Courtesy Gilda Squire

32 Ballerinas From Around the World Perform "The Dying Swan" for COVID-19 Relief

One of the most inspiring things to witness over the past couple of months has been the incredible displays of solidarity among dancers and dance companies. None have been left untouched by this crisis, and so many have banded together to help each other out.

American Ballet Theatre's Misty Copeland and her former colleague Joseph Phillips have launched the most recent fundraiser: Swans for Relief. They corralled 32 ballet dancers from 14 countries to film themselves performing Mikhail Fokine's Le Cygne (often referred to as "The Dying Swan") from wherever they're isolating right now. The resulting film strings their movements together one after the other.


Viewers are encouraged to donate to a GoFundMe campaign, which will distribute the money among COVID-19 relief funds at the participating dancers' companies and other arts- or dance-based relief funds.

"Art brings people together to provide a beautiful escape, and ballet in particular is a very unifying experience both on and off the stage, filled with history and imagination," said Copeland in a statement. "The theater thrives on people coming together to experience a performance. Because of the coronavirus, the livelihood and careers of dancers are in jeopardy, and this will continue to have massive effects even after we start to reopen our cities."

The featured dancers in the film include:

  • Stella Abrera, American Ballet Theatre
  • Precious Adams, English National Ballet
  • Nathalia Arja, Miami City Ballet
  • Isabella Boylston, American Ballet Theatre
  • Skylar Brandt, American Ballet Theatre
  • Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre
  • Monike Cristina, Joburg Ballet
  • Ashley Ellis, Boston Ballet
  • Greta Elizondo, Compañia Nacional de Danza Mexico
  • Nikisha Fogo, Vienna State Ballet
  • Angelica Generosa, Pacific Northwest Ballet
  • Sarah Hay, freelance ballerina, U.S.
  • Francesca Hayward, The Royal Ballet
  • Robyn Hendricks, The Australian Ballet
  • Whitney Jensen, Norwegian National Ballet
  • Yuriko Kajiya, Houston Ballet
  • Maria Khoreva, Mariinsky Ballet
  • Ako Kondo, The Australian Ballet
  • Misa Kuranaga, San Francisco Ballet
  • Stephanie Kurlow, freelance ballerina, Australia
  • Sara Mearns, New York City Ballet
  • Ginett Moncho, Ballet Nacional de Cuba
  • Katherine Ochoa, Ballet Nacional de Cuba
  • Hannah O'Neill, Paris Opéra Ballet
  • Denise Parungao, Ballet Philippines
  • Tiler Peck, New York City Ballet
  • Tina Pereira, National Ballet of Canada
  • Ida Praetorius, Royal Danish Ballet
  • Jemima Reyes, Ballet Philippines
  • Ingrid Silva, Dance Theatre of Harlem
  • Bianca Teixeira, San Francisco Ballet
  • Xu Yan, The National Ballet of China

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5 Self-Soothing Exercises You Can Do to Calm Your Anxiety

Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.

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