Need something to cure your back-to-school blues? Oh, have we got you covered. Or, rather, Dutch National Ballet has got you covered: They've created the world's first-ever virtual reality ballet, Night Fall, in collaboration with &samhoud media and Chester Music. And you can watch it right now on your very own smartphone.
What is a virtual reality ballet, exactly? It's a dance work created specifically for VR, designed to be viewed not from a single perspective, but from any angle—360 degrees of beautiful ballet goodness. Choreographed by Peter Leung, Night Fall is a bit of a classical mashup, inspired by the "white acts" of both Swan Lake and La Bayadère. That dreamy premise works especially well with the otherworldly VR experience: As you explore the fantastical piece, you feel completely transported.
The easiest way to watch Night Fall is on your phone, using your fingers to navigate the 360-degree experience. But for the especially motivated/technologically inclined/fancypants of you, there are two more immersive options: using Cardboard with the YouTube mobile app, or using the Samsung Gear VR headset. Dutch National Ballet has even provided handy instructions for those advanced viewing methods.
Watch Night Fall below—and then check out DNB's fascinating "making of" video, which includes interviews with Leung and principal dancer Anna Tsygankova.
(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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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