The Dance Named “Life”

As you know, I’m a retired ballet dancer. That means something happened to stop my dance career. However, even I changed my career path to do another thing that I’m passionate to, I have never regretted to have ballet in my (retired) life still. Being an audience, a part-time dance teacher, and a dance blogger always make me feel the ballet movement in my body.

I want everyone to have a chance to watch my video. At least, it could be your good friend when you feel depressed or despair of anything in your life. Enjoy!

Video edited by Ballet Blossom. Thank you everyone who contributed to this video, and also my great video source, Youtube. 

Japanese: Are They The Best Asian in Ballet?

We know ballet wasn’t born in Asia but it has been flourished in Asian countries long enough to become acceptable. Almost every Asian countries have their ballet companies; however, which country brings the best to the world?

The answer seems to be Japan due to the highest number of ballet companies and ballet schools in the country. Moreover, japanese dancers, both native and half a nationality, became successful not just only in Japan. They’re also promoted as principal dancers in the world greatest ballet companies.

There are a lot of other japanese dancers who brought their nationality to proudly stand among European and American dancers. We might not be able to judge whether japanese dancers are the best Asian in Ballet or not. However, from what we’ve seen and heard, they 99% deserve to accept the winning.

Story sources from Wikipedia and Balletcompanies

Photograph from Irenebrination

Ballet has its nationalities!

Even though we use the word “Ballet” to describe this beautiful kind of dance, Ballet itself has different nationalities, or let’s say, it has multifarious styles.

There are 4 styles of ballet which some are nearly similar, and  some that are totally different from each other. Russian, French, Italian and British are the nationalities that we’re talking about.

  • Russian Ballet is originated in Russia. It emphasizes a soft expression of upper bodywork, with extra attention focused on the line of dancers. However, it’s very strong and clean without robotic stiffness.

Carlotta Grisi and Jules Perrot, the most famous Italian ballet dancers

  • French Ballet is characterized by an emphasis on accuracy and elegance. It is an extremely strong style, with great speed and quantity of steps. The music played slower than movement is the concept of French Ballet.

  • Italian Ballet is considered to concern for anatomy and development of dancers through strict training. The idea of Italian style is to learn by studying principle dancers’ basic rather than being stimulated by teachers.

  • British Ballet is focused on clean, precise technique and purity of line. British Ballet is indicated for its slow progression. Dancers pay a great attention to correct basic techniques in the early years of training, to adapt to advanced techniques later on.

Although ballet is originated from a variety of regions, there has never been a fight. Because for us who have ballet in our lives, wherever we come from, whatever styles we heart, we live in the same spiritual sublime world.

Story source from Wikipedia

Photograph from Art.com

How professional dancers eat to stay strong and slim?

Being slim but strong seems to be a great requirement for those who want to be a professional ballet dancer. However, ballet dancers are not necessary to starve themselves throughout the day in order to get a perfect shape, they just need a perfect balanced eating!

Good nutrition is one of the most important things that dancers should be aware of. They need Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Vitamins, and Minerals as same as general people do. Although, ballet dancers must regularly eat, they stop eating when they’re no longer hungry.

Moreover, they choose food that digests more slowly to have a staying power, to give them energy over a long period. These kind of food; for example, are whole wheat bread, brown rice, and yellow vegetables. They also avoid eating red beef because it has the protein to make new issue. It’s also not good due to its high animal fat.

Alright, let’s get start professional ballet dancer’s eating habit so you could get a slim shape. The rest is to practice your dance skill so you would have a strong body.

Story sources from The Ballet Site and Voice of Dance 

Photograph from  Washingtonian

The Most Famous Ballet Painting

There are countless ballet paintings hanged on the walls in museums around the world, and some might be in your house. That’s actually not surprising since ballet is one of the most beautiful things that could bring life to canvas. Although, ballet painting is popular for collectors for decades, not all of them could be recognized. However, ballet painting is like a portrait painting, if we have the famous “Monalisa”, why don’t we have one for ballet?

I’m talking about “The Dance Class”, the most memorable ballet painting by a French famous artist, Edgar Degas. “The Dance Class” has its original name in French, La Classe de Dense, which is the same meaning in English. It was painted in 1873 considering the most ambitious figural compositions except for history paintings of Degas. The painting was done in 1876.

This oil painting features Jules Perrot, one of the most well-known ballet master at that time, rehearsing dancers in the Foyer de la Danse of the Palais Garnier, or Paris Opera.

The reason that “The Dance Class” has become famous might be because we could feel the picture. Even though, there’s no dancing figure on canvas, all of them are really show expressions through their postures; strict teaching of the teacher, bored waiting by putting arms on the waist, or even scratching on the back while listening. Those are the things that actually happen all the time in ballet classes. Whether his idea came from the real picture or not, Edgar Degas just did it right along the way.

Story Source from Heilbrunn Timeline of Art | The Metropolitan Museum of Art  and Wikipedia

Photograph from Canvasreplicas 

It’s almost impossible to have, and impossible to forget!

Peter Anastos, Natch Taylor, and Antony Bassae made a big surprise happen in 1974 when they founded Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, an all-male ballet company, in New York City.

The “Trocks”, as its nickname of the company, first performed in the late-night shows, in Off-Off Broadway lofts. It has become well-known since a famous ballet critic of The New Yorker, Arlene Croce, reviewed their performance.

The Trocks concept is to perform the full range of the ballet and modern dance repertoire, including classical and original works. They incorporate the exaggerations of ballet, the comedy intended to show off the performers’ technical skills, and underlying differences of serious dance. The dancers characterize both male and female roles, whose heavy bodies dancing on pointe, to enhance the spirit of dance as an art form.

The Trocks has been touring around the world, with continued success in many major cities. With thirty four years experiences, The Trocks continues its original purpose “to bring the pleasure of dance to the widest possible audience.”, because it’s almost impossible to have, and it’s impossible to forget!

Story source from Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Photograph from Arts Beat | New York Times

Step Out of The Box

Ballet has turned in a variety of ways to present its richness through movies, photographs, fashion, and more to say. Print is one of those things that seems to be growing so fast these days for marketing ballet.

A lot of ballet companies has already changed their traditional pink tutu-ed ballerina posters to a new challenging alternative. We have recently seen ballet in japanese-styled cartoon posters, or just some graphics without any ballet features posted in front of the world famous ballet companies. However, the results are not that bad, people actually are captured by those captivated ads.

Old and new styles of ballet ad

The Ballet Bag, one of my favorite ballet website blogged, “We think the ballet industry should be thinking outside the box; perhaps looking at the web output of amateur and professional illustrators and/or graphic artists not immediately linked to the field of dance for new concepts and inspiration.”

I totally agree with The Ballet Bag. Sometimes it’s just frustrating to repeatedly watch the same ballet story, or see the old style of ballet posters. I’m always excited every times ballet companies come up with their new ideas to present the performances. And yes, I’m awake to see their new ways of advertising, too!

Because we love to see something new all the time, don’t we?

Image sources from Ballet.co.uk & The Ballet Blog. You can also check out The Ballet Bag to read and discover more unexpected images.

It’s Love: Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel

It’s not a fairy tale, but it’s a true love story. A guy, who was a star of American Ballet Theatre and a girl who was a newbie of the company’s corps de Ballet at that time. Today they both are principal dancers who have been spending their time together on and off stage for nearly 14 years!

Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel met each other at American Ballet Theatre. They had been friends for a year, before the relationship was begun. Stiefel significantly inspired Murphy’s dance life, from corps de ballet to soloist, and from soloist to one of the most well-know principal dancers of the company. He is pleased to be a part of her successful career. Murphy, herself, she deserves to have him standing beside. The couple danced together in many performances of the company such as Swan Lake and La Fille Ma Gardee.

Outside the company, they are another romantic couple. Early in their relationship, Murphy spent 3 weeks on the back of her boyfriend’s Harley Davidson traveling across the country. That was another great impression for Stiefel.

The couple lives together in New York, but usually escapes from the big apple to their country house in Pennsylvania if they have no schedules. They would love to have children and we hope to see their wedding soon.

Photograph from Fotolog

Story Source from Dancemagazine

When a professional ballet dancer becomes a blogger!

Have you ever wondered if ballet dancers were not on stage, what would they do? After I’ve been looking through many ballet blogs, another thing that I found is there is a pretty big space on blogs appearing the names of professional ballet dancers. Yes, some of them becomes a blogger in their spare time!

One of them is Ashley Bouder,  a principal dancer at New York City Ballet. She’s a blogger for Huffington Post, yet but recently she just well done blogged on my favorite dance site, Dance Pulp.

“Finding inspiration is always the quest of every good artist. Or, really anyone who hopes to keep motivated throughout life.”

Ashley Bouder

“I do love to watch my peers from the wings. Seeing the sweat, the faces they make that the audience never sees, hearing them breath and shout off stage, and all the other aspects like that makes me feel better about how I feel when I’m out there.”

“I never feel more alive than onstage. That’s not to say it is every show, but there are those nights when I just want to relive every moment a thousand times.”

“The depth of the pools of inspiration are endless. It just takes the courage and thought to dive in.”

These are some parts of her blog which inspired me a lot. I love that she named her blog “My Pools of Inspiration” because it’s exactly right after I finished reading it. She told us where she gets her inspiration and how to keep herself inspired. She spread it out through beautiful words, and I’ve been touched to her feeling.  Her blog is not just for her but everyone. Ashley, you’re not just a professional ballet dancer but also a qualified blogger.

Visit the original site and read Ashley’s blog, then you could say I didn’t say anything wrong!

Quotes from Dancepulp

Photograph from New York City Ballet

The World’s First 3D Ballet

During my Spring Break, I had a chance to read and visit a number of ballet blogs. I was falling in love with many sites, and of course bloggers, who kept me addict to read their posts over nights. One of them is ‘Ballet News‘ where I found this interesting thing to share with you.

“GISELLE IN 3D from the historic Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg is the world’s first 3D ballet and will be screening at cinemas across the UK on March 29th and April 3rd. This exquisite, classical ballet has been filmed in 3D to create a pixel-perfect production which captures the movement of a world-class performance in a new and mesmerising way. The corps de ballet fan away from the viewer and the prima ballerinas dance with stunning realism, giving cinema audiences worldwide a ‘best seat in the house’ experience wherever they happen to sit.”

“WOW.” This is such a new great choice to present ballet without seat selection problem. As we know, Giselle is one of the most romantic ballet stories in the history, and it’s very right to have been chosen as the first high-tech ballet in cinemas.

Just saying ballet in 3D, I believe there’s many excitement from audiences to watch the movie. Including with the two shinning stars of Mariinsky Theatre; Natalie Osipova and Leonid Sarafanov, it’s no doubt to see ballet lovers sit on their best seats enjoying the stunning ballet in two acts, with their popcorns!

Quote from Balletnews

Photograph from Digitalcinemareport