Paula Lobo, Courtesy Matt Ross PR

It was only a matter of time before dance super couple Sara Mearns and Joshua Bergasse did a major project together.

After all, the newlyweds first met when Mearns, a New York City Ballet star, was being considered for a part on the TV show "Smash," which Bergasse was choreographing. They hit it off, but the role ended up getting cut.

Fast-forward to today, and they're working on their first full-length musical together: I Married an Angel, which opens next week as part of New York City Center's Encores! season, with Bergasse as choreographer and Mearns as the star.

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Naomi Corti in William Forsythe's "Herman Schmerman." Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

When audience members opened their programs at New York City Ballet's revival of Herman Schmerman a few weeks ago, one name had everyone buzzing: Naomi Corti. Just an apprentice, she was dancing a featured role alongside principals and soloists in William Forsythe's challenging, go-for-broke choreography. How was this going to go down?

Quite well, actually. Despite a nasty fall at the beginning of the ballet, 18-year-old Corti held her own next to castmates Sara Mearns and Unity Phelan—and didn't hold back during her solos and partnering sections. When she stepped forward to take her bow, the audience cheered wildly; her reaction was a mix of shock and utter joy. Still, we couldn't help but wonder what kind of pressure she must have been under.

NYCB has a history of giving young apprentices big breaks. Current corps members Miriam Miller (as Titania in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Alston Macgill (in a featured role in Symphony in C) both had opportunities to shine during their apprentice years. So how does it feel to take on a big role so young? We talked to Corti to find out.

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If you follow New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns on Instagram, you'll have noticed that for the past several months, her feed has included wedding prep pics in addition to her usual performance posts and cross-training clips. This past weekend, the big day finally arrived, and Mearns married Broadway and television choreographer Joshua Bergasse in a dreamy beach ceremony in North Carolina.

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Gillian Murphy spent some time in Canada this summer. Image via Instagram @gillianemurphy

We'll admit it: As excited as we are for fall performance season to start, we are in deep, deep denial that the end of summer is in sight. And we're also experiencing some serious FOMO looking at the vacation photos flooding our Instagram feeds from some of our favorite dancers and choreographers. So where in the world do they go to unwind before gifting us with yet another season of incredible dance?

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Just for Fun
Because who doesn't want their feet to look as gorgeous as Sara's? (Photo by Christopher Lane)

Ah, the quest for the perfect, foot-flattering, technique-enhancing pointe shoe: It can feel like a never-ending saga. Still on the hunt for that ideal pair? Then you won't want to miss The School at Steps' annual Pointe Shoe Workshop and Fair, happening this Sunday, April 22nd, at 6:30 pm in NYC.

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Via @saramearns on Instagram

Matthew Bourne's dramatic ballet The Red Shoes, which earned rave reviews in England last year, is heading stateside this month. Based on the Academy Award–winning 1948 movie of the same name, the show follows the passionate aspiring ballerina Victoria Page as she tries to dance her way to the top, but ultimately must choose between her love of dance and the love of her life. Joining Bourne's company, New Adventures, as guest artists are New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns, who will perform the role of Victoria for select performances at New York City Center; and American Ballet Theatre principal Marcelo Gomes, who will tour with the company, dancing the role of Julian Craster in select cities. DS chatted with Mearns to see what the rehearsal process has been like, and how it's been different from preparing for a typical NYCB season.

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Back in 2014, Cole Haan recruited New York City Ballet's Megan Fairchild, Sara Mearns, and Gretchen Smith to help design a pair of ballet flats, and the results were stunning. Lucky for us, this is the collaboration that keeps on giving—and this time, with more familiar NYCB faces!

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Ashley Shaw in The Red Shoes (via New Adventures)

British dance fans are already in love with Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes: The show, which debuted across the pond last fall, earned raves from critics and two Olivier (London's equivalent of a Tony) Awards. Now, Bourne's Red Shoes—an adaptation of the iconic 1948 film—is about to embark on a North American tour. And some very familiar faces will be joining the cast.

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There's nothing better than when dancers design dancewear—they just get it, you know? From the materials, to the cut, and everything in between, they've figured out what works thanks to years of trial and error over their careers. So who better to team up with Só Dança than New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns?

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Olivia Malone for Allure

Sparkles? Check. Elegance? Definitely. Three of our favorite dancers? You bet.

There are a million and one stories about dancer style, but fewer opportunities to see dancers shine as models—a different undertaking altogether. In these glowing images from Allure, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater II member Courtney Celeste Spears are almost unrecognizable—but in the best possible way. They all look like seasoned editorial models.

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Dance and Fashion

Pulling back the curtain on tried and true ballerina habits never gets old. We've pored over the contents of New York City Ballet dancers' travel cases (Weird heating pads! Notes from fans!), drooled over American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston's amazing style, (Helloooo 70s flair!), received our daily dose of #fitspo from international ballerinas with enviable workout gear (Black and neon, together, forever.) and gone completely bonkers for the delicious diets of the women at the National Ballet of Canada (Homemade kombucha. 'Nuff said.).

Now it's time to whip out our notebooks once more, because New York City Ballet principals Sara Mearns and Megan Fairchild, along with corps member Gretchen Smith, have revealed what they eat in a day. Aside from being co-stars in two absolutely stunning Cole Haan advertising campaigns, these lovely ladies know what it takes to fuel their bodies for weeks of hard dancing. Check it out below, and the full story here:

 

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The fall ballet season is quickly approaching and bunheads everywhere are buzzing. While there's tons of exciting stuff going on, New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns as Odette/Odile in Peter Martins' Swan Lake is a definite must-see.

Sara Mearns giving it her all as Odile (left, with Jared Angle) and Odette (right) (Photos Paul Kolnik)

Lincoln Center's media team recently caught up with Mearns for a 10-question interview about everything from her rehearsal process to her experiences dancing in so many different choreographers' works. (She's done everything from originate a role in Justin Peck's Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes to perform the lead in countless Balanchine ballets.)

It's even more exciting as this is Mearns' 10-year anniversary as Odette/Odile—she hasn't stopped growing as an artist, so this time around is bound to be amazing. If you simply can't wait to see Swan Lake, check out this DS fave of Mearns and fellow NYCB principal, Ashley Bouder, in Swan Lake rehearsal:

Dance News

Last fall, Cole Haan and three New York City Ballet dancers—Megan Fairchild, Sara Mearns and Gretchen Smith—collaborated on a line of the most ballerina of ballet flats. We loved the results: adorable shoes and beautiful campaign pictures. What's better than seeing some of our favorite ballerinas jump around in big, glossy advertisements?

(From left) Gretchen Smith, Sara Mearns and Megan Fairchild modeling their ballet flat designs (Photo via Cole Haan)

Good news because not only are they keeping the collaboration going, but they've taken it to an entirely new level: "Prepare for Takeoff" guys! The campaign, which is promoting Cole Haan's ZerøGrand collection, once again features Fairchild, Mearns and Smith, but with an added twist–the trio is joined by two professional Parkour athletes, Jason Chu and Devon Spence.

The unstoppable "Prepare for Takeoff" group (Photo by Sebastian Kim for Cole Haan)

The whole thing was shot at the TWA Flight Center in Queens, NY, and Cole Haan made sure it had tons of elements: breathtaking photos of all five artists jumping, jeté-ing, chassé-ing and kicking, profiles on each person and an amazing behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot (check it out below!).

Dance News

Season 2 of "city.ballet."—the AOL On series that gives an insider's look at New York City Ballet—is live now! We're recapping one episode per week. Watch all 12 at dancemagazine.com.

In Episode 4 of "city.ballet." we meet the newest dance power couple: Sara Mearns and Josh Bergasse. She's a New York City Ballet principal, he's the Broadway choreographer behind On the Town—it's almost like a true-life Romeo and Juliet (minus the whole dueling families and death stuff). Are you a fan of cute rom-coms? You'll love this one. Here are five things we learn in the ep:

1. Mearns spent eight months off recuperating from a very serious back injury. But watch out, ballet world: She says she feels stronger, freer and more confident in her dancing than she did before her injury. (And she looks simply amazing, too.)

Sara Mearns and Chase Finlay rehearsing George Balanchine's Mozartiana. Photo courtesy AOL ON

2. In the last year, things have moved pretty fast for Mearns. She started dating Bergasse, the two moved into a pretty great apartment together (um, hello, view!) and everything's going swimmingly.

3. It is possible to date a dancer. Mearns explains what makes it work: "He's in the dance world, but not in my dance world." That. Makes. So. Much. Sense.

She's even gorgeous simply drinking coffee on her couch.

4. When you date a choreographer, he'll make ballets for you. We see Bergasse creating a piece for the Dancers Responding to AIDS Fire Island Dance Festival starring none other than his main squeeze. It's full of old-school musical theater kicks, lifts and flips.

Mearns in Ratmansky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy NYCB)

5. There may be the pitter-patter of little feet (and not the tap dancing kind) in the NYCB studios someday. Mearns spills the beans on camera: She totally wants to get married and have a family with Bergasse. Oh, what's that? He might not know that yet? Well, now he does. (And from what we've seen of this couple's relationship, we doubt he minds.)

Click the image below to watch the full episode!

Dance News

A good pair of flats can be a footsore dancer's bestest ally—and if they're cute, all the better. But adorable, comfy ballet flats designed by real ballet dancers? That sounds too good to be true.

Luckily for all of us, it's not. Cole Haan has teamed up with three New York City Ballet dancers—Sara Mearns, Megan Fairchild and Gretchen Smith—to create a line of beautiful ballet flats.

(From left) Smith, Mearns and Fairchild in the design studio (via Elle.com)

Naturally, the designs are all ballet-inspired, with sweet detailing like ribbons that crisscross up the heel and a print inspired by tutu tulle. Thanks to the input of Mearns, Fairchild and Smith, they're also super comfortable—dancers know what feet need, obviously. The cherry on top is that the collection launched yesterday, aka World Ballet Day. Cute!

I WANT I WANT I WANT

The shoes are available in two styles: the Avery En Pointe and the Avery Printed Tutu. Dirt-cheap they're not, but sometimes perfect shoes are worth the splurge—especially when they'll make your hardworking feet happy.

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