Take Virtual Class From Your Kitchen With These 6 Ballet Pros

One of the hardest parts of hunkering down to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is giving up our daily routines. And for dancers, that means class.

Last week we shared a number of online teaching platforms, but now there are even more options. Over the weekend a handful of pros stepped forward to share that they'll be giving virtual class via Instagram or Facebook Live. So stake a claim to your kitchen counter, and start organizing your schedule for the week.


Tiler Peck 

New York City Ballet star Tiler Peck is giving class from her family's home in Bakersfield, CA. She wrote on Instagram that she was scheduled to teach an advanced class at her sister's dance school, but given the circumstances decided to open it up to the public.

Where: @tilerpeck Live

When: Monday, March 16 at 10 am PST/1 pm EST

Chun Wai Chan 

"Trust me," wrote Houston Ballet principal Chun Wai Chan on Instagram. "I am an expert at taking ballet class at home." Chan will be offering class this Wednesday.

Where: @chunner Live

When: Wednesday, March 18, 11am-12:30 pm CST/12-1:30 pm EST

Ashley Bouder

Ashley Bouder is giving us an extra treat: live-streamed classes every day this week. Plus, the NYCB principal is saving the classes to her YouTube channel, so you can come back to them later.

Where: Ashley Bouder on YouTube

When: Monday, March 16-Friday, March 20 at 11 am EST

Alicia Graf Mack 

Ever wondered what it's like to take class at The Juilliard School? Now you can find out. Juilliard dance director (and former Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater star) Alicia Graf Mack is giving barre online on Juilliard's Instagram.

Where: @juilliardschool

When: Available now!

Sarah Lane

Want to take this time to work one-on-one with a ballet star? American Ballet Theatre principal Sarah Lane is offering virtual private lessons or group classes for students and young professionals.

Where: Direct message @saralaneofficial

When: Anytime!

Patricia Zhou

Los Angeles dancer Patricia Zhou taught her first class via Instagram Live today, and just announced that she'll be continuing daily for the foreseeable future.

Where: @patricia_zhou Live or on IGTV

When: Daily at 10 am PST/1 pm EST

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Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West

How Do Choreographers Bring Something Fresh to Music We've Heard Over and Over?

In 2007, Oregon Ballet Theatre asked Nicolo Fonte to choreograph a ballet to Maurice Ravel's Boléro. "I said, 'No way. I'm not going near it,' " recalls Fonte. "I don't want to compete with the Béjart version, ice skaters or the movie 10. No, no, no!"

But Fonte's husband encouraged him to "just listen and get a visceral reaction." He did. And Bolero turned into one of Fonte's most requested and successful ballets.

Not all dance renditions of similar warhorse scores have worked out so well. Yet the irresistible siren song of pieces like Stravinsky's The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, as well as the perennial Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, seem too magnetic for choreographers to ignore.

And there are reasons for their popularity. Some were commissioned specifically for dance: Rite and Firebird for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; Boléro for dance diva Ida Rubinstein's post–Ballets Russes troupe. Hypnotic rhythms (Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel) and danceable melodies (Bizet's Carmen) make a case for physical eye candy. Audience familiarity can also help box office receipts. Still, many choreographers have been sabotaged by the formidable nature and Muzak-y overuse of these iconic compositions.

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