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In our eyes, being a dancer is remarkable. Add motherhood to the mix, and you're practically a superhero.
We salute all the incredible women who have two of the hardest—and most rewarding—jobs around. Here are just a few of our favorite #ballerinamom moments. (And don't say we didn't warn you: Prepare for full-on cute overload.)
Last month, Kyle Abraham was announced as one of the six choreographers contributing new work to New York City Ballet's 2018-19 season.
In its 70-year history, NYCB has only commissioned four black choreographers—all men: John Alleyne and Ulysses Dove in 1994, Dance Theatre of Harlem's Robert Garland in collaboration with Robert LaFosse in 2000, and Albert Evans in 2002 and 2005. It's been 11 years since Evans, an NYCB alum, made work for the company and 18 years since a black choreographer outside of NYCB has been invited to choreograph.
Take a moment to take that in.
Contrary to what her last name might suggest, Ballet West corps member Jordan Fry prefers baking as a cooking method. Her specialty? Picture-perfect cakes with flavors like banana-bourbon-butterscotch with caramel filling and toasted marshmallow frosting.
The self-professed sweets lover began her early culinary education through high school classes and YouTube videos. After a brief stint interning at a wedding cake shop in Salt Lake City, Fry started her own business, Ballerina Baker, in 2017.
There's a tradition in hip-hop culture of reclaiming negative words as positive ones. That's why you might hear things like "nasty" or "bad" as compliments. The same goes for ILL-Abilities, a breaking crew comprised of differently-abled dancers:
"The 'ill' does not refer to 'sick' or 'unwell' but rather to incredible, amazing, intricate, talent," they write on their website. "Rather than seeing the negative limitations of 'disability,' this crew focuses on their positive, or 'ill,' abilities."
After seeing Dada Masilo's rendition of Giselle, I couldn't help thinking, "If ballet did a version like this, it would transform not just the genre of the 'story ballet,' but, even more powerfully, the narrative of the "ballerina" itself."
I was especially interested in Masilo's Giselle after writing A Radical Reimagining of Ballet for 2018, which pondered how classical ballets could be modernized, and what effects that would have on leading ladies like Odette/Odile, Aurora and Juliet. Though Dada Masilo/the Dance Factory is not a ballet company, I thought her take on story might be an interesting place to begin to imagine.
St. Paul Ballet simply needed space to rehearse. The troupe found that, and so much more, at a local Minnesota boxing gym. Today, the dancers train side by side with boxers at Element Gym, and the two groups have even teamed up for a co-choreographed show.
The Art of Boxing—The Sport of Ballet first debuted last fall and will be reprised April 15 at Saint Paul's Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Nowhere near Minnesota? You can catch a teaser of the production below. It's pointe-shoes-meets-boxing-gloves and a true display of grit and grace—from both the ballerinas and the fighters. The interactive performance sheds a light on the rituals of each practice.
Raise your hand if you've ever been stereotyped as stupid because you're a dancer. Raise your other hand if that misconception boils your blood.
Well, you're in luck: One researcher is determined to set the record straight.
Misty Copeland's Instagram feed is usually filled with gorgeous performance shots and inspirational images featuring the many young girls she's inspired.
So we were surprised this morning to see Copeland post two screenshots of a mean tweet about herself: