Last weekend I took one of my flatmates, George, to see his first ever Ballet performance. We went and saw American Repertory Ballet’s amazing American Classics mixed bill – there was Phillip Jerry’s Our Town, Randy James’ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Douglas Martin’s Ephemeral Possessions, Patrick Corbin’s Folia and Twyla Tharp’s Eight Jelly Rolls. George seemed to really enjoy it and afterwards I asked him what he thought. His reply? That the performance had been so cool.
That got me thinking – Ballet is damn cool! Sure, Black Swan helped make Ballet seem cool (I’d argue that Mao’s Last Dancer was better though!) but, to be honest, the Ballet world was doing a pretty fine job by themselves! So I thought I’d share some Ballet coolness with you all:
Royal Ballet videos:
First up, some awesome videos coming out of the Royal Ballet, and Bennet Gartside (First Soloist). It all started with the The Royal Ballet. Not What You Think. video:
I showed this to my flatmates (all cyclists), and they jaws actually dropped. And I think one of them swore at seeing 1:15. This video shows perfectly how sexy, physical, impressive and cool Ballet can be. And to top it all off, they’ve started some new videos for the upcoming Romeo & Juliet at the O2! Here’s the first in their video blogs:
But the Royal Ballet isn’t alone in creating cool videos. Just today I found this cool piece by The Australian Ballet: it’s called Trace by Alice Topp and is being performed in a side street in Melbourne. I love the juxtaposition of the dance and the setting creating a certain ‘rawness’ to the piece. Awesome!
And just so you Americans don’t feel left out – here’s New York City Ballet’s Janie Taylor and Justin Peck dancing in an advert for a fashion house (I think it’s called Chloe, but I don’t know much about fashion!). It’s choreographed by Peck (who recently premiered a work to Sufjan Stevens’ music – again pretty cool!) and is pretty awesome!
Now for a shift away from videos to a more static piece of coolness: posters and season brochures. These are pretty much just an excuse to show how ridiculously good looking ballet dancers and I for one am not complaining! There are far too many posters to choose from but here are a couple of my favorites; I’ll let the pictures say their thousand words:
But Ballet cool isn’t just visual. In fact, one of the coolest things I’ve found about Ballet is talking to some of the world’s best dancers on Twitter and getting glimpses into their daily lives. I couldn’t possibly mention them all but a handful include: Ashley Bouder from New York City Ballet (@ashleybouder), Daniil Simkin from American Ballet Theater (@daniil), Evan McKie from Stuttgart Ballet (@evanmckie), Gary Avis from The Royal Ballet (@balletboy09), Bennet Gartside from The Royal Ballet (@Bennet76), Marijn Rademaker from the Stuttgart Ballet (@rademakermarijn), Lauren Cuthbertson from The Royal Ballet (@londonballerina), … The list truly is endless! Each and every one is doing their part in making Ballet more accessible and popular. It means a lot that they will take their time to reply to us ‘mere mortals’, I can’t imagine many professional footballers or pop singers having the same kind of relationship with their fans.
So that’s my cool list for the moment! I know it’s a little New York City Ballet and Royal Ballet biased, but these are two of the companies I know the most about and follow the most fanatically. Please let me know of any of you favorite cool Ballet things – you can post in the comments, or on the new DaveTriesBallet Facebook page! Make sure to click the link in the c0lumn on the right to ‘like’ us!
Until next time, keep dancing!