ICYMI: The Daniil Simkin/Cassandra Trenary Video We Can't Stop Watching
As you may have heard, Deborah Ory and Ken Browar, the husband-wife duo behind NYC Dance Project, have released a photography book. THE ART OF MOVEMENT features dancers from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Royal Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company...okay, a lot of gorgeous dancers, plus quotes from the dancers, artistic directors and choreographers (It's pretty much the ultimate #MondayMotivation, and we're giving away a free copy!). To celebrate its release, last week they published a short dance video featuring—you guessed it—Simkin and Trenary, showing off their gorgeous lines while hinting at the qualities that make both of them such alluring movers.
Because it wouldn't be a Daniil Simkin video without some effortless-looking pirouettes, let's start there:
And of course, there's this very, very necessary shot of Trenary's to-die-for feet:
(We can't guarantee arches like hers, but we do know a lot about working for your dream dancer feet.)
Where this video crosses the line to purely magical is in the way it lingers over details. You don't just see Trenary's ear-brushing extension—you also see her upper body reacting to the movement, flowing through a bit of improvised port de bras that seems to shiver from the inside out.
We love the care with which they handle each other once they begin dancing together—we've been fond of this pairing since we followed Simkin to rehearsals for his INTENSIO project last year, so this whole thing is really just a massive treat.
Check out the full video below, and be sure to enter our giveaway to win a free copy of the book—if this didn't whet your appetite for it, nothing will.
Jennifer Kahn knew the theater industry could do better. As a professional stage manager for 17 years she worked on regional, off-Broadway and Broadway shows. Nearly each time a show closed, something unsettling happened: "I would watch them throw away our shows. All of the beautiful artwork by my friends in the paint shop would go in the trash." The elaborate backdrops? Gone.
But she had an idea: What if the material used in the backdrops and legs could be upcycled into something new? And what if theater lovers could literally keep a piece of a beloved show?
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.
For decades the name Alicia Alonso has been virtually synonymous with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the company she co-founded in Havana in 1948. Alonso died on October 17, just shy of what would have been her 99th birthday. In recent years, she had stepped back from day-to-day decision-making in the company. As if preparing for the future, in January, the company's leading ballerina, 42-year-old Viengsay Valdés, was named deputy director, a job that seems to encompass most of the responsibilities of a traditional director. Now, presumably, she will step into her new role as director of the company. Her debut as curator of the repertory comes in November, when the troupe will perform three mixed bills selected by her at the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso. The following has been translated from a conversation conducted in Spanish, Valdés' native tongue.
New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns wasn't sure she was strong enough. A ballerina who has danced many demanding full-length and contemporary roles, she was about to push herself physically more than she thought was possible.
"I said, 'I can't. My body won't,' " she says. "He told me, 'Yes, it will.' "
She wasn't working with a ballet coach, but with personal trainer Joel Prouty, who was asking her to do squats with a heavier barbell than she'd ever used.