These Are the Performances Our Readers Loved the Most This Year

We asked you for nominations, compiled your suggestions and had you vote on your favorites. Here's what you chose:


Best Viral Video

Winner: "Kids Meet a Ballerina," featuring Pacific Northwest Ballet's Elle Macy

Other Nominees:

• Syncopated Ladies' "Everybody Mad" Beychella cover

• Ballet Nacional de España's performance at Oteyza fashion show

• "Doomed," featuring RubberLegz and James Gregg

Most Moving Performance

DESCENT. Photo by Jay Newman, courtesy Kinetic Light

Winner: Alice Sheppard/Kinetic Light in DESCENT

Other Nominees:

• Dance Theatre of Harlem and artists from Collage Dance Collective in

Geoffrey Holder's Dougla

• National Ballet of Canada in John Neumeier's Nijinsky

• The Royal Ballet in Liam Scarlett's Swan Lake

Coolest Collaboration


Winner: TU Dance and Bon Iver's Come Through

Other Nominees:

• Menil Collection, Houston Ballet and the Merce Cunningham Trust's Merce Cunningham Dance and Concert, Arrivals and Departures: Cage, Cunningham, and Johns

• Sonya Tayeh and The Bengsons' you'll still call me by name

• The Joffrey Ballet and Lyric Opera of Chicago's Orphée et Eurydice

Best Dance Documentary


Winner: Ballet Now, directed by Steven Cantor

Other Nominees:

Gravity Hero, directed by Trey McIntyre

Bobbi Jene, directed by Elvira Lind

Most Inventive New Work

Winner: Odeon, by Ephrat Asherie Dance

Other Nominees:

GAY GUERRILLA/for julius, by MADBOOTS DANCE

Paramodernities, by Netta Yerushalmy

Silent Scream, by Olivier Wevers; performed by Whim W'Him

• Keone and Mari Madrid's e-book, Ruth

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.

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December 2020