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An Animated Paris Opéra at the Movies

Copyright by The Weinstein Company

The new animated ballet film Leap!, set in Paris in 1884, tells the story of 11-year-old orphan Félicie Milliner, who lives in the countryside and dreams of dancing at the school of the Paris Opéra Ballet. To get in, Félicie borrows another dancer's identity. Voice talents include Elle Fanning, Maddie Ziegler and Carly Rae Jepsen. The film's choreography was overseen by Aurelie Dupont, the new director of dance at POB. Leap! will be released nationwide on April 21.

Update: The film's U.S. release has been pushed back to Aug. 30.

The Conversation
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)

Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.

Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.

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Health & Body
Getty Images

I'd been a professional dancer for five years when I realized the pain I'd been feeling in my hip and down my sciatic nerve was not going away. I had been treating it for two years as we dancers do—with regular visits to my masseuse, physical therapy, baths, ice and lots of Aleve—but I never stopped dancing. It finally dawned on me that if I kept going at the speed I was going (which was, well, speedy), the pain would only get more severe and unrelenting, and I might never dance again.

I told myself I'd take two months off, and all would be better.

That first morning when I woke up at 10 am, I had no idea what to do with myself. My life until that moment had been dictated by class and rehearsal, every hour accounted for. How should I fill the huge swath of time ahead of me?

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