Lindsay Thomas

Secrets from a Star: Day in the Life of Noelani Pantastico

This fall, Dance Magazine followed Noelani Pantastico for a day as she was rehearsing "Emeralds" and performing "Diamonds" in George Balanchine's Jewels. It was the start of the principal's third season back at Pacific Northwest Ballet, returning to the company she grew up in after a seven-year journey dancing with Jean-Christophe Maillot's Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo.

Here are a few of our favorite images and insights from the day:


Lindsay Thomas

"I always eat breakfast, or else by class I feel loopy," says Pantastico. "I love bananas, mangoes and Hawaiian papayas if I can find them. I most likely have a starch, like toast or oatmeal. Sometimes I'll go on a yogurt or smoothie kick. I just listen to what my body wants."


Lindsay Thomas

In August, Pantastico choreographed for the first time for a site-specific event at the Olympic Sculpture Park. "I think every dancer should try being on that side at least once," she says. Although she loved the experience, she wants to focus her energy on dancing for now.


Lindsay Thomas

To get going before pliés, she rolls out her muscles using several different-sized balls and a foam roller. "As soon as I get to work, I change into something warm and loose so my body feels at ease."


Lindsay Thomas

Pantastico tapes every toe with contractor masking tape. "If I don't, I'm likely to get a blister on that naked toe!"


Lindsay Thomas

"When dancing 'Emeralds,' I visualize Violette Verdy as a dancer and as the person I saw in her interviews (thoughtful and giving)."


Lindsay Thomas

"For 'Diamonds' I think of the relationship between Suzanne Farrell and Mr. Balanchine: Only they know what they experienced with each other, but I love to imagine that their relationship was a lot like the central pas de deux."


Lindsay Thomas

How did her European experience change her? "I'm much more thoughtful with my body and with what I am dancing," she says. "I've always cared about things, I just care more than ever now." And her outlook on dance has also evolved: "Living two different perspectives made things a lot clearer for me about how I want to represent the art form, and how I can help it progress."

Latest Posts


Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS

Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
contest
Enter Our Video Contest