Brooklyn Mack to Debut With American Ballet Theatre in "Le Corsaire"
American Ballet Theatre announced today that Brooklyn Mack, a former Washington Ballet star, will join the company as a guest for its spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House. Currently an in-demand international guest artist, Mack will dance in three performances of ABT's Le Corsaire this June.
Known for his powerful, show-stopping bravura, Mack first made waves on the competition scene, winning medals at international competitions in Jackson, Helsinki and Varna (where he won gold). After dancing with the Joffrey Ballet, ABT's Studio Company and Orlando Ballet, he joined TWB, where he stayed for nine years. During that time he was nominated for the prestigious Benois de la Danse award and launched a high-profile guest-artist career, performing in Moscow, Paris, Havana and with the English National Ballet (where he also performed Le Corsaire—check out this rehearsal footage below with Bolshoi legend Irek Mukhamedov.)
Many were surprised when Mack announced that he was leaving TWB last September. He later told The Washington Post that he and TWB artistic director Julie Kent could not come to an agreement over his salary, workload and guesting schedule. Mack has wasted no time since then, dancing with Tiler Peck at New York City Center's Fall for Dance Festival, as well as guest performances with the State Ballet of Georgia and Hong Kong Ballet (now led by Mack's former boss Septime Webre, who left TWB in 2016).
This June marks Mack's ABT debut, and his performances also bring welcome diversity to the season's male casting. Mack is set to dance the role of Ali at the matinee on Wednesday, June 12, and the central role of Conrad on the evenings of June 13 and June 15.
It's a cycle familiar to many: First, a striking image of a lithe, impossibly fit dancer executing a gravity-defying développé catches your eye on Instagram. You pause your scrolling to marvel, over and over again, at her textbook physique.
Inevitably, you take a moment to consider your own body, in comparison. Doubt and negative self-talk first creep, and then flood, in. "I'll never look like that," the voice inside your head whispers. You continue scrolling, but the image has done its dirty work—a gnawing sensation has taken hold, continually reminding you that your own body is inferior, less-than, unworthy.
It's no stretch to say that social media has a huge effect on body image. For dancers—most of whom already have a laser-focus on their appearance—the images they see on Instagram can seem to exacerbate ever-present issues. "Social media is just another trigger," says Nadine Kaslow, a psychologist who works with the dancers of Atlanta Ballet. "And dancers don't need another trigger." In the age of Photoshop and filters, how can dancers keep body dysmorphia at bay?
If "Fosse/Verdon" whet your appetite for the impeccable Gwen Verdon, then Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon is the three-course meal you've been craving. The new documentary—available now on Amazon for rental or purchase—dives into the life of the Tony-winning performer and silver-screen star lauded for her charismatic dancing.
Though she's perhaps most well-known today as Bob Fosse's wife and muse, that's not even half of her story. For starters, she'd already won four Tonys before they wed, making her far more famous in the public eye than he was at that point in his career. That's just one of many surprising details we learned during last night's U.S. premiere of Merely Marvelous. Believe us: You're gonna love her even more once you get to know her. Here are eight lesser-known tidbits to get you started.
Every dancer knows that how you fuel your body affects how you feel in the studio. Of course, while breakfast is no more magical than any other meal (despite the enduring myth that it's the most important one of the day), showing up to class hangry is a recipe for unproductive studio time.
So what do your favorite dancers eat in the morning to set themselves up for a busy rehearsal or performance day?
When it comes to dance in the U.S., companies in the South often find themselves overlooked—sometimes even by the presenters in their own backyard. That's where South Arts comes in. This year, the regional nonprofit launched Momentum, an initiative that will provide professional development, mentorship, touring grants and residencies to five Southern dance companies.