We Just Realized These Three International Ballet Stars Share a Birthday, and We're Shook
There's got to be something about May 18—maybe the Ballet Gods celebrate some forgotten holiday that causes them to be particularly generous. Because how else do you explain that no less than three international ballet stars all share a birthday on, you guessed it, May 18?
Maybe today should be a ballet holiday in their honor, but, regardless, we're celebrating with clips from some of their signature roles:
Dame Margot Fonteyn, who at one point in her career at The Royal Ballet was reportedly more of a household name in the United Kingdom than the prime minister, would have been 99 years old today.
The American Ballet Theatre/Bolshoi Ballet principal is back in action and better than ever, and today he's celebrating his 36th birthday with a performance of Giselle for ABT's spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House. His partner, funnily enough, is also celebrating today...
She's only 32, but Osipova has already been a principal dancer at the Bolshoi, the Mikhailovsky and, currently, The Royal Ballet. She's guesting with ABT this spring specifically to reunite with Hallberg, with whom she shares an iconic, if unfortunately intermittent, partnership.
Join us in wishing all three a Happy Birthday, and a hearty merde to Osipova and Hallberg on their Giselle this evening!
- Margot Fonteyn Dead at 71; Ballerina Redefined Her Art - The New ... ›
- Margot Fonteyn — People — Royal Opera House ›
- David Hallberg (@officialdavidhallberg) • Instagram photos and videos ›
- David Hallberg ›
- Review: 'Giselle' Reunited Hallberg and Osipova, but Only for an Act ... ›
- Osipova and Polunin: backstage with ballet's most explosive couple ... ›
- Natalia Osipova — People — Royal Opera House ›
Yvonne Rainer's Parts of Some Sextets (AKA "the mattress dance") hasn't been revived since it premiered in 1965. Nor has Rainer had any wish to do it again, to ask performers to heave 10 mattresses around while carrying out 31 tasks that changed every 30 seconds. It was an unwieldy, difficult dance. (Even the title is unwieldy.) But Emily Coates, who has danced in Rainer's work for 20 years, became curious about this piece and was determined to see it again—and to dance in it. She will get her wish November 15–17, when the mattress dance will be performed as part of the Performa 19 Biennial.
Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.
"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."
Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.
Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:
"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.