Style & Beauty

The Backstage Beauty Secrets of a Radio City Rockette

Corey Whalen photographed by Carl Scheffel; Courtesy MSG Photos

Performing around 100 shows of the annual Christmas Spectacular per season, Radio City Rockette Corey Whalen can practically do her stage makeup in her sleep. "I give myself about 20 minutes to do my makeup, and then I keep it on—even if we have a four-show day," she says. With a full look that includes light contouring, liquid eyeliner, false eyelashes and a red lip as precise as the Rockettes' famous kick line, that's no small feat.


Glowing Skin:
Whalen largely relies on MAC Cosmetics, but you can work in multitasking drugstore options to your base makeup, too. "We have a few staples that we all tend to stick to, but as far as individual products, we can use whatever works best for us," says Whalen.

Photo by Nathan Sayers

1) Maybelline FaceStudio Master Contour, $12.99 2) MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder, $27 3) L'Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup, $9.99 4) Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer, $20

Defined Eyes:
When it comes to eyeliner, Whalen prefers a liquid formula with a pen-like applicator. "It's a bit stiffer, so I have more control," Whalen explains. She applies a thin, slightly winged line along the top lash line only.

Photo by Nathan Sayers

1) Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Eyeshadow Palette, $34 2) Kiss Blooming Lash Set, $4.99 3) Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper, $20 4) L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara, $7.99

Rockette-Red Lip:
"This is the signature part of our look," Whalen says of the true-red hue all 36 Rockettes sport onstage. After prepping her lips with a balm, Whalen lines and fills them completely with a pencil to help hold the lipstick in place. For that bold color, the dancers use either the MAC Red or Russian Red lipstick. "I also use a thin layer of a lip sealant called Sealed With A Kiss to keep my lipstick from smudging," she adds.

Photo by Nathan Sayers

1) MAC Satin Lipstick in MAC Red, $17.50 2) MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red, $17.50 3) MAC Lip Pencil in Brick, $17.50 4) MAC Prep + Prime Lip, $17.50

Broadway
Amber Gray and Patrick Page. Photo by Matthew Murphy, Courtesy Hadestown

There's a rare moment in Broadway's Hadestown where the audience is able to breathe a sigh of relief. The smash-hit success is not well-known for being light-hearted or easy-going; Hadestown is a show full of workers and walls and, well, the second act largely takes place in a slightly modernized version of hell.

But deep into the second act, the show reaches a brief homeostasis of peace, one of those bright, shining moments that allows the audience to think "maybe it will turn out this time," as the character Hermes keeps suggesting.

After songs and songs of conflict and resentment, Hades, the king of the underground, and his wife, the goddess Persephone, rekindle their love. And, unexpectedly, they dance. It's one of the most compelling moments in the show.

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Sponsored by NYCDA
Ailey II artistic director Troy Powell teaching an Ailey Workshop at NYCDA. Courtesy NYCDA

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:

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News
Amber Star Merkens, Courtesy Mark Morris Dance Group

There's always been something larger than life about choreographer Mark Morris. Of course, there are the more than 150 works he's made and that incisive musicality that makes dance critics drool. But there's also his idiosyncratic, no-apologies-offered personality, and his biting, no-holds-barred wit. And, well, his plan to keep debuting new dances even after he's dead.

So it should come as little surprise that his latest distinction is also a bit larger than life: The New York Landmarks Conservancy is adding Morris to its list of "Living Landmarks."

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Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Left: Hurricane Harvey damage in Houston Ballet's Dance Lab; Courtesy Harlequin. Right: The Dance Lab pre-Harvey; Nic Lehoux, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

"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.

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