our humanity and helps us to "never forget."

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Enter the World of the Knicks City Dancers with 2 of Their Newest Rookies

Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer

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