Glamorous Titania in George Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The imperious principal woman in Balanchine's Agon. These are the types of juicy, career-making roles veteran dancers aspire to—but a 19-year-old in New York City Ballet's corps has already put her distinctive stamp on both of them.
Happy National Dance Day, fellow dancers! We asked you the other day how you'd be celebrating our favorite holiday, and while it seems like a lot of you will be taking classes, performing and dancing anywhere and everywhere you can, we're here to suggest an alternative: Ballet binge-watching marathon, anyone?
Nothing's more frustrating than searching for a ballet on YouTube only to find a bunch of short clips. Well, we've done the hard work for you! Behold, our National Dance Day YouTube roundup of the best ballets presented in their entirety. Excuse us while we sit in a dark room with a bowl of popcorn for the next 8 hours:
1. Paris Opéra Ballet performing Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering
This beautiful, light and energetic piece by Robbins is set to a gorgeous Chopin piano score. The stunning étoiles of the Paris Opéra Ballet effortlessly dance their way through this technically demanding choreography—and they do it with grace, musicality and presence.
2. Paris Opéra Ballet performing George Balanchine's Agon
Another stunning display of artistry from POB. This Balanchine classic is widely considered to be one of ballet's most timeless, masterful works.
3. The former Kirov Ballet performing Swan Lake
Yulia Makhalina absolutely shines as Odette/Odile in this Kirov Ballet production of Tchaikovsky's classic Swan Lake.
4. Svetlana Zakharova and Roberto Bolle in Giselle
Superhuman Zakharova and her drool-worthy feet are picture-perfect in the Bolshoi's version of Giselle. Throw Roberto Bolle and his star quality into the mix and you've got an hour and a half of ballet brilliance.
5. George Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux
The sublime Darcey Bussell and Zoltán Solymosi dance Balanchine's 8-minute piece, filled with excitement, fish-dives and fouettés.
Pacific Northwest Ballet is performing in NYC this week, and I could. not. be. happier. Though I've loved this company (especially the amazingly amazing Carla Körbes) for ages, it's so rare that I actually get a chance to see them dance live.
But not this week. This week I get to see them twice.
The company's Wednesday night performance of three Balanchine classics—Concerto Barocco, Apollo and Agon—was nothing short of sublime (and you don't have to take my word for it). Tonight, I get to see the dancers in a totally different mode, in Jean-Christophe Maillot's cinematic Roméo et Juliette.
Not a PNB fan (yet)? These gorgeous photos from their Wednesday night show should make a convert out of you. Already a PNB die-hard? Well, you're welcome/happy Friday.
(All photos by Lindsay Thomas)
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