Paris Opera Ballet Kickstarts Season With Audience Participation

YOU CAN DANCE: Audience participation is not usually part of the deal when you go to the ballet, but the opening gala of the season at the Paris Opera set out to shake up traditions.
Guests were invited to join the Paris Opera Ballet on stage at the ornate Palais Garnier, where they were led by dancers to perform a waltz. In their colorful evening dresses, the untrained participants stood out from the sea of tuxedo-clad dancers.
“We weren’t given any indications whatsoever,” said music producer Pedro Winter, who was the only male picked to go on stage. “The dancers guided me through touch and by maintaining constant eye contact. It turned out to be pretty instinctive in the end. You just let go.”
It was all part of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s “Decadanse,” an electrifying performance featuring 31 dancers. The first act, an energetic group choreography to the tune of Goldfrapp’s “Black Cherry,” gave an indication of the unusual evening to come.
Russian prima ballerina Diana Vishneva and Aurélie Dupont earned rapturous applause for their “Boléro” pas de deux, wearing black asymmetrical costumes designed by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. Dupont, who retired from dancing in 2015, succeeded Benjamin Millepied as director of the

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Peaky Blinders creator in talks over ballet version

Steven Knight, who created the hit Brummie gangster drama, has plans for three more series.
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Review: City Ballet Salutes Jerome Robbins, a Master of 2 Realms

New York City Ballet’s gala showed Robbins’s Broadway and ballet sides with world premieres by Warren Carlyle and Justin Peck.
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Madonna to Direct Ballet Biopic ‘Taking Flight’ About Michaela DePrince

Madonna will get in the director’s chair again with the forthcoming film “Taking Flight,” a drama based on the life of Sierra Leone-born ballerina Michaela DePrince.
MGM began developing the film in 2015 after acquiring the rights to Michaela and her mother Elaine DePrince’s memoir “Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina.” The book follows Michaela’s life from an orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone to her adoption in the U.S and her journey to becoming a professional dancer.
“Michaela’s journey resonated with me deeply as both an artist and an activist who understands adversity,” Madonna said in a statement first published in Variety. “We have a unique opportunity to shed light on Sierra Leone and let Michaela be the voice for all the orphaned children she grew up beside. I am honored to bring her story to life.”
The screenplay was written by Camilla Blackett and producers include Alloy Entertainment’s Leslie Morgenstein and Elysa Koplovitz Dutton along with Ben Pugh and Madonna’s longtime manager Guy Oseary.
Many know DePrince from the 2012 ballet documentary “First Position.” She was adopted at age four and taken to the United States by Elaine and Charles DePrince. She landed her first professional job at age 17 in

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Team to Lead City Ballet During Martins Sexual Harassment Probe

Four New York City Ballet veterans will take over the responsibilities of Peter Martins during an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment.
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Rag & Bone Designs Costumes for American Ballet Theatre

Rag & Bone is dipping a toe into the world of dance.
The sportswear label, helmed by Marcus Wainwright, has teamed with choreographer Benjamin Millepied to wardrobe two new works for the American Ballet Theatre’s fall 2017 season.
Millepied, founder of L.A. Dance Project and formerly director of the Paris Opera Ballet, has created a stage piece for ABT’s annual David Koch Theater fall run, as well as a public work to be performed on the theater’s Philip Johnson-designed promenade. Both pieces are set to premiere on Oct. 25.

Principal dancer Herman Cornejo with Henri Zirpolo, senior designer for women’s ready-to-wear at Rag & Bone. 
Courtesy Photo

Millepied noted of his wardrobe requirements for his public piece, aptly named “Counterpoint for Philip Johnson”: “For the work in the public spaces I wanted to see the dancers in street clothes. Rag & Bone felt like the right company for that — their clothes are so contemporary. I’m not trying to create another world; I wanted something more realistic. The piece meant to be done in street clothes wanted that natural street quality to it.”
The piece is accompanied by a Steve Reich score, featuring a cast of 24 dancers — all styled in Rag & Bone street looks.
For

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Spandau Ballet begin search for new singer

Spandau Ballet say they are hunting for a new singer after long-time vocalist Tony Hadley left the band.
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Review: In Bolshoi’s Ballet, No Shrew to Tame

Jean-Christophe Maillot’s version of Shakespeare’s comedy is a postmodern mess that replaces the troupe’s reckless hugeness with slapstick cuteness.
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Off-White, Monse to Design Costumes for New York City Ballet

New York City Ballet will soon mark the sixth installment of its Fall Gala, with costumes by an unconventional group of designers.
Monse’s Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, Off-White’s Virgil Abloh, Tsumori Chisato and Jonathan Saunders have been paired with choreographers, working in tandem to create original works set to premiere at the Sept. 28 event.
Monse will work with New York City Ballet principal dancer Lauren Lovette to create costumes for her second choreographic work for the company. Chisato has been paired with NYCB resident choreographer Justin Peck. Abloh will design costumes for a new piece by choreographer Gianna Reisen. Saunders — designing ballet costumes independently of DVF, where he is chief creative officer — has been paired with NYCB soloist Troy Schumacher, who is creating his third choreographic work for the company.
Sarah Jessica Parker has reprised her role as the gala’s event chair. The fashion gala was conceived by Parker in 2012. Each year, the actress, designer and producer wrangles fashion designers for the costuming task. Past participants have included Thom Browne, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Carolina Herrera, Marques’Almeida, Valentino, Olivier Theyskens and Dries Van Noten, among others.
Music for the fashion gala’s 2017 iteration includes the work of composers

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Cover Story: Eric Underwood, the American Star of the Royal Ballet

He prepared for his life’s work by dancing with his mother at home to Al Green and Marvin Gaye.
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Cole Haan Enlists Justin Peck to ‘Choreograph’ New York City Ballet Campaign

Dancers from the New York City Ballet, along with company choreographer-in-residence Justin Peck, are lending an animated touch to Cole Haan’s newest campaign.
Peck, flanked by corps de ballet member Gretchen Smith and principal dancers Amar Ramasar, Megan Fairchild and Sara Mearns, leap and bound in branded GIFs and still images — portraying the brand’s Grand Evolution, Grand Motion and Studio Grand collections.
Cole Haan has worked with Smith, Fairchild and Mearns since 2014. The campaign marks its first partnerships with Peck and Ramasar.
Peck noted that the GIF medium proved challenging to choreograph. “It was a little tricky, especially the shots that involved all five of us — it was a really great challenge. The GIFs are super fun to make, we ended up kind of learning as we went because GIFs have very short windows of time to display movement. We had to find the right pacing of movement so it looked fluid and coherent.”
The choreographer is in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., for the company’s annual residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. This summer he will spend time in San Francisco to work with the San Francisco Ballet while also workshopping movements for the Broadway revival of “Carousel.”
For Ramasar, the Cole

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Bolshoi Denies Gay Theme Forced Postponing of Nureyev Ballet

The Bolshoi said the show needed work, but the cancellation prompted immediate accusations that the theater was bowing to Kremlin pressure.
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When Ballet Is Your Life, What Does Life After Ballet Look Like?

For a generation of ballerinas, Wendy Whelan was a walking goddess. The former New York City Ballet principal dancer joined the company at 17, and was quickly singled out for promotion and praise. She served as a muse for multiple then-up-and-coming choreographers and would go on to have more new ballets made for her than any other dancer in the company’s history. She became the defining American ballerina of her generation.

All the while, she says in a new documentary, she was asking herself, “What the fuck is it going to be like when I can’t do this any more?”

In 2013, she found out.

At the time, Whelan was 46 years old, which is all but ancient by ballerina standards. Ballet is so punishing on the body, and the standard demanded by top companies so high, that most women peak by their 30th birthdays and retire not long after. When Misty Copeland was promoted to the top rank of American Ballet Theater in 2015, it was a bittersweet moment: she’d been promoted at last, but at the age of 32, she probably didn’t have many dancing years left in her. Whelan, whose professional ballet career lasted three decades, was truly an anomaly, a ballet institution who outlasted some of her younger colleagues by years.

By 46, she noticed that she was being cast in fewer ballets, including, to her chagrin, the iconic Nutcracker, in which she’d been dancing the role of the Sugarplum Fairy for years. Her boss, Ballet Master Peter Martins, hinted that it might be time for her to move on. And then, her hip started hurting.

The documentary “Wendy Whelan: Restless Creature” finds Whelan preparing for surgery to repair a labral tear, which has made even walking across the stage an agony. She travels to Vail, Colorado, and puts herself in the hands of one of the world’s best hip surgeons, whose walls are covered in the jerseys of the pro athletes he’s treated. This is the man people see when they need to get back in the game, she explains. She needs to do just that, she says, especially since “I don’t have a ton of time left at my game.”

”Restless Creature” shows us Whelan’s recovery from the surgery (after first showing us the surgery itself, in rather gruesome detail), and her return to New York to contemplate what comes after ballet. She gets off crutches, returns to the ballet studio and begins to branch out into contemporary dance, hoping that it will be less brutal on her body. But it soon becomes clear that her body can’t take a return to ballet in addition to her ambitious plan to create a contemporary dance program and tour it all over the country. She has to focus on ballet for what little time she has left before retirement becomes inevitable.

Throughout the film, Whelan consults her former colleagues, all of whom have already retired. She asks them: How did you do this? How did you walk away from the only job you’ve ever had, the thing you’ve been working toward almost since you could walk? Who are you when you’re a ballerina who can’t do ballet any more?

Career paths out of ballet are notoriously narrow. Dancers usually skip college, and even the end of high school, to devote themselves to dancing in their late teens and early 20s, which means that when they retire from dancing, they’re out in the job market without an entry-level degree. Some dancers go on to teach or coach, and some to choreograph, though the latter path is often even less stable, predictable or lucrative than being a dancer. Some go into ballet-adjacent work, like dance photography. Some will be picked to run companies; Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Washington Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet are all run by alumni of the New York City Ballet or American Ballet Theater. But there are only so many ballet companies to run, and turnover at the top can be infrequent.

Besides, as Whelan explains in the film, she hadn’t made a plan for her post-ballet life; while some of her colleagues were setting themselves up for the next step, she was busy just … dancing.

At its core, “Restless Creature” is a film about grief. We watch as Whelan comes to the realization that her career is ending; that she’ll soon lose the structure of morning class and rehearsal and performance that have defined her days for decades; that she’ll leave behind a large piece of herself, and her identity, when she leaves the Lincoln Center stage for the last time. She moves through the stages of grieving, showing the camera very little anger, and the film ends with her farewell performance in October 2014, which featured yet more new works made just for her.

Now, she’s “really close to the end” of that grieving process, she told HuffPost in a phone interview. She didn’t go to the ballet for a while after she retired, but, she says, now she can go “and not feel pangs in the same way. I’m really happy about that. I can watch works that were made for me and feel a separation, and I’m really glad about that.”

She’s still performing. Her collaboration with the cadre of contemporary choreographers she assembled at the end of her time at City Ballet has toured around the country, and she opened the Joyce Theater’s spring season this year. She’s started coaching other dancers, and recently set a piece by Alexei Ratmansky with Pacific Northwest Ballet — meaning, she learned every step and movement of the ballet and then taught them all to the dancers at that company.

In her new life as a contemporary dancer, she says, her body and her mind have begun working differently. “I’ve let my body soften,” she says. “I’ve let it relax. There’s a lot of anxiety in the ballet world and nervousness,” but in contemporary dance, she feels more grounded. “There’s this calmness that I didn’t have in ballet because I was always up so high on my toes. For me there’s a parallel between how I was dancing and how I was feeling.” After decades of sewing ribbons onto pointe shoes every night, she now rehearses in socks, or bare feet, or canvas ballet flats.

Her new role allows her far more artistic control than she had as a ballerina. She chooses who choreographs on her, she designs programs, she wields far more power than she could as a dancer — something most ballerinas never get to experience before or after they retire. It took some getting used to. “I was so comfortable with my ballet power, my dancer power, that to have a voice, the comfort with having a voice, is slower to come to me,” she says. “I’ve always had a point of view, but to be in the front of the room, I didn’t move into a front of the room position until I retired, and that was really slow. “ While contemporary dance sees more women at the front of the room — running rehearsals instead of dancing in them — than classical ballet does, there’s still an enormous gender imbalance. Most dance companies are run by men, and most choreographers (even those with whom Whelan now collaborates) are men.

Above all, Whelan doesn’t plan to stop dancing, even if she’s not dancing ballet anymore. After she retired, she had a full hip replacement, which she says left her totally pain-free. She says that good genes and “great energy” in her family gave her a body that took easily to dance and was able to keep dancing long after most people have to stop, “a lucky body, not a great body.”

Still, she’s no longer on the regimented rehearsal schedule of a principal ballerina, and when asked what she most misses and least misses, she answers both questions the same way: “I really miss dancing all day long,” she says. “But something I really love is not dancing all day long. I love that I can’t rely on dancing all day long to stay creative.” After the heartbreak of leaving her old self behind, she’s found that she didn’t need it as much as she thought, or feared.

As for the beautiful and cruel ballet slippers that she put on her feet every day for almost 40 years, the bodily extensions that are synonymous with the ballerina, does she miss those? “Sometimes I miss being en pointe, but not a whole lot,” she says. “Every once and a while I would love to float for a minute on a shoe. But for the most part, I did it long enough that it’s OK.”

”Wendy Whelan: Restless Creature” opens June 9th and will be in limited release.

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Ballet Hispánico Is Giving Latino Artists A Voice They Deserve

A small number of residents from Manhattan’s Upper West Side gathered in a community garden on Tuesday to watch as members of Ballet Hispánico posed for a photo shoot. The dancers were dressed in the costumes they’ll wear onstage at the Joyce Theater later this month, where they’ll be performing three works by Latina choreographers, all of whom are women. 

Founded in 1970, Ballet Hispánico defines itself as a community-building institution dedicated to exploring the diversity of Latino culture, involving dancers and choreographers from Venezuela, Cuba, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia in a mix of classical, Latin and contemporary dance. This year, its New York Season will not only celebrate the depth of expression found in the various corners of Latin America, it will shine light on the women creating art in a traditionally male-dominated field.

“Ballet Hispánico was born out of the need to give voice to Latino/Latina artists at a time when they did not have a strong presence in mainstream performing arts,” Eduardo Vilaro, the artistic director of Ballet Hispánico since 2009, told The Huffington Post. Today, the company is taking its mission a step further, by choosing to honor the female choreographers who are seizing positions of leadership in dance: Michelle Manzanales, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Tania Pérez-Salas.

“It is imperative that we nurture and give voice to those who may not have opportunities within the field,” Vilaro added. “By nurturing and celebrating the work of these Latina artists, Ballet Hispánico hopes to contribute to the process of making the dance field more equitable.”

Vilaro’s sense of duty to marginalized voices is heightened, he says, by the company’s 46-year legacy in New York City. Since the 2015 opening of Ballet Hispánico’s Arnhold Center on 89th Street ― with its unmistakable banners and open windows ― the organization has embarked on a five-year plan to nurture its relationship with the neighborhood it calls home. It’s doing so by hosting free performances, outdoor events and Hispanic heritage celebrations. Judging by the public’s captivation upon seeing dancers like Melissa Fernandez and Lyvan Verdecia leaping in front of a nearby parking garage, local interest is pronounced.

“The photo shoot certainly underlined the magic and richness of culture that Ballet Hispánico brings to the Upper West Side,” Vilaro added. “It is our duty to continue this legacy and build upon it as we navigate the terrain of today’s immigrant and race relations and the new challenges that our communities face.”

Ahead of the company’s April 18 debut at the Joyce, HuffPost’s Damon Dahlen ventured to the Upper West Side to photograph members of Ballet Hispánico in the familiar spaces just beyond its front doors. Check out images of Fernandez, Verdecia and other members of the company paying tribute to their neighborhood in the best way they know how: through dance.

Ballet Hispánico’s 2017 New York Season at the Joyce Theater will take place April 18-23, featuring “Con Brazos Abiertos” by Michelle Manzanales, “Línea Recta” by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and “Catorce Dieciséis” by Tania Pérez-Salas.

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Behind The Tutus, Ballet Is A Boys’ Club. This Ballerina Wants To Fix That.

Ballerina Ashley Bouder is crying. She’s standing alone in a rehearsal studio in front of 20 or so dance journalists and several funders of her small self-titled ballet company, and she’s crying. And I’m pretty sure it’s my fault.

She’s just finished showing us a snippet of pas de deux that she choreographed, and that she’ll perform in just over a week’s time with her fellow New York City Ballet principal dancer Andrew Veyette. The entire evening of dancing is devoted to women choreographers and to women composers. In over 15 years of dancing with City Ballet, Bouder tells the assembled crowd, she’s danced works by about 40 choreographers and can count only seven women among them. She can’t name a single woman composer whose music she’s danced to ― not a single one.

Which brings us to why Bouder is crying. I’ve asked her why it matters to her that more women be allowed to choreograph ballets. What does gender have to do with it?, I ask, channeling the purportedly gender-blind proponents of pure, context-free meritocracy. Ballet is ballet, right? Does it really make a difference if it’s made by a man or a woman?

She takes a deep breath, and begins to answer, her voice breaking before she can get more than a few words out. “I think a lot of it is about telling little girls that they can. I have a daughter. As a kid, I was told that I can’t, a lot. For me, to have my voice be relevant, and for people to listen, is really important. To say what I have to say, even if they don’t like it. I get to say it.” The room erupts into applause, and Bouder wipes her eyes and nods, her short brown ponytail bobbing.

Bouder joined the New York City Ballet at the age of 16, after spending a year in its feeder school. As a member of the corps de ballet, she was soon assigned soloist roles, and quickly promoted to the top rank of principal. For nearly half her life, she’s been dancing in one of the world’s best ballet companies, the keeper of the flame of founding choreographer George Balanchine, whose vocabulary of movement and once-avant garde style long ago became synonymous with American ballet.

Bouder describes herself as a “Balanchine ballerina,” and is admired for her mastery of quick footwork and speedy jumps. Where other ballerinas seem to drape themselves, long and languid, over choreography, Bouder appears to throw herself at it with staccato precision. After watching her attack turns and balances, you wouldn’t be surprised to find that she’d pierced a hole in the stage floor with her pointe shoe.

The lion’s share of choreography performed by City Ballet is by Balanchine, who died in 1983. In his absence, other choreographers have added to the repertory he built with help from Jerome Robbins. Current Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins, and choreographers Christopher Wheeldon and Justin Peck, in particular, have left their respective marks on the company. You’ve probably noticed one thing those choreographers have in common: They’re all men.

The dearth of women choreographers has confounded parts of the dance world for some time: every few years, the debate over the overrepresentation of men in the ranks of top-tier choreographers, particularly in classical ballet, comes to a new boil before simmering down again. It’s not only choreography where women get short shrift. The ballerina may be the visual symbol of the art form, but behind the scenes, the levers of power and creative control are largely pulled by men. The overwhelming majority of companies in the U.S. are helmed by male artistic directors, and the choreographers they tap are mostly creating work set to music by male composers.

But a few years ago, the debate heated up again when City Ballet performed a program entitled “21st Century Choreographers,” featuring work by a handful of young modern ballet dance-makers, every single one of them a white man. The poster was jarring in its uniformity, and people took notice. “How can an art form be alive,” Dance magazine asked, “when it excludes so many?”

“Women bring a point of view that men don’t have,” Bouder tells me later in a phone interview. “But it doesn’t have to be anything particularly different to the table. It’s about having an equal voice to express our opinions and our feelings, too.” She says that because she’s in a position of power ― a top-tier dancer at a top-tier company, with a sizeable fan base and following. She wants to use it to speak out about inequities in the ballet world. “People will listen, and I think choreography by women just needs to be seen and heard.”

Starting this week, she’s also walking the talk. The Ashley Bouder Project is teaming up with New York Jazzharmonic for an evening of women-created works: two new ballets, both choreographed by women and set to music by women, and the revival of a Susan Stroman ballet set to music by Duke Ellington. They’ll all be danced by Bouder and her friends from City Ballet, including several fellow principals.

Other, more established companies have begun to put on similar programs. Pacific Northwest Ballet presented one last year, and the Cincinnati Ballet just announced that in their upcoming season, eight out of 15 choreographers whose work will be performed are women, five of whom are presenting world premieres.

Bouder hopes that City Ballet will be more conscious as it crafts its programs and picks choreographers, too. The pale male poster fail “was a big turning point,” Bouder said. “It’s not like any of those choreographers on that poster of five white men didn’t deserve to be there. They’re all talented, they all have great voices, and they’re creative and their ballets are good. But it’s really shocking when you go past the poster and you see five men who look almost identical in their black-and-white headshots!”

Negative media coverage of the homogenous programming had an effect, she notes: the next fall season the company performed works by two women, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and principal dancer Lauren Lovette. “That was wonderful,” Bouder said. “There was a response to that criticism and that public outcry of ‘Where are the women?’” She hopes the small uptick in the inclusion of women isn’t a flash in the pan or a short-lived trend. “We’re such a big company, and people really follow the example of the New York City Ballet, so I hope they will continue to foster the contributions of women in the company. I hope that continues, and I think that it will.”

Boulder says that companies have a responsibility to help close the gender gap in choreography, long before it comes time to craft an all-women or women-heavy program. “I think that special attention needs to be paid, especially in places that foster creativity and choreography, to fostering those young female choreographers and giving them a little bit more attention,” Bouder said. “A little more of a chance to develop, and listening to them a little more when they’re young and say they want to choreograph.” The New York City Choreographic Institute, which is affiliated with City Ballet and has trained many of today’s leading ballet choreographers, should heed her advice: their list of alumni is almost comically male-dominated.

Though companies have a role to play, Bouder points out that some of the inequities that make it easier for men to be creative and to start learning to choreograph early are built into the fabric of the art form. For dancers in the corps, “when a lot of people are young and they have ideas and they want to do things,” the workload for women is heavier than it is for men. In most ballet companies, because of how ballets are structured, women perform more than men. “You put on a ballet like [Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht Ballet] and there’s one guy and, like, 20 women. [Editor’s Note: It’s actually 24.] At New York City Ballet, our guys dance a lot more, but the women do far more than they do. Even if there are guys who are on every night, there are women who are on in three ballets every night. Which means more rehearsal time, too, during the day. Which means less creative time.” Even women’s stage makeup takes more time, Bouder notes, and so does breaking in and sewing ribbons on to pointe shoes, which professional ballerinas must do on a daily basis. In her early years, Bouder says, “I was on stage every night and then I had to go home and sew my pointe shoes. You’re just preoccupied.” Creativity requires time, and men have more of it than women do.

You need more than time to be bold and take risks — you also need a culture that gives you permission to do it. And Bouder says that boys in ballet are far more likely to get that than girls are. Because girls outnumber boys in ballet schools as well as in companies, she explains, they’re held to a higher disciplinary standard. “There are so many little girls that they need to almost weed them out, the ones who are serious and the ones who aren’t.” So, she says, “you have to be perfect, not only in class but in attitude and decorum and you have to fit in and be quiet. And the boys in some cases are allowed to just get away with murder … but it doesn’t matter because they’re just trying to keep them in the class and keep them dancing, because you need boys to partner the girls.” This means more freedom outside of the studio, too. “And they’re allowed to be creative and they’re allowed to try things, and girls are not. They can just do whatever as long as they keep showing up.”

And then, the boys become men, and they get to make the ballets and run the companies? I ask. That seems like a pretty raw deal for the women. Bouder agrees. “It’s really unfair when you’ve spent your whole life playing by the rules, only to be stifled.” 

Bouder became a mother last year, shortly after a video of her doing an eye-popping pirouette combination while almost nine months pregnant went viral. She wasn’t back to full dancing strength in time to work with the two women choreographers whose works were performed at City Ballet this season. So she’s taking matters into her own hands. “I feel like I’ve gotten to the point in my career where I can get a message out and people will listen and maybe I can make a difference…. So that it doesn’t have to be this way. I want to be a voice for that, and I also want to be an example of someone who is actively trying to make a difference.”

Bouder says that having a daughter has changed the way she thinks about which voices get heard, and which get silenced. And it’s also made her more daring outside of the studio and offstage. “Having my daughter just makes me braver,” she says. “It makes me want to step out and do the things that I hope she has the courage to do.”

The Ashley Bouder Project will perform with New York Jazzharmonic Friday, March 17, and Saturday, March 18, at Symphony Space.

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Ballet Shoe in Heart – Pink Juliet Charm Bead Bracelet

Ballet Shoe in Heart – Pink Juliet Charm Bead Bracelet


Silver Tone Ballet Shoe in Heart Juliet Charm Bead Bracelet. Silver Tone, hand enameled charms. Charm size is approx. 0.75 x 0.64 x 0.13 inches (HxWxD) including loop. Triple Silver Plated Bracelet: 7-8.5 Inches Adjustable. Our European Style Charm Bracelet has a second lobster claw for personalizing with new charm beads. Bracelet is compatible with other large hole beads. Fits non-threaded beads with a hole size of 4.5mm or greater. Bracelet Colors Available: Red, Yellow, Lime Green, Teal, Royal Blue, Light Pink, Hot Pink, White, and Black. PLEASE NOTE: Our products are lead safe, but are not intended for children 14 years and younger.

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So, How Did I Do?: This City Ballet Dancer Has a New Role: Being Bad

How does Sara Mearns, often in the good-fairy role, portray an evil witch? “I didn’t want to come out screaming like a crazy person,” she said.
NYT > Arts

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Party Coverage: Scene City: Opening Ceremony Swaps the Runway for the Ballet Stage

The fashion world turned out at the New York City Ballet on Saturday to see costumes designed by Humberto Leon for Justin Peck’s “The Times Are Racing.”
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Kidorable Ballet Rain Boot

Kidorable Ballet Rain Boot


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Rehearse, Ice Feet, Repeat: The Life of a New York City Ballet Corps Dancer

We followed Claire Kretzschmar, a rising member of the corps de ballet, for one exhausting week. She gave new meaning to the idea of being on your feet all day.
NYT > Arts

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Dance Class Women s Spilt Sole Soft Leather Slip On Ballet Shoes

Dance Class Women s Spilt Sole Soft Leather Slip On Ballet Shoes


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AlpineSwiss Calla Womens Ballet Flats Ankle Strap Shoe Classic Ballerina Slipper

AlpineSwiss Calla Womens Ballet Flats Ankle Strap Shoe Classic Ballerina Slipper

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Getting Started in Ballet: A Parent’s Guide to Dance Education

Getting Started in Ballet: A Parent’s Guide to Dance Education


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AlpineSwiss Calla Womens Ballet Flats Ankle Strap Shoe Classic Ballerina Slipper

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Dance Class Women s Spilt Sole Soft Leather Slip On Ballet Shoes, 6

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Child’s Black Ballet Slipper

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Alpine Swiss Lilly Women’s Ballet Flats Pointed Toe Suede Lined Microsuede Shoes Nude Size 8

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Ballet Organic Onesie by Neo Baby

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Easy Strider Girl s The Ballerina Ballet Flats School Uniform Shoes, 11 – Little Kid

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“Jeux:” New York City Ballet Plays the Game of Love

2015-10-19-1445287598-4203070-SaraMearnsandCompanyinKimBrandstrupsJeux.PhotocreditPaulKolnik.jpg


Sara Mearns and Company in Kim Brandstrup’s Jeux. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik

Black, white and grey. An imposing opaqueness consumes the David H. Koch Theater, like in an old-fashioned film. Every twist of the palm seems shrouded in darkness and contrast, a silhouetted semblance of reality. The lone gold light adds warmth to the scene, a splash of color in the void. Romance masks emotion so that nothing feels so intimidatingly honest. Like when Audrey Hepburn appeared onscreen, the stage is a mirage, a nostalgic, glamorous, gorgeous rendering of what the world will never be: simply lovely.

And yet it is this simplicity that feels too safe in Kim Brandstrup’s premiere for New York City Ballet. Jeux reminds you of Kurt Vonnegut’s iconic line: “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” But sometimes you crave that ache, that immediacy. Sometimes you want to feel something — sweet, cruel, fresh, haunting, anything — just to know that you’re alive. Brandstrup won’t offer that kind of narrative; as a former film student at the University of Copenhagen, he’s more invested in a story’s intrigue than its subtext.

On its own, Jeux sparkles, entrenched in a ’50s imagination reminiscent of Gigi and An American in Paris. But on a program beside the season’s other commissions by Myles Thatcher, Robert Binet, Troy Schumacher and Justin Peck, the action seems drained, almost exhausted. There’s none of the novelty of Thatcher’s gender obfuscation, or Binet’s use of space, or Schumacher’s intricate patterning or Peck’s avant-garde vitality. Brandstrup’s piece is a ballet, amidst other ballets, bland in its generality. You can glue your eyes to it for twenty minutes and claim its pleasure. But it probably won’t make you smile from enthusiasm or whimsy.

The curtain opens to a promising image: Sara Mearns standing in a spotlight, a heap of bodies hiding behind her. Amar Ramasar ties a blindfold around her temples, and the game begins. Unlike Vaslav Nijinsky’s original Jeux from 1913, nobody’s really playing tennis; this is a love sport. Mearns is infatuated with Ramasar, who in turn falls mutually for Sterling Hyltin. Adrian Danchig-Waring likes Mearns, who doesn’t notice his affection because she’s obsessed with Ramasar. If anyone hurts, scorned by a partner, it doesn’t feel so urgent. Claude Debussy’s score swells too often and too richly for pain to matter, and you know you’re in a universe where the plot will sort itself out neatly in the end. If Brandstrup intended for Jeux to have any dab of authenticity, he should have chosen a less majestic, dreamy composer.

2015-10-19-1445287871-4535954-SaraMearnsandAdrianDanchigWaringinKimBrandstrupsJeux.PhotocreditPaulKolnik.jpg

Sara Mearns and Adrian Danchig-Waring in Kim Brandstrup’s Jeux.Photo credit: Paul Kolnik.

The work isn’t insignificant — every moment is articulate and stunning, and a few gel so nicely that you can’t distinguish motion from music. When Mearns cascades backwards into awaiting arms, faint, weak, her body hinged at the hips as she’s rotated 360 degrees. When Hyltin seamlessly wanders into a triple piqué turn, her arms plopped in a sassy “V.” When the corps waltzes across the floor and under the moon, popping into lifts in passé, their reflections dancing like phantoms on a scrim. In fact, these shadows are the most interesting part… man-made projections crafted by the human body, distorted and elongated.

Still, when Mearns removes the blindfold from her face and throws it onto Danchig-Waring — the next victim of blinding lust — the symbolism feels empty. Were you supposed to sympathize with Mearns? Was Jeux anything more than a game? What were you — was I — meant to feel? Mearns tumbles into Danchig-Waring, pressed above, slowly melting to lie over him on the ground. She has snatched him as prey, like Ramasar did to her, like your lover did to you and like you’ve probably done to an innocent someone.

… And so what?

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The Ashley Bouder Project Disappoints at the Joyce’s Ballet Festival

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The Ashley Bouder Project. Photo credit: Alexis Ziemsk.

The Joyce Theater has been choosing some questionable repertoire as of late.

First, the venue hosted Restless Creature and The Ashley Bouder Project in the same season, both spearheaded by New York City Ballet alumnae whose celebrity promised ticket sales, if not artistic value.

Second, and more importantly, it programmed choreographer Joshua Beamish three times in one summer, and never with success.

On August 8 and 9, The Ashley Bouder Project was invited to the Joyce as part of Ballet Festival, a two-week foray into what the 21st-century dance community can offer. The amiable man to my right explained that he was attending the entire series of six shows as an education in dance, a fact that disappoints after realizing that at least one of his experiences would probably dissuade him from ever returning to the theater.

Of course, The Ashley Bouder Project was the most popular show of the run, and people begged for seats regardless of price. Somehow, “bravos” echoed despite a banal bill filled with the kind of choreography that is pushing ballet into its grave. I’m sure that dance neophytes listened to the booming applause, stupefied. Was this the best that ballet could muster?

The hour-long performance (that felt never-ending) opened with Adriana Pierce’s Unsaid, a duet between Bouder and New York City Ballet corps newbie, Preston Chamblee. Pierce, a current dancer with Miami City Ballet, must have known Bouder when she was a student at the School of American Ballet or an apprentice with NYCB (indeed, the whole production felt like Bouder and her friends playing around at the expense of an audience). Nothing but a heartfelt favor can justify Pierce’s selection as one of three featured choreographers, as Unsaid was a clunky, inelegant pas de deux with little direction.

No drama was spared. The costumes — grey, sheer cloaks — were gaudy versions of those used in every other safe contemporary ballet, where the mood is pseudo-emotional, but no one quite knows why. The cloaks were awkwardly removed and replaced as Bouder and Chamblee messed with the sleeves to make them right-side-out after tearing them off moments before. The couple stood in stark spotlights, staring at the audience longingly. Sometimes, they tripped into each other as Chamblee spun into Bouder’s arms without control. There was so much concept, and absolutely no intention. Then, there was the fact that Chamblee could barely point his feet and in soutenu turns, his ankles were a ruler’s length apart. When the duet finally concluded, it felt like the end of winter.

The second work, In Passing, was less insulting, though it lacked organization. The short film by Andrea Schermoly included several beautiful snapshots, like when Bouder moved with abandon that you’ll never see from her at the David H. Koch Theater, where Balanchine demands structure. And so the choreography proved promising – really interesting, actually — but the video itself stumbled into clichés. Dancers lying in bed in lingerie. Dancers in a tunnel. Dancers in an empty auditorium. Dancers walking through the desert. Dancers everywhere but where they should be at a live presentation: onstage. It’s a shame that the 15-minute movie was Schermoly’s contribution to the project, as she probably could have managed a concert piece with a lot of heft.

And the grand finale: Beamish’s Rouge et Noir. The six-person disaster proved a few things — Amar Ramasar is an engaging, virile dancer who can make the most of a devastating choreographic situation. Alexa Maxwell, who joined NYCB’s corps in 2013, is unpolished but harbors great potential. And Beamish, who is part of the Joyce’s Young Leader’s Circle Committee (which may clarify the reason for so much favoritism), has choreographer’s block right now. Once again, he calls on an abstract aesthetic from modern art, with colors and shapes like Mondrian’s or (as Gia Kourlas noted) Matisse’s, but he does so with so little panache or innovation that what he concocts is truly an eyesore. He must be talented to have reached the heights he has. But at least in Rouge et Noir, he somehow takes six of the most accomplished dancers in the world and makes them look awkward, weak and amateur. My friend summed it up best with his comment: “You know the cartoons that make fun of abstract dance? Well this reminded me of those.”

If I didn’t love ballet and didn’t know what genius exists in the dance world, my trip to The Ashley Bouder Project might have been my last attempt at understanding the art form. Why would I, as a young adult trying to survive in New York City, pay for that? Why would I waste my Saturday night, waiting for ingenuity that never came? I would choose Netflix any day over suffering through a program as poorly articulated as The Ashley Bouder Project. At least then, I could find something to grapple with, a meaningfulness to explore.

The saddest part? There are incredible companies fighting for attention, and they would kill for an opportunity to perform at Ballet Festival.

Oh well. Maybe next time the Joyce will try something new.

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Geeking Out With Misty Copeland’s First Ballet Teacher On The Bigness Of Today

misty copeland

“I realized that I could put her body into positions and she could hold them and all of the positions were beautiful.”

Tuesday morning, the American Ballet Theatre stopped delaying the inevitable and finally appointed Misty Copeland a principal ballerina. The first black principal in ABT’s 75-year history, Copeland is also a bonafide cultural icon — a Time cover star with more than a half a million followers on Instagram. As Copeland’s famously varied fans could tell you, the 32-year-old is a true anomaly: neither white nor lanky, but blessed with a physically extraordinary body deemed by short-sighted gatekeepers early in her career as unfit for ballet.

The challenges started early for Copeland. Much of her childhood played out in a two-room motel suite with five siblings and a single mom in San Pedro, California. She also came dauntingly late to ballet: she was 13, an age when most future students have been training half their lives, when a ballet teacher coaxed the shy, watchful girl down from the bleachers at the San Pedro YMCA to join a class unfolding in the gym. That teacher was Cindy Bradley, a soft-spoken former company dancer who would go on to play an intimate and complex role in Copeland’s life, even raising the dancer in her home for a time amidst an ugly custody battle.

We rang Bradley at her studio, where she continues to teach ballet. In between conversations with students, she told us what it feels like when a teacher’s wildest dreams come true.

Here is a blast from the past – Capezio ad when Misty was a spokesperson circa 2002: ENJOY!

Posted by Misty Copeland on Thursday, August 26, 2010

What has today been like?
The phone keeps ringing! It’s just incredible.

What was it that led you to persuade Misty to join your class that day, nearly two decades ago?
The fact that she was watching so intently and that she seemed very shy. I knew she had to be asked. She wouldn’t come down without being asked. She was 13, and she was just tiny.

Did you see something in her immediately?
When she came down, she took the bar and we started class and I realized that I could put her body into positions and she could hold them and all of the positions were beautiful. I knew immediately that she was extremely gifted.

Was it her build, or some innate ability?
It was the lines. I would take her leg and pull it out, extend it, and then take her foot and point it and say, “Ok, hold that.” She was able to make beautiful lines from the beginning. She just had all the makings of a beautiful dancer.

misty copeland

Where dancers typically master the art of standing on pointe over the course of several years, Copeland — seen here at age 14 — took just three months, according to Bradley.

And no training.
She was on her drill team at middle school, but that was it.

You’ve said before that you were struck with a vision of a possible future for the little girl in front of you. Does today’s news come close to what you saw in your mind on that basketball court?
I think at the time, I was seeing her potential of what she could do as a dancer. I also knew that she could possibly be in a position of being a role model. But all of this took the incredible hard work — continuous hard work — by Misty. I knew she was going to do great dancing, but this is just almost too impossible to even dream of.

Do you see her young self when you watch her dance today?
Absolutely. We actually just got back from New York City where we saw her do “Swan Lake.” When I look into her eyes, she is still that sweet girl. That heart that we fell in love with is still there, that I think the world has fallen in love with. They’ve fallen in love with Misty, not just her dancing.

“I will forever fight, performing like it’s my last show.” #lifeinmotion

A photo posted by Misty Copeland (@mistyonpointe) on

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Geeking Out With Misty Copeland’s First Ballet Teacher On The Bigness Of Today

misty copeland

“I realized that I could put her body into positions and she could hold them and all of the positions were beautiful.”

Tuesday morning, the American Ballet Theatre stopped delaying the inevitable and finally appointed Misty Copeland a principal ballerina. The first black principal in ABT’s 75-year history, Copeland is also a bonafide cultural icon — a Time cover star with more than a half a million followers on Instagram. As Copeland’s famously varied fans could tell you, the 32-year-old is a true anomaly: neither white nor lanky, but blessed with a physically extraordinary body deemed by short-sighted gatekeepers early in her career as unfit for ballet.

The challenges started early for Copeland. Much of her childhood played out in a two-room motel suite with five siblings and a single mom in San Pedro, California. She also came dauntingly late to ballet: she was 13, an age when most future students have been training half their lives, when a ballet teacher coaxed the shy, watchful girl down from the bleachers at the San Pedro YMCA to join a class unfolding in the gym. That teacher was Cindy Bradley, a soft-spoken former company dancer who would go on to play an intimate and complex role in Copeland’s life, even raising the dancer in her home for a time amidst an ugly custody battle.

We rang Bradley at her studio, where she continues to teach ballet. In between conversations with students, she told us what it feels like when a teacher’s wildest dreams come true.

Here is a blast from the past – Capezio ad when Misty was a spokesperson circa 2002: ENJOY!

Posted by Misty Copeland on Thursday, August 26, 2010

What has today been like?
The phone keeps ringing! It’s just incredible.

What was it that led you to persuade Misty to join your class that day, nearly two decades ago?
The fact that she was watching so intently and that she seemed very shy. I knew she had to be asked. She wouldn’t come down without being asked. She was 13, and she was just tiny.

Did you see something in her immediately?
When she came down, she took the bar and we started class and I realized that I could put her body into positions and she could hold them and all of the positions were beautiful. I knew immediately that she was extremely gifted.

Was it her build, or some innate ability?
It was the lines. I would take her leg and pull it out, extend it, and then take her foot and point it and say, “Ok, hold that.” She was able to make beautiful lines from the beginning. She just had all the makings of a beautiful dancer.

misty copeland

Where dancers typically master the art of standing on pointe over the course of several years, Copeland — seen here at age 14 — took just three months, according to Bradley.

And no training.
She was on her drill team at middle school, but that was it.

You’ve said before that you were struck with a vision of a possible future for the little girl in front of you. Does today’s news come close to what you saw in your mind on that basketball court?
I think at the time, I was seeing her potential of what she could do as a dancer. I also knew that she could possibly be in a position of being a role model. But all of this took the incredible hard work — continuous hard work — by Misty. I knew she was going to do great dancing, but this is just almost too impossible to even dream of.

Do you see her young self when you watch her dance today?
Absolutely. We actually just got back from New York City where we saw her do “Swan Lake.” When I look into her eyes, she is still that sweet girl. That heart that we fell in love with is still there, that I think the world has fallen in love with. They’ve fallen in love with Misty, not just her dancing.

“I will forever fight, performing like it’s my last show.” #lifeinmotion

A photo posted by Misty Copeland (@mistyonpointe) on

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Geeking Out With Misty Copeland’s First Ballet Teacher On The Bigness Of Today

misty copeland

“I realized that I could put her body into positions and she could hold them and all of the positions were beautiful.”

Tuesday morning, the American Ballet Theatre stopped delaying the inevitable and finally appointed Misty Copeland a principal ballerina. The first black principal in ABT’s 75-year history, Copeland is also a bonafide cultural icon — a Time cover star with more than a half a million followers on Instagram. As Copeland’s famously varied fans could tell you, the 32-year-old is a true anomaly: neither white nor lanky, but blessed with a physically extraordinary body deemed by short-sighted gatekeepers early in her career as unfit for ballet.

The challenges started early for Copeland. Much of her childhood played out in a two-room motel suite with five siblings and a single mom in San Pedro, California. She also came dauntingly late to ballet: she was 13, an age when most future students have been training half their lives, when a ballet teacher coaxed the shy, watchful girl down from the bleachers at the San Pedro YMCA to join a class unfolding in the gym. That teacher was Cindy Bradley, a soft-spoken former company dancer who would go on to play an intimate and complex role in Copeland’s life, even raising the dancer in her home for a time amidst an ugly custody battle.

We rang Bradley at her studio, where she continues to teach ballet. In between conversations with students, she told us what it feels like when a teacher’s wildest dreams come true.

Here is a blast from the past – Capezio ad when Misty was a spokesperson circa 2002: ENJOY!

Posted by Misty Copeland on Thursday, August 26, 2010

What has today been like?
The phone keeps ringing! It’s just incredible.

What was it that led you to persuade Misty to join your class that day, nearly two decades ago?
The fact that she was watching so intently and that she seemed very shy. I knew she had to be asked. She wouldn’t come down without being asked. She was 13, and she was just tiny.

Did you see something in her immediately?
When she came down, she took the bar and we started class and I realized that I could put her body into positions and she could hold them and all of the positions were beautiful. I knew immediately that she was extremely gifted.

Was it her build, or some innate ability?
It was the lines. I would take her leg and pull it out, extend it, and then take her foot and point it and say, “Ok, hold that.” She was able to make beautiful lines from the beginning. She just had all the makings of a beautiful dancer.

misty copeland

Where dancers typically master the art of standing on pointe over the course of several years, Copeland — seen here at age 14 — took just three months, according to Bradley.

And no training.
She was on her drill team at middle school, but that was it.

You’ve said before that you were struck with a vision of a possible future for the little girl in front of you. Does today’s news come close to what you saw in your mind on that basketball court?
I think at the time, I was seeing her potential of what she could do as a dancer. I also knew that she could possibly be in a position of being a role model. But all of this took the incredible hard work — continuous hard work — by Misty. I knew she was going to do great dancing, but this is just almost too impossible to even dream of.

Do you see her young self when you watch her dance today?
Absolutely. We actually just got back from New York City where we saw her do “Swan Lake.” When I look into her eyes, she is still that sweet girl. That heart that we fell in love with is still there, that I think the world has fallen in love with. They’ve fallen in love with Misty, not just her dancing.

“I will forever fight, performing like it’s my last show.” #lifeinmotion

A photo posted by Misty Copeland (@mistyonpointe) on

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Entertainment – The Huffington Post
Entertainment News-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Pierina Ballet Flats Womens Loafers Shoes Genuine Leather Lined by Alpine Swiss

Pierina Ballet Flats Womens Loafers Shoes Genuine Leather Lined by Alpine Swiss


Pierina Ballet FlatsBy: Alpine SwissMSRP .50This comfortable shoe will be your go to when you want to kick off your heels but still look stylish.A comfortable Flat loafer is an essential part of every closet. Pierina Ballet Flats have just the right amount of cushioning to take you from work to weekend! Product Features: Luxurious Genuine Suede Leather InteriorSuper ComfortableFaux Leather UpperRubber Treaded OutsolesRounded ToeTagless Footbed for comfortThey run true to size. We offer a wide range of comfortable Flats. Be sure to check our complete selection, Chances are you will also love one of our other styles as well. Alpine Swiss donates 250 meals every day to hungry children in the U.S. and around the world through our partnership with Childrens Hunger Fund. These meals are hand delivered in a Food Pack, which will contain enough food to feed a family of 4-5 for a week to the homes of the needy by trained volunteers in their community, establishing relationships that foster genuine care. Your purchase fuels this effort! Thank you!

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Element: Ballet Conditioning (dvd)

Element: Ballet Conditioning (dvd)


Elena Brower leads viewers through a 51 minute strengthening and stretching routine based on the principles of ballet dance. An expert at both ballet and Yoga, Brower shows newcomers to the dance how to employ its techniques for fitness. ~ Cammila Collar, Rovi

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DAWGS Kaymann Toddler Ballet Flats HOT PINK WITH LEOPARD INNER 9 M US

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The DAWGS Toddler Kaymann Ballet Flat is a comfortable shoe for girls. The elastic inset adjusts for comfort and easily slides onto children’s feet. The padded leather insole provides cushioning and the rubber sole adds traction. They come in various colors, perfect for any occasion and outfit. These are sure to become your favorite go to slip-on shoes.

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rosette ballet shoe

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Sweet, feminine and dainty these shoes are perfect for any special occasion! The ballet shoe is soft and feminine and is sure to be a stand out piece in your ladies wardrobe! sole: Soft sole sizing: -0-6 month- 3 3/4″ -6-12 months 4 1/2″ -12-18 months 5″
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Womens Ballet Flats Ankle Strap Suede Lined Ballerina Slippers Slip On Shoes New

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Ankle Strap Ballet FlatsBy: Alpine SwissYou will love the way you look in these 2-in-1 flats! Wear them to work or for a night out on the town. Product Features: Classic Ballet Flat with Removable Ankle StrapSilver Metal BuckleRound Toe, Easy Slip-On & Slip-Off FlatsPerfect Go-To Shoe For Every Day UseSlip Resistant Rubber OutsoleFlat Heel for an Equisite Fashionable LookGenuine Suede Lining & Insoles MSRP .50Alpine Swiss donates 250 meals every day to hungry children in the U.S. and around the world through our partnership with Children’s Hunger Fund. These meals are hand delivered in a Food Pack, which will contain enough food to feed a family of 4-5 for a week to the homes of the needy by trained volunteers in their community, establishing relationships that foster genuine care. Your purchase fuels this effort! Thank you!

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An Adieu to Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

2015-06-05-1433482106-4616160-Jin_RainDogsFilmStill.jpg

Rain Dogs: Jin Young Won
Photo Credit: film still

When I think of a lake, I imagine its stillness and peace. Calm looms over a clear surface without tides. No matter if the wind shouts or murmurs, the water barely stirs. It’s settled, unperturbed. It craves nothing but silence.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet is more like a river. It disturbs and shatters, splashing to disrupt tranquility. Its dancers run and leap; they dislike stagnancy.

People rarely talk about lakes. Rivers, on the other hand, benefit from a sex appeal that’s the stuff of ballads. This is no coincidence.

At BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House, Cedar Lake makes waves with its farewell season this week. The dancers move with reckless abandon — rushing, flowing, daring. As they share the stage for a final time, it’s heartbreaking to accept that a troupe with such chemistry, vivacity, flavor, and joy is saying goodbye to its home and to one another.

2015-06-05-1433482173-1133427-CedarLake_MyGeneration_Williams_PCCervantes.jpg

My Generation: Ebony Williams
Photo Credit: Juliet Cervantes

Wednesday evening’s bill opened with a premiere by Bessie winner Richard Siegal, but the performance began at the opera house door, where patrons swarmed like schools of fish lost in a stormy brook. Ushers directed traffic until everyone found their seats as the clock struck seven-thirty-five. For a moment, there was complete serenity; then, a burst of energy. Navarra Novy-Williams exploded into view, swaying with panache to French music that better suited a runway than BAM. The room went cold, even frigid. Nobody knew what to make of the action until Ebony Williams came onto the scene and all was right, and genius, and unparalleled in its novelty.

The latter Williams is the dance community’s Beyoncé. As her legs managed a 180-degree line in a side tilt, she proved her technical prowess, but it was her unhindered attitude that made her especially unforgettable. Sassy, fresh, fierce — she could be the poster child for je ne sais quoi.

2015-06-05-1433482244-583497-CedarLake_MyGeneration_Rich_PCCervantes.jpg

My Generation: Matthew Rich
Photo Credit: Juliet Cervantes

The rest of Siegal’s piece, My Generation, was like a Monster high that you never want to end. Siegal’s vision coupled with his diverse cast embodied the 21st century with its technological obsession and fast-paced lifestyle. Dancers moved with synchronized intensity, mimicking the plugged-in robots we’ve become. Matthew Rich lip-synced like a rock star, crashing to the floor over and over like a track on repeat. The millennials were in the spotlight, their carpe diem mentality on display. The culmination? Chaotic, blinding bliss.

Next was Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue, Crystal Pite’s work from 2008. Lights glimmered like at a stadium, when you’re alone and pretend that all the world’s watching. Cliff Martinez’s score haunted bodies that intermingled in the dusk, falling, chasing, barely arriving. Lifting. Heaving. Sacrificing. You felt that if you joined them in their intimate space, you would somehow reach enlightenment, and that enlightenment would look something like love.

2015-06-05-1433482362-4878349-Ida_Jon_10_SharenBradford.jpg

Ten Duets: Ida Saki, Jon Bond
Photo Credit: Sharen Bradford

Finally, Johan Inger’s whimsical Rain Dogs made its NYC debut. A man crawled with a tape player, slurring through the lyrics of “We Are the Champions.” A dog stood center stage, burning. Women switched clothing and gendered mannerisms with men, and Vânia Doutel Vaz claimed that the piano had been drinking. Ida Saki sat prone, waiting for her partner’s approach. Muscles flexed along the floor, setting libidos ablaze. Inger’s universe was enchanting, intoxicating. Desirable.

The show no doubt merited a standing ovation, and it got one. But Cedar Lake itself deserves some applause, too. Rarely can dance become more than movement, a stirring feeling in your gut. There are barriers. There’s an invisible screen. There are steps leading to the stage, and an orchestra pit, and balconies, and it’s all very grandiose and isolating and placid.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet is more about making noise by tearing down the fourth wall. Its roar will be missed.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Arts – The Huffington Post
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Women’s Bow Ballet Flats Iris Round Toe Classic Shoe Real Suede Interior Loafer White Size 11

Women’s Bow Ballet Flats Iris Round Toe Classic Shoe Real Suede Interior Loafer White Size 11


FREE SHIPPING Iris Bow Ballet Flats By Alpine Swiss These ballet flats will stand the test of time. Product Features: Easy Slip-On & Slip-Off Flats Lightweight Rubber Outsole For Ultimate Comfort Flat Heel Genuine Suede Lining & Padded Insoles Faux Leather Upper Classic Rounded Toe With Bow MSRP .50 Alpine Swiss donates 250 meals every day to hungry children in the U.S. and around the world through our partnership with Children’s Hunger Fund. These meals are hand delivered in a Food Pack, which will contain enough food to feed a family of 4-5 for a week to the homes of the needy by trained volunteers in their community, establishing relationships that foster genuine care. Your purchase fuels this effort! Thank you!

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Riverberry Womens Sami Metal Bow-detail Ballet Flats

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Slip into style with these Sami” rounded-toe ballet flats by Riverberry. These faux nubuck shoes feature a metallic oversized bow at the toe with a shining finish. The slip-on styling provides ease of wear. A lightly textured outsole helps you avoid common slips. Ballet flats are ideal for wear with just about anything from jeans to capris to skirts and dresses. The black color option is a complementary detail to your favorite ensembles. General Material: Pleather Leather Type: Faux Leather Inner Material: Synthetic Outer Material: Pleather Pattern: Solid Arch Type: Neutral Heel Type: No Heel Heel Height: Flat (0 to 1/2 in.) Toe Style: Round Toe

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Pink and Grey Ballet 5 Pack by Carter’s

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Now you can build baby’s wardrobe with our Pink and Grey Ballet Bodysuit 5 Pack by Carter’s – Newborn. With expandable shoulders for over-the-head dressing, adorable appliques, 100% silky soft cotton and 3 nickel-free snaps on a reinforced panel, it’s your best value. For over one hundred years, its no wonder Carter’s is America’s favorite brand. Mix and match made easy. Care instructions: machine wash, tumble dry. Will not shrink or fade. Order yours today.
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Truly Scrumptious Girls Pink Ruffle Soft Sole Ballet Flats

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How adorable are these soft-soled ruffle Ballet Flats? It will certainly be an easy task to pair these espadrilles with any of our Truly Scrumptious Layette outfits. The shoes feature a printed polka dot body and sole as well as VELCRO brand closures. The espadrilles are made with 100% cotton and are made in China. From apparel and accessories perfect for mixing and matching, to furniture, bedding, room decor and gear featuring fun, colorful patterns, as well as optimal functionality, the Truly Scrumptious collection by Heidi Klum, a Babies’R’Us exclusive, is designed for newborns, infants, toddlers and growing kids. The collection offers a fresh look, feel and practicality that moms will love, and Heidi has applied her very own mom stamp of approval to each and every item.

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Lily Nily Children’s Pink Enamel Ballet Slipper Leverback Earrings in 18k Gold over Sterling Silver

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Prima ballerinas will love these sweet earrings from Lily Nily. Featuring pink enamel-filled ballet shoes set in 18k gold over sterling silver. Approximate diameter: 3/4 inch.

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Pleaser Shoes 185864 Ballet Flat- Black Child Shoes

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Shell dance her way into your heart in these gleaming black flats with perky bow on the toe. Now after careful consideration shes finally found an elegant ensemble that she can wear when she performs her living room dance for you.

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  • Womens Hush Puppies Marilee Ballet Leather Wide (C, D, W) Bronze H702057

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    H702057 Hush Puppies Power Walking Shoes – Feel the power in our new walking shoe that pays attention to detail. Full grain garment Leather upper, moisture wicking Dri-lex linings, removable molded footbed, and Bounce technology for that extra spring in every step.- Full grain Leather upper- Dri-Lex lining and removable molded- Bounce technology- PDAC approved – New: In Original Box

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    Pierina Ballet FlatsBy: Alpine SwissMSRP .50This comfortable shoe will be your go to when you want to kick off your heels but still look stylish.A comfortable Flat loafer is an essential part of every closet. Pierina Ballet Flats have just the right amount of cushioning to take you from work to weekend! Product Features: Luxurious Genuine Suede Leather InteriorSuper ComfortableFaux Leather UpperRubber Treaded OutsolesRounded ToeTagless Footbed for comfortThey run true to size. We offer a wide range of comfortable Flats. Be sure to check our complete selection, Chances are you will also love one of our other styles as well. Alpine Swiss donates 250 meals every day to hungry children in the U.S. and around the world through our partnership with Childrens Hunger Fund. These meals are hand delivered in a Food Pack, which will contain enough food to feed a family of 4-5 for a week to the homes of the needy by trained volunteers in their community, establishing relationships that foster genuine care. Your purchase fuels this effort! Thank you!

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    The Illustrious Oakland Ballet Throws a Party Like No Other

    2015-05-19-1432069226-9151835-Scheherazade.jpg
    Joy Gim and Ron Thiele in Leonide Massine’s Scheherezade. Photo: John Markowski (1990)

    This week marks a major milestone in the history of two storied American ballet companies on opposite coasts: American Ballet Theatre turns 75, and Oakland Ballet turns 50.

    Bowing to their respective pasts, their gala celebrations spotlight two different golden eras in the history of ballet: the Diaghilev era in the case of Oakland, and the American pioneers of the mid 20th century in ABT’s.

    A sybaritic film salute to ABT by Ric Burns, which just premièred on PBS, underscores the influence of impresario Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and its revolutionary collaborations with Stravinsky, Satie, Cocteau, Picasso, Bakst, Chanel and others, on the evolution of dance in America.

    Oakland Ballet founder Ronn Guidi was passionate about reconstructing these modernist works, and this weekend the company will gift us with excerpts from five iconic ballets by Mikhail Fokine (Petrouchka and Scheherazade), Léonide Massine (La Boutique Fantasque) and Bronislava Nijinska (Le Train Bleu and Les Biches), as well as Vaslav Nijinsky’s groundbreaking, erotic L’Après-midi d’un Faune in its entirety. The décor for Ann Hutchinson Guest’s 1995 restoration of Faune has been resurrected for this season’s gala. For one brief shining evening, in the glorious precincts of the Art Deco Paramount Theatre, home to many of the company’s past seasons, audiences will be transported not just to Oakland Ballet’s early days but back to the heyday of the legendary Ballets Russes in the 1910’s and 20’s.

    2015-05-19-1432069398-7090028-AfternoonofaFaun.jpg
    Ethan White in Vaslav Nijinsky’s L’Après-midi d’un Faune, restaging by Ronn Guidi. Photo: Marty Sohl(2007)

    2015-05-19-1432069501-5486788-LeTrainBleu.jpg
    Oakland Ballet Company dancers in Bronislava Nijinska’s Le Train Bleu, restaging by Irena Nijinska. Photo: Emilio Mercado(1996 )

    2015-05-19-1432069536-8463923-LesBiches1990.jpg
    (l to r) The Three Athletes: Joral Schmalle, Ron Thiele, and Don Schwennesen with Oakland Ballet Company dancers in Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Biches, restaging by Irena Nijinska.Photo: John Markowski(1990)

    2015-05-19-1432069659-4107469-OaklandBallet_Massine1.jpgTyler Rhoads and Daphne Lee in rehearsal for Léonide Massine’s La Boutique Fantasque. Photo: David DeSilva

    Guidi’s curatorial tastes were not confined to the Diaghilev era, however. Under his direction, through the 1990’s, Oakland Ballet also revived modern American classics and commissioned new work. Eugene Loring contributed several ballets including The Tender Land, for which Guidi invited composer Aaron Copland to conduct his score.

    Graham Lustig – at the helm of the company since 2010 – has chosen to represent this period in the gala program by excerpts from Loring’s Billy the Kid, Alonzo King’s Love Dogs, and Ronn Guidi’s The Secret Garden, and by the full-length Green by Carlos Carvajal.

    Lustig thinks big. Not simply content with honoring tradition, he says “we must step away from it, too,” and has roped five choreographers, all of whom have longstanding connections to the company, to make new dances for the gala. In addition to Lustig’s world première to music by minimalist Max Richter, Val Caniparoli, Betsy Erickson, Michael Lowe, Robert Moses and Amy Seiwert – a formidable brigade of Left Coast dancemakers – are each crafting a toast to the 50th anniversary of this historic company.

    And while tight finances preclude the furnishing of live orchestra for the evening, renowned pianist Roy Bogas will play live for Moses’ new piece, set to Satie, and for the revival of King’s Love Dogs, set to Poulenc.

    Dying to see how Lustig was going to execute these heroic maneuvers with a lean, mean fighting machine of only 14 dancers, Ballet to the People tiptoed into Oakland Ballet’s busy studios at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts to spy on Erickson and Caniparoli at work on their new pieces.

    2015-05-19-1432071206-338199-OaklandBallet_Erickson2015.jpg
    Emily Kerr and Taurean Green in rehearsal for new work by Betsy Erickson. Photo: David DeSilva)

    A duet for Emily Kerr and Taurean Green, set to the shimmering, soaring strings of Marjan Mozetich’s “Postcards from the Sky,” marks Erickson’s return to choreography after a long absence. Oakland-born, Erickson was ballet mistress for Oakland Ballet in the 1980’s, after her own illustrious performing career, and the pieces she created on the company back then were much admired. Her new, story-less duet situates Kerr and Green as equals, with similar qualities of strength in their movement.

    As the silvery blonde Erickson demonstrated a sweeping movement of the arms with a slight twist of the shoulders, Kerr imitated her delicate but authoritative épaulement, and Ballet to the People was struck by the identical beauty of their serene, aristocratic profiles.

    Erickson has Kerr and Green chew up space and together, they look like a god and goddess gamboling on Mount Olympus. They’re an intriguing pair: the fragile-looking Kerr, whose steely core emerges unexpectedly, and the imposing Green whose body lines slash thrillingly through space.

    2015-05-19-1432069706-23651-OaklandBallet_Caniparoli.jpg
    Sharon Wehner and Sean Omandam in rehearsal for new work by Val Caniparoli. Photo: David DeSilva

    Across the hall, the animated, silver-haired Caniparoli took three couples through a lighthearted, caffeinated romp that had them slouching and stomping and ricocheting off each other and off the floor, a dash of hip hop here, a nod to French court dances there.

    But first they had to work out a thorny new lift.

    Caniparoli demonstrated it with Sharon Wehner, threading one arm through her arms that were tautly cocked behind her like the wings of a rooster. With his other hand providing leverage against a critical spot on her mid-spine, he timed his push to match her jump. She sailed through the air, snapping her legs into a split at the peak for even more oomph. It took a bit of practice before Sean Omandam, Matthew Roberts and Tyler Rhoads could achieve the same effortless propulsion with their partners. Daphne Lee and Alysia Chang rounded out the spirited sextet.

    Once they had the entire sequence down with counts, it was time to run it with music. This knock-your-socks-off arrangement of Leopold Mozart’s “Toy Symphony” has been re-orchestrated for the 21st century, in a recording by violinist Gidon Kremer and the Kremerata Baltica, with the tinny buzz of a cellphone and the high-pitched drone of a computer-generated voice chirping “hello” in place of the more familiar toy trumpet, cuckoo and drum.

    It was all the dancers could do to keep from cracking up as Caniparoli tossed witty movement jokes at them, but they had to work hard to syncopate the movement the way he instructed.

    Grins broke out, however, once costume-fitting time rolled around. Of the bold, bright designs, Ballet to the People scribbled in her notes: “Alice in Wonderland meets Cabaret.”

    Just as Oakland has weathered grave economic and socio-political storms, the viability of its ballet company has been threatened several times in recent decades. Lustig is a pragmatist when it comes to fiscal management. The magic that is making this gala come together is not magic at all: it’s the generous collaboration of dozens of former Oakland Ballet alumni – coming in to coach the present crop of dancers in the revivals, lending a hand with designs – and the goodwill of many organizations including the Paramount Theater, the Oakland mayor’s office, the unions. Lustig’s dreams of restoring the company to its former luster, augmenting his imaginative – and profitable – Nutcracker with a full spring and fall season, will require significant public and private commitment from a city that seems perennially strapped and preoccupied with other issues.

    This is an image problem hardly unique to Oakland. Farther south, in the more affluent Silicon Valley environs, Ballet San Jose recently issued an emergency appeal for half a million dollars, and will require another $ 3.5 million by October to stay afloat.

    Those with deep pockets who are looking to make an impact with their philanthropy may not see ballet as sufficiently cutting-edge, hip or relevant.

    But Lustig’s impeccable programming taste and vision may change their minds.

    The day after the gala performance at the Paramount, the company will take the party to Laney College, where it will perform its newest works alongside an array of local dance companies. These include the imaginative AXIS Dance, which unites dancers with and without physical disabilities, Walnut Creek’s spunky Diablo Ballet, The Milissa Payne Project, street dance crew Turffeinz, and Tessera Tribal Belly Dance.

    Of the updated score that Val Caniparoli uses in his latest work, Gidon Kremer called it an attempt “to set Mozart in the frame of our time.”

    With this gala, Graham Lustig does exactly that for classical ballet.

    For more information on Oakland Ballet’s 50th anniversary gala weekend, and to purchase tickets, see their website.

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    Romeo and Juliet, Together Again, Thanks to San Francisco Ballet

    I couldn’t wait to see San Francisco Ballet‘s latest offering of Romeo and Juliet. As with most companies, SF Ballet artistic director Helgi Tomasson alternates the casting of the principal parts among several dancers, and I was looking forward to seeing Maria Kochetkova and Davit Karapetyan in the leads, as well as the incomparable Pascal Molat in the demanding role of Mercutio. But this is such a fine, deep company — at the first intermission, talking with my friend Jay Gilman, I said, “I would gladly come back to see the other casts.”

    Jay said, “I would gladly come back to see this cast.”

    When a company’s principal dancers and soloists are this excellent, your choice of casts often comes down to those whose acting ability or personal style/charisma grabs you. My all-time favorite Romeo will have to be Yuri Possokhov, now the company’s choreographer in residence. Trained in Moscow and a member of the Bolshoi and Royal Danish Ballets before he came to San Francisco, he had magnificent dancing and acting skills, plus, frankly, major sex appeal. (Please don’t think me shallow; I mean — Romeo.) When I saw him dance his last Romeo, in tears at the end, I looked over at my friend, Ivory, who burst out, “Does he know I’m single?!” To tell the truth, I can’t remember who danced Juliet that evening.

    This year, tiny, doll-faced Kochetkova, who is a wonderfully proficient ballerina, danced Juliet so girlishly at first, more Clara in Nutcracker, I wondered how she would handle the transition to sudden love and lust for Romeo. She did, of course, starting with her frank interest in the masked Romeo at her father’s ball. By the time she and the handsome Karapetyan performed their gorgeous pas de deux, with all those airy, sensual lifts, in the balcony scene, it was sexual awakening before your very eyes, so to speak. Meantime, you knew the tall and manly Karapetyan, an older ladies man of a Romeo from his flirting with another in the first act, had fallen in love with Juliet’s lovely, innocent charm.

    With its sex and violence, Romeo and Juliet is truly a classic ballet crowd pleaser, at least when done right. To break your heart, it really needs dancers who are adept at physical acting, too — dancers who can go beyond the surface of the story’s emotions and embody a notion of the characters. You want to feel their lust and love, anger and heartbreak, bone-deep pain over separation and (what seems, then is) death.

    Similarly, all that swordplay between Montagues and Capulets — particularly between the Capulet hothead Tybalt and Romeo’s beloved friend Mercutio, followed by Romeo himself — should have the audience tense. So thank goodness Tomasson, who choreographed this version of R&J, enlisted actor, teacher, and fight expert Martino Pistone to help develop the “fight-scene choreography” and, each time SF Ballet performs this ballet, to train the male dancers in handling those weapons. Set in the Italian Renaissance — hence all those gorgeous velvets and brocades, flowing sleeves and intricate soft caps — this production uses weapons of the period: rapiers (long swords with double-edged blades) and daggers. Each cast’s Romeo, Tybalt and Mercutio practice together, of course; and if there’s a last-minute cast change, Tomasson says it’s nerve-inducing because each duo’s timing is a bit different.

    While ballet versions of Shakespeare’s inimitable 1597 play have existed since the late 1700s, most productions now are set to the full-length score composed by Sergey Prokofiev in 1935, which certainly encourages an audience’s swooning and fear. At the same time, the musical passage during Mercutio’s death scene causes it to go on far too long. Though Molat perfectly expressed in movement and mime everything from braggadocio, to careless-seeming flirting, to faltering life, you can never feel the emotions you should when among them is a trace of impatience.

    Even Romeo’s anguish at finding Juliet “dead” was overacted and overlong, which kept me from crying my usual buckets of tears. (Only Paris, the wealthy suitor whom Juliet’s parents were forcing her to marry, was dispatched quickly, there in the tomb.) But then Juliet awoke and discovered her Romeo, got up the nerve to stab herself, and crept over to die beside him. When, not yet quite dead, he weakly lifted and dropped his arm over her, my evening was complete.

    While this is the last program of the season (and let’s hope SF Ballet brings this beautiful tale of woe back again soon), the company will be performing four short ballets in the city’s Stern Grove Festival, for free, this summer.

    May 9, matinees May 9 and 10: San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F.; July 26: short ballets, Stern Grove, 415.865.2000.

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    Loved the Dance-Filled “Take Me to Church” Video? Here’s 5 More Breathtaking Ballet Clips to Watch

    It appears that the movie trailer and dance gods have conspired to make this the best week ever for their adoring worshipers. Just when I thought I had soaked up every incredible bit of Kristen…




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    Ballet 422 Movie CLIP – Finale Steps Rehearsal (2014) – Documentary HD

    From first rehearsal to world premiere, BALLET 422 takes us backstage at New York City Ballet as Justin Peck, a young up-and-coming choreographer, crafts a new work. BALLET 422 illuminates the process behind the creation of a single ballet within the ongoing cycle of work at one of the world’s great ballet companies.
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    50 Years Of ‘The Nutcracker’ Ballet, In Stunning Photos

    “The Nutcracker” might be a family favorite today, but back in the 1890s, the uber-famous ballet was a critical flop.

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky premiered his now internationally beloved ballet “The Nutcracker” in 1892. Choreographed by Marius Petipa and his assistant Lev Ivanov, audiences in St. Petersburg were not particularly taken with the performance, which was loosely based on the dark E.T.A. Hoffmann story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” Critics enjoyed the composition, but found the ballet and costumery itself to be lackluster. In reviews, writers singled out the Sugar Plum Fairy, harshly describing the dancer Antonietta Dell’Era as “pudgy.” All in all, it was not a success. And Tchaikovsky himself never saw the ballet gain in popularity.

    nutcracker

    1892 ballet “The Nutcracker” (Wikipedia)

    Skip forward a century and a quarter, and “The Nutcracker” is by and large the most beloved ballet of the holiday season. It’s performed around the world as a staple of Christmas ritual, thanks almost entirely to a 20th century choreographer by the name of George Balanchine. He first staged the ballet in 1954, two decades after its debut in the United States, and his adaptation became a hit in New York City. “The first of his five full-length ballets, this was the Nutcracker that launched the hundreds of Nutcracker ballets that now dominate America’s Decembers,” Laura Jacobs writes in Vanity Fair.

    Henceforth, Clara and Herr Drosselmeyer, the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy — they became just as important a part of the winter pantheon as Frosty, the Grinch and Rudolph. In celebration of Nutcracker season, we went through the photographic archives to showcase a collection of vintage ballet snapshots. Behold, 50 years of the “The Nutcracker”:

    1957

    nutcracker 1957
    British ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn (1919 – 1991) in Milan for a production of the Nutcracker at La Scala in 1957. (Photo by Enzo Graffeo/BIPs/Getty Images)

    1961

    nutcracker 1961
    Twelve-year-old Suzanne Cullingford keeps one hand on her ballet slippers during a nap at the Royal Festival Hall in London on December 28, 1961. She and the other young members of the Festival Ballet have been ordered to take a nap between performances of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” (Photo by Peter Hall/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

    1962

    nutcracker 1960
    Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev with Rosella Hightower during a dress rehearsal at the B.B.C. television studios in London in 1962. They gave the first performance in the West of new Russian choreography for the Grand Pas de Deux from the “Nutcracker” Ballet, which was created specially for Nureyev. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1960

    Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev with Rosella Hightower during a dress rehearsal at the B.B.C. television studios in London in 1962. They gave the first performance in the West of new Russian choreography for the Grand Pas de Deux from the “Nutcracker” Ballet, which was created specially for Nureyev. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

    1964

    nutcracker 1964
    Pictures of costume designs for “The Nutcracker” decorated a wall of the lower lounge at the O’Keefe Centre for the opening night party. Chatting near them are Celia-Franca; artistic director of the National Ballet, and R. A. Laidlaw. (Photo by Frank Lennon/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    1966

    nutcracker 1966
    Charlie Putman and Jiji Jahrig appear as the Snow King and Snow Queen in this scene from “The Nutcracker Ballet” on December 11, 1966. Behind them are the three Snowflakes, played by, from left, Sherry Darmopray, Christy Darmopray and Linda Vigil. (Photo By Duane Howell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1966

    Costume design for the ballet “The Nutcracke”r by P. Tchaikovsky, 1966. Found in the collection of the State Central A. Bakhrushin Theatre Museum, Moscow. (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

    1967

    nutcracker 1967
    A real-life Nutcracker Prince (Jeremy Blanton) and his Snow Queen (Veronica Tennant) give the Christmas season a fairytale flourish as they sign autographs for youngsters in the opening day audience at O’Keefe Centre after National Ballet’s annual Christmas presentation of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” Suite in 1967. (Photo by Frank Lennon/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    1968

    nutcracker 1968
    The dancers Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell, of the Royal Ballet, in “The Nutcracker” on February 28, 1968. (Photo by David Cairns/Express/Getty Images)

    1969

    nutcracker 1969
    Shere Darmopray, as a “slave girl,” with Earl Clayton, playing a Persian character, in this scene from the Colorado Concert Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” in 1969. (Photo By Steve Larson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1969

    Dancer Richard Denny displays the “up-up-and-away” style needed to dance the lead role of the Snow Prince in the Colorado Concert Ballet’s performance of “The Nutcracker” at Bonfils Theatre.; (Photo By Steve Larson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

    1970

    nutcracker 1970
    Ekaterina Maximova, Vladimir Levashov and Vladimir Vasiliev (Bolshoi Theatre Artistic Director in 1990s) in the Bolshoi Ballet production of “The Nutcracker.” (Photo by Erich Auerbach/Getty Images)

    1971

    nutcracker 1971
    Jacques Plante is used to taking bows around arenas in the National Hockey League where he has starred for several seasons as a goaltender. But yesterday at the O’Keefe Centre, the Leaf netminder made a guest appearance as a stretcher bearer in the National Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” (Photo by Ron Bull/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1971

    A Ballerina Doll in a “Nutcracker” production in 1971. (Photo By John G. White/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

    1972

    nutcracker 1972
    Heater Moore goes through a dance routine as Clara in “The Nutcracker” in 1972. (Photo By John Beard/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1972

    Nadia Potts, dancer in “The Nutcracker” at the O’Keefe Centre, with sugar plums, in 1972. (Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1972

    The National Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” at the O’Keefe Centre, with Veronica Tennant dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in 1972. (Photo by Bob Olsen/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    1973

    nutcracker 1973
    Dancers in the National Ballet’s cast for the traditional Christmas performances of “The Nutcracker” at the O’Keefe Centre rehearse in 1973. (Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    1975

    nutcracker 1975
    The National Ballet of Canada’s “The Nutcracker” in 1975. (Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1975

    Nadia Potts and Tomas Schramek, lead dancers with the National Ballet of Canada, presented a beautifully molded pas de deux in the company’s annual Christmas showpiece in 1975. (Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    1977

    nutcracker 1977
    The National Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” in 1977. (Photo by Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1977

    Dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov is seen in the title role in the ballet “The Nutcracker,” during dress rehearsals in New York on May 17, 1977. This is also his debut as choreographer. (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis)

    nutcracker 1977

    Russian-born American dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov (as “The Nutcracker” prince) fights the Mouse King during a performance of the American Ballet Theatre’s production of Baryshnikov’s version of “The Nutcracker” at the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center in New York, New York on May 16, 1977. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

    1978

    nutcracker 1978
    Vanessa Harwood made her Toronto debut as the Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy in the popular Tchaikovsky “Nutcracker Suite,” presented annually by the National Ballet Of Canada at the O’Keefe Centre. She was partnered by Clinton Rothwell. (Photo by Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    1979

    nutcracker 1979
    Russian born dancer, actor and choreographer, Rudolf Nureyev, right, dances with Rhodesian born prima ballerina, Merle Park, during dress rehearsal November 2, 1979 in West Berlin’s Opera, West Germany, for tomorrow’s premiere of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” suite. (AP Photo/Edwin Reichert)

    1980

    nutcracker 1938
    Russian-born French dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993) and American ballerina Eva Evdokimova (1948-2009) rehearse Nureyev’s version of “The Nutcracker” (by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky) with the Berlin Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York, New York on July 18, 1980. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1980

    “The Nutcracker” in 1980. (Photo by Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    1981

    nutcracker 1981
    These dancers of the National Ballet company, in their “Nutcracker Suite” costumes in 1981. (Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1981

    Stagehand Ray McLaughlin swept artificial snow from the stage of Boston’s Metropolitan Center for the Performing Arts during dress rehearsal for Boston Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” Elaine Bauer, who danced the role of the Snow Queen, watched while Donn Edwards, who had the role of the Snow King, conversed with Violette Verdy, co-artistic director of the ballet. (Photo by Ted Dully/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

    1982

    nutcracker 1938
    Russian-born French dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993) dances with an unidentified cast member in Frank Ohman’s New York Dance Theatre production of “The Nutcracker,” in New York, New York in 1982. (Photo by Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1938

    Russian-born French dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938 – 1993) (second left) dances with an unidentified cast members in Frank Ohman’s New York Dance Theatre production of “The Nutcracker,” in New York, New York in 1982. (Photo by Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1982

    Young ballerinas show a marked contrast in concern over their auditions at the Boston Ballet School in Boston, Oct. 29, 1982. More than 500 youngsters tried out for a part in “The Nutcracker.” (AP Photo/Mike Kullen)

    1983

    nutcracker 1983
    After his final performance with the New York City Ballet, Danish dancer Peter Martins (right) is greeted by American choreographer Jerome Robbins (1918-1998) in New York on December 6, 1983. Martins had just performed the role of the Prince in George Balanchine’s version of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” (Photo by Linda Vartoogian/Getty Images)

    1985

    nutcracker 1985

    1987

    nutcracker 1925
    American dancer Mary Barton (as Clara) and New Zealander Alexander Grant (1925 – 2011) (as Dr Drosselmeyer) perform during Act I of the Joffrey Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” (by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, with choreography by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino) at City Center, New York, New York, December 30, 1987. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1925

    New Zealand-born dancer Alexander Grant (1925 – 2011) (as Dr Drosselmeyer) performs in the Joffrey Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” (by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, with choreography by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino) at City Center, New York, New York, December 30, 1987. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1987

    Members of the Joffrey Ballet perform in the company’s production of “The Nutcracker” (by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, with choreography by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino) at City Center in New York, New York on December 30, 1987. (Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

    1988

    nutcracker 1988
    Steve Ross and Heather Watts during New York City Ballet Performance of “The Nutcracker” on January 10, 1988 at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

    1992

    nutcracker 1992
    Igor Vassin and Inessa Pakri perform at the Brown Palace in “The Nutcracker” in 1992. (Photo By Dave Buresh/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

    1993

    nutcracker 1993
    Chelsea Clinton, center, takes part in a dress rehearsal of the Washington Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” at the Warner Theatre in Washington, Dec. 8, 1993. Chelsea portrays the Favorite Aunt in the production which starts on December 10. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    1994

    nutcracker 1994
    A man and woman performing a dance during the Nutcracker at the Baltimore School for the Artson November 22, 1994. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

    1995

    nutcracker 1995
    The Long Beach Ballet performs excerpts from “The Nutcracker” during a “Headlines” segment on December 11, 1995 on NBC. (Photo by: Margaret C. Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

    nutcracker 1995

    The Boston Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” In a scene from act 1, scene 3, The Snow Queen and King as performed by Adriana Suarez and Paul Thrussell. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

    1996

    nutcracker 1997
    Members of the Boston Ballet dance in the “Snow Scene” during the second act of the company’s production of “The Nutcracker” ballet during a dress rehearsal at the Wang Center in Boston Friday, Nov. 29, 1996. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    1998

    nutcracker 1998
    Boston Ballet brings its 33rd annual production of “The Nutcracker” to the Wang Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Dancers performing during act two in a dress rehearsal. (Photo by Dominic Chavez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

    1999

    nutcracker 1999
    Boston Ballet dancers perform in the first act during the dress rehearsal of “The Nutcracker” at the Wang Center in Boston in 1999. (Photo by Dominic Chavez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

    2000

    nutcracker 1965
    Tony Collins, aka Mother Ginger in the Boston Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker”‘ at the Wang Center. He hadn’t missed a performance since 1965. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole)

    2001

    nutcracker 2001
    Pollyana Ribeiro performs a grand jete as the Snow Queen during dress rehearsal for the Boston Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker,” Friday, Nov. 23, 2001, in Boston. The annual holiday classic opens Friday and runs through Dec. 30. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

    2002

    nutcracker 2002
    Rie Ichikawa, center, dances the part of the Snow Queen at a dress rehearsal for Boston Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker, Friday, Nov. 29, 2002, at the Wang Center in Boston. The Nutcracker runs Nov. 29 through Dec. 30. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

    nutcracker 2002

    “The Nutcracker” leads who play the parts of Misha and Marie rehearsing at the National Ballet Centre on Queen’s Quay in Toronto on December 4, 2002. (Photo by Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    2004

    nutcracker 2004
    Soldiers dancing during final dress rehearsal of the Washington Ballet’s new production of “The Nutcracker” at the Warner theatre in 2004. (Photo by Juana Arias/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

    2005

    nutcracker 2005
    Marzipans dance during dress rehearsal of the Boston Ballet’s “Nutcracker” at the Opera House. “The Nutcracker” had its opening night later on the day, Nov. 24, 2005. (Photo by Essdras M Suarez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

    2007

    nutcracker 2007
    Madrid Theater, Madrid, Spain. Dress rehearsal of the ballet “Nutcracker,” a choreographic adaptation of Maria Gimenez on the original of Marius Petipa, directed by Maria Gimenez and produced by Arte 369. (Photo by Quim Llenas/Cover/Getty Images)

    Style – The Huffington Post
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    It’s Pink Martini and Balanchine for Oregon Ballet Theatre at 25

    2014-10-07-CB_Agon2014BTC.jpg

    Ballet to the People meant to show up at Oregon Ballet Theatre in Portland on Saturday in time to gatecrash company class. But on the way to the studio she succumbed to the siren song of Mother Foucault’s Bookshop. With its vintage office furniture and massive, mismatched, hardwood bookshelves, old and new literary fiction and hardcore philosophy books tantalizingly strewn about, it has the air of a shop that’s been around a lot longer than its three-and-a-half years. Mother Foucault’s is presided over by a young Lord Byron, whose name upon inquiry turned out to be Craig Florence – which struck Ballet to the People as aptly romantic for a bookseller (“Yes, I know, women have wanted to marry me just for my name… and I’ve already been married twice.”) Florence once worked at Shakespeare and Company on Paris’ Left Bank and eschews frivolities like computers and credit card machines.

    Ballet to the People tore herself away and, clutching two volumes of poetry (by Slovenian Tone Škrjanec and Portlandian Douglas Spangle), dashed across the street just in time for révérence.

    OBT is in the throes of rehearsal for a 25th anniversary program that honors its 20th century past, and also looks ahead to its future as a cultural beacon in a city that boxes way above its weight class in the arts.

    2014-10-07-CP_Agon2014BTC.jpg

    The legendary Bart Cook was on hand Saturday to whip Agon into shape – that 1957 masterpiece that, after Apollo and The Four Temperaments, cemented the classic Balanchine style: cerebral, steely, stripped down. Conspicuous for those extraordinary extensions with splayed hips, off-balance transitions and turns executed at whiplash speed, often on top of a bent knee – in bold defiance of classical “rules.” And yet classical form pops up everywhere in Agon, particularly in the carriage of the arms, in the crisp and dazzling arabesques piquées, in the courtly manners and the bows that cap each brief episode.

    A ballet tailormade for what post-Beat poet Spangle called “white concrete days,” its première caused a sensation, not least because of Balanchine’s decision to cast a black man and a white woman, Arthur Mitchell and Diana Adams, in the central pas de deux, at a particularly explosive time in the civil rights era. (Some maintain that this was a purely aesthetic decision, with Balanchine seeking to highlight the visual skin color contrast, as he also did by costuming the dancers in simple black and white practice clothes.)

    OBT last performed this ballet in 1999, but today a new generation of dancers makes it their own. It requires great discipline and clean execution, without sacrificing individual expressiveness and exuberance. Cook exhorted the dancers to get deeper into the collapsed positions, to drape the torsos more fully over bent legs, and to “have fun” in the more playful, jazz-inflected moments. He murmured “beautiful” as Martina Chavez maneuvered into a deep arabesque penchée on pointe while Brian Simcoe threw himself to the ground on his back, continuing to support her with one hand. There were thrills aplenty, as when Jordan Kindell and Adam Hartley tossed Candace Bouchard high into the air. But perhaps the greatest pleasure came from watching the ensemble chew up space in low explosive jumps that often twist and change direction unexpectedly in the air – especially the cadre of men (Hartley, Kindell, Simcoe, and Chauncey Parsons) who open and close the ballet, enigmatically, with their backs to the audience – and watching their fierce intelligence at work as they unraveled the complex Stravinsky score, one that tends to tie you up in knots if you attempt to count it.

    2014-10-07-EB_SG_BCook2_Agon2014BTC.jpg

    Apart from the stunning, elegant Chavez, doe-eyed Eva Burton was a revelation in rehearsal – flipping between stark hyperextensions and softly regal classical positions with astonishing ease – as was Candace Bouchard, who pairs the serenity of a Botticelli with the athleticism of a modern American Olympian.

    “Love x 3” rounds off the retrospective: a series of pas de deux excerpted from three works with strikingly different pedigrees and temperaments. With deconstructed denim coattails billowing, daredevils Xuan Cheng and Michael Linsmeier romp through Trey McIntyre’s Robust American Love, set to “He Doesn’t Know Why” by Seattle indie band Fleet Foxes (“See your rugged hands and a silver knife/ Twenty dollars in your hand makes you hold so tight.”)

    Chauncey Parsons is consumed by the fiery Alison Roper in Christopher Stowell’s Carmen. (Roper, who officially retired from the stage last season, returns for this program.) Parsons portrays Carmen’s jailer, Don José, but even after he binds her wrists, she taunts him and seduces him into freeing her. Hints of flamenco flavor their foreplay, Roper’s pointes and heels stabbing the floor.

    Ansa Deguchi is a reckless young teenager in James Canfield’s Romeo and Juliet, trying to prevent the sensitive Brian Simcoe from leaving her bedroom at the crack of dawn. The petite Deguchi radiates clean lines, and communicates with her beautiful arches and delicately expressive fingers and hands. When Simcoe finally tears himself away, her face crumples in childlike anguish.

    2014-10-07-AD_BS_RJ2014BTC.jpg

    Portland’s inimitable Pink Martini, with the silky-voiced China Forbes, is to provide live accompaniment to Never Stop Falling (In Love), a world première by Nicolo Fonte. The party atmosphere in the rehearsal studio kicked into high gear when Pink Martini’s irrepressible Thomas Lauderdale, dapper in grey suit and bow tie, bounded in and settled in behind the piano. The company is not simply dancing to previously released arrangements of Pink Martini hits; Fonte and Lauderdale have shaped some old and some unreleased songs into a purpose-built score.

    “These new arrangements feel good,” Lauderdale acknowledged, “They’re a little slower than when we originally recorded them – they BREATHE.”

    Never Stop Falling is a big ensemble number, full of luxurious, slinky, flirty movement. Among the many beguiling moments are sequences in which the women sink to the ground, sometimes out of a spin, and the men appear out of nowhere to catch them before they hit the ground.

    2014-10-07-ExposedSG_MC_NSFIL2014BTC.jpg

    Punctuating the swooning, sassy Pink Martini sound is Lauderdale’s wistful interpretation of a Chopin Berceuse, to which Fonte has limned a heart-stopping pas de deux for the Parsons brothers, Chauncey and Colby. (Of the Chopin, Lauderdale noted ruefully, “I just came from a piano lesson, and my piano teacher busted my ass!”)

    The work brings out individual dancer personalities: the fearless Xuan Cheng, sultry Martina Chavez, and coltish Sarah Griffin. And among the men, the romantic Jordin Kindell, the haunting Chauncey Parsons, and the noble, mysterious Brett Bauer.

    2014-10-07-ExposedMC_BB_NSFIL2014BTC.jpg

    Early rehearsals of Never Stop Falling took place in front of appreciative crowds at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, where the company camped out for four days in August in its annual summer ritual, christened “OBT Exposed,” that typically draws about 10,000 visitors.

    Will Fonte’s new work – onstage, with costumes by Portland designer and Project Runway winner Michelle Lesniak – prove the perfect spectacle to usher in another quarter century of superlative dancing and imaginative programming?

    2014-10-07-ExposedEB_CoP_NSFIL2014BTC.jpg

    Catch Oregon Ballet Theatre’s 25th anniversary program with Pink Martini from October 11-18 at Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St, Portland. On the way, stop in at Mother Foucault’s Bookshop at 523 SE Morrison St.

    Photos by Blaine Truitt Covert:

    1. Candace Bouchard in rehearsal for George Balanchine’s Agon
    2. Chauncey Parsons in rehearsal for George Balanchine’s Agon
    3. Bart Cook, répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, rehearsing Eva Burton and Sarah Griffin in George Balanchine’s Agon
    4. Ansa Deguchi and Brian Simcoe in rehearsal for the Bedroom Pas de Deux from James Canfield’s Romeo & Juliet
    5. Sarah Griffin and Martina Chavez rehearsing Nicolo Fonte’s world premiere with Pink Martini, Never Stop Falling (In Love) at OBT Exposed in Pioneer Courthouse Square in August.
    6. Martina Chavez and Brett Bauer rehearsing Nicolo Fonte’s world premiere with Pink Martini, Never Stop Falling (In Love) at OBT Exposed in Pioneer Courthouse Square in August.
    7. Eva Burton and Colby Parsons rehearsing Nicolo Fonte’s world premiere with Pink Martini, Never Stop Falling (In Love) at OBT Exposed in Pioneer Courthouse Square in August.
    Arts – The Huffington Post
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    I WILL WHAT I WANT: Misty Copeland – Behind the Art of Ballet

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    Uniquely Asian, uniquely modern, proudly classical: Ballet Philippines to tour U.S., Canada

    2014-09-13-LaRevolucionFilipina.png

    As the ballet world struggles to remain relevant and to stem the exodus of an audience that would rather sit at home and watch dance in 90-second spurts on SYTYCD than dress up for the opera house, charges of corruption, racism and sexism have plagued the world’s leading companies.

    Meanwhile, the P.R. juggernaut for mega-stars like Russian firebrand Natalia Osipova and Under Armour gladiatrix Misty Copeland is frequent cause for heartburn among artistic directors used to managing their realms in the imperial manner. Copeland is one of very few black ballerinas ever to be cast as Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, fueling the already heated debate over whether greater diversity in the casting of ballet classics is the key to revitalizing the art form, or evidence of deteriorating aesthetic standards.

    For several generations, however, the aesthetic boundaries of classical dance have been stretched, with far less uproar, by Asian dancers. Yoko Morishita, Li Cunxin, Tina Santos, Miyako Yoshida, Anna Villadolid, Maniya Barredo, Nicolas Pacaña, Rey Dizon, Ravenna Tucker, Tetsuya Kumakawa, Yuan Yuan Tan, Chi Cao, Hee Seo, and many others of varying complexions and physiques have played white swans, Teutonic princes and Byronic pirate kings without umpires tossing penalty flags.

    2014-09-13-TheHomecomingGala.png

    One Asian company in particular has been a prolific source of dancers who, for over 45 years, have filtered into leading ballet and modern dance companies around the globe – including American Ballet Theatre, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – while it has carved out a unique identity for itself in the intersection between ballet, modern and folk dance.

    The company now known as Ballet Philippines sprang from the genius of Alice Reyes – one of two pioneers of modern dance in Asia, the other being Lin Hwai-min, founder of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. Lin is also an acclaimed novelist, and a student of Chinese opera and the classical court dance of Japan and Korea, while Reyes trained in painting, music, history and foreign policy. Both were mentored by legendary American choreographers – in Reyes’ case: Hanya Holm, Bessie Schoenberg, Alwin Nikolais, Murray Louis, Merce Cunningham. And as Lin did in Taiwan, Reyes cultivated a distinctly Filipino modern dance idiom around indigenous themes and stories, in collaboration with renowned Filipino artists, librettists and composers. In doing so, she created a new outlet not merely for the retelling of historical tales and the celebration of national culture, but also for the expression of political views on issues of contemporary significance.

    Her groundbreaking Amada – based on novelist Nick Joaquin’s controversial Summer Solstice, with a score by Lucrecia Kasilag – tackled the twin subjects of women’s emancipation and the native Filipino uprising against colonial Spanish oppression in the mid 19th century. Amada was the first of Reyes’ many works that melded modern dance with traditional Philippine dance, and that collectively helped to define Philippine contemporary dance.

    2014-09-13-TheBlueMoonGala.png

    From its inception in 1969, however, the Alice Reyes Dance Company – renamed the CCP Dance Company, and later Ballet Philippines – put its dancers through a rigorous ballet training program, overseen by renowned teacher Eddie Elejar (who himself had trained with many of the greats, including Marie Rambert and Olga Preobrajenska of the Russian Imperial Ballet.) It was the only company in Asia that staged the full-length classics in addition to experimental modern work, that commissioned new work from well-known foreign choreographers, and nurtured emerging dancemakers, some of whom would go on to found their own companies around the world. Reyes herself has choreographed full-length classical ballets including Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet, while Ballet Philippines dancers regularly grace the international ballet competition stages: most recently, the luminous Candice Adea and her gallant partner Jean Marc Cordero romped off with the 1st prize in the Senior Women’s Division and the Jury Prize for Best Partnering Technique, respectively, at the 2012 Helsinki International Ballet Competition.

    Of course, Miss Reyes’ company does come from the Philippines, is a product of its environment, a well homogenised mixture of Malay and Indian, Chinese, Spanish and modern American – Miss Reyes having studied lengthily with the leading lights of the modern dance movement there. But the influences are seldom overt, never caricatured; a fleeting memory of India in the angle of hand or foot, perhaps, Spain in the movement of an arm, modern America in the cool complexity of some of the choreography and more primitive connections in sometimes barbarically powerful undercurrents of pagan ritual.

    Yet all these bits and pieces seem digested and absorbed into something unique, and only in that sense has Miss Reyes in a few years evolved “a national dance form” strongly based on the physical disciplines of classical ballet but entirely uninhibited by any rigid sense of tradition.

    – Brian Hoad, dance critic of The Bulletin (Australian national weekly magazine), 1974

    2014-09-13-45thSeasonBrochureCover.jpg

    For its 45th “Sapphire” anniversary season, current Artistic Director Paul Morales has chosen an eclectic program, which opened in July with Agnes Locsin’s historic La Revolucion Filipina, a controversial and thought-provoking examination of the events around the Philippine revolt against Spain, and of the roles of key revolutionary leaders Apolinario Mabini, Emilio Aguinaldo and Andres Bonifacio, with a score by Ryan Cayabyab and libretto by Dennis Marasigan.

    Starting September 19th, Giselle will alternately showcase local stars and Stella Abrera and James Whiteside from American Ballet Theatre, in a restaging by Nonoy Froilan that, according to an enthusiastic critic, “brings sexy back to ballet.”

    2014-09-13-Giselle.png

    On Sept 26th, 27th and 28th, BP alumni will gather for a series of ‘homecoming’ performances that show off the company’s phenomenal range – from the bravura-packed Don Quixote pas de deux to Norman Walker’s moving and majestic Songs of the Wayfarer, Alice Reyes’ witty Bungkos Suite, George Birkadze’s spectacularly athletic Farandole and his eloquent, yearning R/J, which compresses the tale of Romeo and Juliet into seven minutes.

    In February, the company will revive the rock opera Manhid, a cult classic first conceived and staged at the University of the Philippines in 1991 by a group of then little known college students. Among the youthful collaborators were Morales himself, Auraeus Solito – who would later win international acclaim as an indie film director (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros, Tuli/Circumcision, Busong/Palawan Fate) – and the band of musicians known as Eraserheads, who would go on to electrify millions and redefine Filipino rock.

    2014-09-13-Manhid.png

    A political allegory with comic book-style villains and superheroes for the 21st century, Manhid rewrites modern Philippine history, imagining the failure of the 1986 ‘People Power’ revolution – the civil protests that toppled the repressive regime of Ferdinand Marcos. “Manhid, through its theme of apathy, its characters, and story is all about getting back to the root of Filipino-ness, the need for heroism, the power of truth, and most of all, hope, vigilance, and change,” says Morales, who choreographed the original production and for whom this revival closes a poignant circle.

    For those fans unable to make it to Manila this season, the company will bring a handful of its signature works to the West Coast of the United States and Canada in October. It has been 16 years since Ballet Philippines has toured the U.S., when they performed at the Kennedy Center, and board president Margie Moran – a former Miss Universe, businesswoman, advocate for social justice, and a tireless promoter of the arts – wants to remind the world of Ballet Philippines’ extraordinary imprint on Asian arts and culture, even as its alumni continue to infiltrate the highest strata of the international dance world: “We ought to celebrate our 45th year, and what better way than to share the gift of dance with Filipinos and Filipinos-at-heart abroad.”

    Catch Ballet Philippines on tour in October:

    Los Angeles, CA: Pasadena Civic Auditorium (October 4)
    San Jose, CA: California Theater (October 12)
    Portland, OR: Lincoln Performance Hall, College of the Arts, Portland State University (October 15)
    Olympia, WA: Kenneth J. Minneart Center for the Arts, South Puget Sound Community College (October 17),
    Burien, WA: Highline Performing Arts Center (October 22)
    Richmond, BC: River Rock Casino Resort (October 26)

    Photos courtesy Ballet Philippines.
    Arts – The Huffington Post
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    Baby Buds Ballet Slippers (Pink or Purple)

    Baby Buds Ballet Slippers (Pink or Purple)


    Faux leather slippers accented with three-dimensional flower and rhinestone center. Arrives in an acetate gift box. Features and facts: Faux leather ballet slippers feature a silk flower with rhinestone centerSize 0-6 monthsAvailable in pink and purpleCoordinates with other Baby Buds products: Two-Piece Ruffle Pant Set, Sun Hat, Tutu Dress, Headbands and Leg Warmer
    List Price: $ 16.15
    Price: $ 16.15

    Carter’s Ballet Beauty Newborn Gown 2 Piece Set

    Carter’s Ballet Beauty Newborn Gown 2 Piece Set


    Carter’s Ballet Beauty Newborn Gown 2 Piece Set is just what baby needs for the perfect night’s sleep. Made from 100% breathable ribbed cotton, its non-binding and silky soft. With expandable shoulders, an elastic hem, a charming applique and fold-over mitts to prevent scratching, its no wonder Carters is America’s favorite brand. Machine wash/tumble dry. Will not shrink or fade.
    List Price: $ 18.99
    Price: $ 14.99

    Hello Kitty Toddler Girl s Fashion Ballet Flats HK Lil Abbey Shoes, 5 – Toddler

    Hello Kitty Toddler Girl s Fashion Ballet Flats HK Lil Abbey Shoes, 5 – Toddler


    Hello Kitty Toddler Girl’s Fashion Ballet Flats HK Lil Abbey Shoes Synthetic Upper. Elastic Strap Across Top For Secure Fit. Padded Footbed For Extra Comfort. Rubber Midsole & Traction Outsole. Model: HK Lil Abbey, FE2640
    List Price: $ 29.95
    Price: $ 29.95

    Tinker Bell Ballet Slippers

    Tinker Bell Ballet Slippers


    Peter Pan Tinker Bell Ballet Slippers Dance The Night Away! These lovely cloth light green slippers feature white faux-fur, a silver strap and a Tinker Bell cameo. Available size: Fits child shoe size 10-11. Ballet Slippers measure: 8” long from toe to heel; 3” wide at widest part of shoe (inside ball of foot area to outside edge); and 2.5” wide at heel. To get your child’s foot measurements we recommend having your child stand on a piece of paper, trace around them, and then measure the tracings with a ruler. An official Peter Pan & ©Disney product.
    List Price:
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    Tendertoes “Ballet Baby” Mary Jane Shoes (Infant Girls Sizes 1 – 4) – black, 3 infant

    Tendertoes “Ballet Baby” Mary Jane Shoes (Infant Girls Sizes 1 – 4) – black, 3 infant


    Give your little girl the sweet and stylish look of these Mary Janes from Tendertoes. They feature patent leather construction and a ruffled ribbon detail. The convenient Velcro strap allows for easy access. Too cute! Man Made Materials Made in China

    Price: $
    Sold by CookiesKids

    Baby Deer Infants Pink Ballet Slippers

    Baby Deer Infants Pink Ballet Slippers


    Dress your little ballerina up in these spandex ballet slippers from Baby Deer. Featuring an elastic strap; a sheer rosette ornament. These adorable pink slippers are perfect for comfort or dress-up use.
    List Price: $ 17.95
    Price: $ 17.95

    Old Navy Womens Bow Tie Ballet Flats – Gold

    Old Navy Womens Bow Tie Ballet Flats – Gold


    Old Navy Faux leather upper and synthetic rubber sole Decorative bow tie in front; rounded toe Cushioned canvas footbed with printed logo Textured sole for traction Approximately 1/4" sole
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    Touch Ups by Benjamin Walk Kids’ Childrens Ballet Tod/Pre Shoes (White Satin)

    Touch Ups by Benjamin Walk Kids’ Childrens Ballet Tod/Pre Shoes (White Satin)


    These delicate and sweetly innocent ballet flats by Touch Ups dyeables will keep little ones pretty and comfortable on any special occasion. Smooth satin fabric upper in a dyeable casual slip-on ballet flat style with a round toe. A canvas trimmed scoop vamp secures with a delicate adjustable bow at the toe. Fabric lining and cushioning faux leather footbed flexible midsole. Soft leather outsole. 1/8 inch heel.

    Price: $
    Sold by Shoes.com

    Eddie Ballet Flat Royal Tan Patent

    Eddie Ballet Flat Royal Tan Patent


    Tory Burch’s sporty chic Eddie Ballet Flat gets glamorous in rich royal tan patent leather. Patent leather upperElastic toplineLogo stamp detailing at back heel coverRubber outsoles
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    Donna Karan DKNY Women s Fashion Ballet Flats Sophie Shoes, 8.5

    Donna Karan DKNY Women s Fashion Ballet Flats Sophie Shoes, 8.5


    Donna Karan DKNY Women’s Fashion Ballet Flats Sophie Shoes Fashionable & Easy Slip On . Comfortable Inner Padding. Jersey Wrap Detail On Toe. Fabric Lining. Rubber Man-Made Outsole
    List Price: $ 63.00
    Price: $ 63.00

    Merrell Avesso Ballet Flat Shoe for Women

    Merrell Avesso Ballet Flat Shoe for Women


    Some occasions call for decadent style period. This luxurious Italian slip-on suede ballet comes from a collaboration with Italian designers to give you a little something special for your feet. And you can dance around the world in comfort thanks to our signature comfort from a perfect fit. UPPER / LINING Cement construction provides lightweight durability Suede upper Synthetic leather lining treated with Aegis(R) antimicrobial solution Slip-on upper EVA removable footbed MIDSOLE / OUTSOLE Merrell Avesso Outsole/Sticky Rubber Women’s Weight: 13.6 ozs
    List Price: $ 80.00
    Price: $ 80.00

    Ballet Organic Onesie by Neo Baby

    Ballet Organic Onesie by Neo Baby


    The adorable Ballet In Violet by Neo Baby is made with loving care. Each piece is manufactured using only the finest 100% certified organic cotton, eco-friendly dyes and water based inks. Its pre-shrunk and guaranteed not to fade. Care instructions; machine wash, tumble dry. Made in USA.
    List Price: $ 25.99
    Price: $ 25.99

    Children’s Dyeable Ballet Slipper

    Children’s Dyeable Ballet Slipper


    These darling flat ballet slippers by Touch Ups are available in a satin fabric which can be dyed by a specialist in your area to match any color flower girl or special occasions dress A classic and comfortable accessory your little flower girl will love to wear Sorry this shoe is not available in Wide widths Sizes: 7 – 13 1/2, 1 – 3 Toddler/Children’s sizing Inches: 5 1/25 3/4……6 1/86 1/26 3/47 1/87 1/2 Shoe size: 78………910111213 Kids/ Youth Sizing Inches: 7 3/48 1/88 1/2 Shoe size: 123
    List Price: $ 28.00
    Price: $ 28.00

    Solemates Purse Pal Foldable Bowed Ballet Flats w/ Expandable Tote Bag for Carrying Heels (Large (9 – 10.5), Silver) Reviews

    Donna Karan DKNY Women s Fashion Shoes Sophie Ballet Flats, 6.5

    Donna Karan DKNY Women s Fashion Shoes Sophie Ballet Flats, 6.5


    Donna Karan DKNY Women’s Fashion Shoes Sophie Ballet Flats Fashionable & Easy Slip On . Comfortable Inner Padding. Jersey Wrap Detail On Toe. Model: Sophie, 23992111. Made In: Imported
    List Price: $ 63.00
    Price: $ 63.00

    Hero Captain ‘Sully’ Honored With Insanely Awesome Rap Ballet Music Video

    This week saw the five year anniversary of “The Miracle on the Hudson,” and one very creative person decided to mark the occasion and pay musical tribute to Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III in a rather… err, uh, unconventional way.

    Zach Sherwin has released the music video above entitled “Goose MCs” that has absolutely everything you could imagine in it and more. Is there a hip-hop sound and smooth lyrical rhyme that gets your head bobbing to the beat? Check. Are there ballerinas dancing and dressed up as both Captain Sullenberger and a flock of geese? Yup. Do you need to click play and start watching this right away? Most definitely!
    Arts – The Huffington Post
    ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

    Old Navy Scalloped Eyelet Ballet Shoes For Baby – Metallic pink

    Old Navy Scalloped Eyelet Ballet Shoes For Baby – Metallic pink


    Old Navy Smooth, faux leather upper and synthetic rubber sole Scalloped eyelet designs along foot opening Cushioned footbed with printed logo Textured sole for traction For Metallic Pink color only: smooth metallic shell
    List Price:
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    Leah Sarago – Ballet Body: Core Workout DVD

    Leah Sarago – Ballet Body: Core Workout DVD


    Lose inches while building lean muscles with movements inspired by ballet, dance, Pilates, and yoga. Ballet Body??? by Leah Sarago integrates traditional body-weight resistance exercises with muscle-elongating techniques to achieve a long and lean physique. Suitable for all fitness levels, these workouts draw on isometrics, the stretch-reflex principle, and muscle-contraction training for optimal results. Flatten your midsection and develop core strength with this dynamic, Pilates-inspired workout. You???ll start with standing balance exercises and movement sequences before progressing into variations on side planks and mat work. Complete the routine with exercises to support the spine and back, along with deep stretches for flexibility. If you want strong abs and a bikini-ready belly, this incredible core workout is for you! Equipment needed: mat

    Price: $
    Sold by Cascio Interstate Music

    An Enthralling Nutcracker at New York Theatre Ballet

    2013-11-28-20112340_0505.jpg

    New York Theatre Ballet dancers in Keith Michael’s Nutcracker (Photo: Julieta Cervantes)

    It’s been an exhausting Fall season of bi-coastal dance, full of thought-provoking ballet — from the dazzling, messy new Tempest at American Ballet Theatre, to Crystal Pite’s Emergence at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Nacho Duato’s bewitching Por Vos Muero at Oregon Ballet Theatre, dark fairy tales at West Wave, Alonzo King’s mesmerizing Writing Ground in San Francisco, and Unión Tanguera’s erotic tango reverie at Cal Performances in Berkeley.

    A jetlagged Ballet to the People now intends to curl up in her pyjamas in front of the fire, with an eggnog and a cozy Nutcracker.

    In the bi-coastal spirit, however, she will board a plane one more time this year to catch one of her all-time favorite Nutcrackers: New York Theatre Ballet’s captivating version by Keith Michael at the Florence Gould Hall in midtown Manhattan. The run comprises three performances daily – at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3:30 pm – on December 14, 15 and 22 only, so plan ahead.

    Eschewing the cast of thousands, the grandeur of an opera house and of Christmas trees that inflate to skyscraper height, this streamlined retelling of the Nutcracker glories in the virtues of economy and wit. Situated, delightfully, on top of a mantelpiece and embellished in turn-of-the-20th-century Art Nouveau style, real people and figurines mingle, somewhat surreally, against a protean set designed by Gillian Bradshaw-Smith. Though aimed principally at young children, the production’s many clever details, and its crisp, unsentimental, high-octane storytelling have proven equally irresistible to more jaded adults. Sylvia Nolan, Resident Costume Designer of the Metropolitan Opera designed the stylish, sophisticated costumes that include polka-dotted mice, clockwork imps, and Chinese dancers wielding enormous chopsticks. A luminous owl flies above the audience. The hands of a ticking clock become swords in the dancers’ hands. The magic stays with us well beyond the hour.

    2013-11-28-20112340_0763.jpg

    New York Theatre Ballet dancers in Keith Michael’s Nutcracker (Photo: Julieta Cervantes)

    Serving up imaginative versions of the classics — as well as newly commissioned work by acclaimed contemporary choreographers — all at affordable ticket prices, this tiny, much-lauded company has steadfastly delighted audiences since its founding in 1978. New York Theatre Ballet has worked hard to introduce newcomers to ballet, targeting underserved markets — not just in New York City, but also in smaller cities across America — filling a niche that the larger, less nimble dance companies tend to ignore.

    NYTB – Nutcracker Promo 2012 from New York Theatre Ballet on Vimeo.

    Last year, critic Robert Gottlieb reported on NYTB’s Nutcracker:

    It’s extraordinary the way [Michaels] achieves so much with so small an ensemble. What’s more, the choreography is musical and inventive — and fun. These are committed dancers, as much at home in this classic as they were in Tudor, Cunningham and Alston the last time I saw the company. The atmosphere is relaxed and rowdy, the experience a happy one. Don’t forget this one at Nutcracker time next year!

    The Nutcracker is part of NYTB’s Once Upon a Ballet series. Other ballets in the series include:

    The Alice-in-Wonderland Follies
    January 25, 2014 at 1pm and January 26, 2014 at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3:30 pm

    Cinderella
    March 1-2, 2014 at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3:30 pm

    Carnival of the Animals & Sleeping Beauty’s Wedding
    May 3, 2014 at 1pm, May 4 at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3:30 pm

    Whether the company will survive past this season is anyone’s guess, however. The tornado of urban renewal recently swept up the historic building that has housed NYTB’s studios and offices for over 30 years; its sale by the Madison Avenue Baptist Church, and impending demolition and redevelopment will shortly force New York Theatre Ballet onto the streets. As with a growing number of arts organizations, NYTB is discovering that stratospheric real estate costs, and the coupling of developer greed with city government apathy, make New York City inhospitable to all but the behemoths whose donors possess exceptionally deep pockets. A shameful state of affairs in the performing arts capital of the world.

    Knowing that this may well be the last season of Keith Michael’s sparkling Nutcracker should at least galvanize you to score tickets today.

    And while you’re standing on line at the box office, tweet Mayor-elect de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio), who on the campaign trail spoke up for the struggling middle class and small businesses, and ask him what he intends to do to reverse the noxious trend that is wiping out small but legendary institutions like NYTB and New York City Opera.
    Arts – The Huffington Post
    ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

    MUPS Shoes DJS004 Womens Bella Pink Metallic Ballet Flats – Size 7

    MUPS Shoes DJS004 Womens Bella Pink Metallic Ballet Flats – Size 7


    Bella pink metallic ballet flats in all her beauty, will match all the latest trends with it’s array of colors for any personality, Leather lining; cushioned foam insole, Includes Large Rainbow Cluster and additional MUPS ornament attached with a secure heart shaped Velcro built into the shoe in a unique way, SKU: MUPS066

    Price: $
    Sold by Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

    Baby Deer Infants Pink Ballet Slippers

    Baby Deer Infants Pink Ballet Slippers


    Your little girl will look simply adorable in these broadcloth ballet slippers from Baby Deer. Featuring a sheer ribbon tie; it doesn’t get much cuter than these pink ballet slippers.
    List Price: $ 17.95
    Price: $ 17.95

    MUPS Shoes DJS004 Womens Bella Red & White Stripe Ballet Flats – Size 6

    MUPS Shoes DJS004 Womens Bella Red & White Stripe Ballet Flats – Size 6


    Bella red & white stripe ballet flats in all her beauty, will match all the latest trends with it’s array of colors for any personality, Leather lining; comfort cushion, Includes Large Rainbow Cluster and additional MUPS ornament attached with a secure heart shaped Velcro built into the shoe in a unique way, SKU: MUPS071

    Price: $
    Sold by Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

    Merrell Avesso Ballet Flat Shoe for Women

    Merrell Avesso Ballet Flat Shoe for Women


    Some occasions call for decadent style period. This luxurious Italian slip-on suede ballet comes from a collaboration with Italian designers to give you a little something special for your feet. And you can dance around the world in comfort thanks to our signature comfort from a perfect fit. UPPER / LINING Cement construction provides lightweight durability Suede upper Synthetic leather lining treated with Aegis(R) antimicrobial solution Slip-on upper EVA removable footbed MIDSOLE / OUTSOLE Merrell Avesso Outsole/Sticky Rubber Women’s Weight: 13.6 ozs
    List Price: $ 80.00
    Price: $ 80.00