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

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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

The Hardest Moment on The Stage!

Have you ever wondered  what the hardest movement of ballet is? If yes, let me introduce you the most difficult ballet movement, which the same time is the most impressive moment on the stage. It’s called ‘Fouettes Pirouette’.

Fouettes Pirouette is also known as 32 Fouettes Turns on Pointe. It was first introduced in the Cinderella choreographed by three legendary choreographers; Lev Ivanov, Marius Petipa, and Enrico Checchetti. Pierina Legnina was the first ballet dancer who performed this hardest movement.

Although Fouettes Pirouette was first seen in the Cinderella, it’s surprisingly not the first ballet story that comes up to audiences’ minds, when they’re expecting to see this captivated movement. ‘Swan Lake’ in the coda of Odile, or Black Swan, instead becomes the most famous ballet story of Fouettes Pirouette.

Fouettes Pirouette was performed by many well-known ballerinas around the world. One of the most remarkable dancer who did the Fouettes Pirouette is Gillian Murphy, the principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre. She actually did over 32 Fouettes Pirouette in the coda of ‘Swan Lake’.

Look how amazing she was on the stage with the hardest movement of ballet on the video I posted below. As I told you, even Fouettes Pirouette is the toughest movement on the stage, it’s the most impassioned moment to hugely welcome grand applauds from the audiences.

Video from Youtube

Ballet Movies, Are They Reality Telling?

It was the first time that ballet movie was nominated in Academy Awards, and it was the first time for Natalie Portman wining the best actress in Oscar from the ballet movie, ‘Black Swan’.

‘Black Swan’ hugely motivates viewers to turn back and more consider of dance in films. There is a bunch of ballet movies on the list, but it seems like no one except ballerinas and dancers are appealed to this kind of movie. Hip-Hop movies; for example, Step Up, are more attractive to people because of its soundtrack, quick story telling, and sexy stars on the screen.

However, film companies never stop making ballet movies. There are 18 ballet movies in a film history. It has been continued since 1948 when ‘The Red Shoes’ was first time released until 2011 of ‘Black Swan’. It’s because a reality of ballet hides many drama stories behind the stage, and it’s might be the time to reveal those secrets.

Ballet movies are based on pretty much the same story telling; competition, dream, love, pressure, and applaud. In fact, those are a real environment that every dancers have been faced every single day.

It’s not easy to be a great ballerina. It’s hard to make a successful ballet movie. Difficulties along those paths easily make dancers and filmmakers give up on their dreams. On the other hand, whenever they eventually step on the stage, no one forget their names.

Video edited by Ballet Blossom

Ballet-inspired Fashion (continued)

Talking about Ballet and fashion, it takes a long time to finish the story. Ballet-inspired fashion is a harmony of an adorable piece of art works. After I talked about hairstyle, tops and the fluffy skirt inspired by Ballet, this time let’s move on to Ballet-inspired fashion from hip to toe!

Skinny jeans and leggings are very favored to teenagers in these days. We can obviously see those kinds of fashion on the street in every seasons. However, the design of skinny jeans and leggings are exactly as same as what ballerinas wear in their Ballet class. It’s a Ballet tight, it is it. I don’t wonder how skinny jeans and legging became very popular, because it totally helps lengthen our legs. It just makes us look slimmer like the dancer on the stage.

J.Crew ballerina flats

The biggest thing in Ballet that influences fashion is flat shoes, or ballerina flats. There’s no doubt where the design is coming from. Flats shoes are widely sold around the world ranging from brand name designer boutiques to low-budget shoes shops. Flats are really fashionable and it can easily match to any of styles of fashion. That’s the reason women love them. Even though flats shoes in the fashion world are made from varieties of material and colors, we many times see them completely like ballet shoes with pink and soft leather. For me, J.Crew is a representative of ballerina flats brand.

Now you can see how much Ballet inspires fashion. Actually, I would say, both of them inspire each other. Fashion collaborates with choreography and dancer’s skill to present numbers of fantastic shows on the stage as well. Or we could say, they’re good friends.

Next time I will talk about another significant thing which is motivated by Ballet. Don’t miss the next blog of Ballet Blossom.

Photograph from Sodabottle

Ballet-inspired Fashion

As we know that Ballet is a symbol of sweetness, femininity, and imagination, that might be a reason why we keep seeing Ballet-inspired fashion all year round from brand name designers to the local ones.

Ballet inspires fashion from head to toe. Starting from the Ballet hairstyle, or Ballet bun, that keeps hair from flying in a dancer’s face. This hairstyle creates a clean and elegant line for the dancer; therefore, high-end designers adapted this hairstyle in their collections by adding glitter headband, jewelry, or flowers on model’s head bun whose dress are mostly elegant as a bride outfit.

Chloe Summer Runway 2011

Tops of ballet suit, or leotard, are fitted to the upper body. It helps the dancer easily move and stably control their body when turning and being lifted in the air. Many fashion designers love the idea and creates tops using leopard pattern. Stretch top is popular to wear inside and cover with suit, cardigan or vest. It can also be worn alone on top with some nice jewelry. Stretch tops are fashionable to wear with legging jean, shorts, or  fluffy skirt. Actually, those styles don’t go far way from what ballerina exactly wears,  do they?

Talked about fluffy skirt, it’s the most outstanding fashion adapted from Ballet. We often see this gorgeous skirt in both short and long version on runways. It really shows femininity; in the same time, it hides sexiness, and naughtiness of women. Recently, Japan is a leader of fluffy skirt trend. If you’re going to Harajuku, a fashion center of the country, I bet that you would see five people from ten wearing the fluffy skirt. This trend is spreading fast to Asia, and especially to Europe, after Chloe launched their Spring/Summer 2011 Collection in Paris Fashion Week at the end of 2010.

It’s very exciting to see Ballet skirt blossom on the streets in the United States very soon.

Photograph from Fanclothing