NYCB is Honoring Robbins—And Commissioning an SAB Student

Imagine being a student at the School of American Ballet, looking up to the dancers at New York City Ballet and hoping to one day join their ranks. Then imagine teaching your choreography to those dancers, and watching them perform it at the company's fall fashion gala.


SAB student Gianna Reisen will have this surreal experience this fall. The company just announced that its 2017-18 season will include a new ballet from Reisen along with premieres from Lauren Lovette, Justin Peck, Troy Schumacher and Peter Walker, all current NYCB company members.

Reisen has previously choreographed for SAB's Student Choreography Workshop and the New York Choreographic Institute. And for ballet master in chief Peter Martins to have picked her out from the many talented NYCI participants, we're guessing she's something special. But has any major company ever commissioned mainstage work from such a young artist?

The company is banking on in-house talent in an unprecedented way. But they're also celebrating a legendary in-house talent from the past: co-founding choreographer Jerome Robbins. The spring season will mark the centennial of Robbins' birth, and the company is throwing him the ultimate birthday party. Robbins 100 will include no less than 19 works by the choreographer, as well as a world premiere by Justin Peck in honor of Robbins.

And of course, the season will include a generous number of Balanchine favorites, including Symphony in Three Movements, Agon, Concerto Barocco, Apollo and Square Dance, as well as additional works by Peck, Martins, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Benjamin Millepied, Mauro Bigonzetti, Nicolas Blanc and Angelin Preljocaj.

Latest Posts


Stark Photo Productions, Courtesy Harlequin

Why Your Barre Can Make or Break Your At-Home Dance Training

Throughout the pandemic, Shelby Williams, of Royal Ballet of Flanders (aka "Biscuit Ballerina"), has been sharing videos that capture the pitfalls of dancers working from home: slipping on linoleum, kicking over lamps and even taking windows apart at the "barre." "Dancers aren't known to be graceful all of the time," says Mandy Blackmon, PT, DPT, OSC, CMTPT, head physical therapist/medical director for Atlanta Ballet. "They tend to fall and trip."

Many dancers have tried to make their home spaces as safe as possible for class and rehearsal by setting up a piece of marley, like Harlequin's Dance Mat, to work on. But there's another element needed for taking thorough ballet classes at home: a portable barre.

"Using a barre is kinda Ballet 101," says 16-year-old Haley Dale, a student in her second year at American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. She'd bought a portable barre from Harlequin to use at her parents' home in Northern Virginia even before the pandemic hit. "Before I got it, honestly I would stay away from doing barre work at home. Now I'm able to do it all the time."

Blackmon bought her 15-year-old stepdaughter a freestanding Professional Series Ballet Barre from Harlequin early on in quarantine. "I was worried about her injuring herself without one," she admits.

What exactly makes Harlequin's barres an at-home must-have, and hanging on to a chair or countertop so risky? Here are five major differences dancers will notice right away.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
December 2020