Justin Peck's Rotunda. Erin Baiano, courtesy NYCB

The Music, Books and TV Shows Getting Sara Mearns Through Quarantine

Sara Mearns is usually everywhere. If she's not dancing with her home company, New York City Ballet, she's working on musical theater projects with her husband Joshua Bergasse, commissioning work from downtown choreographers, embodying modern masters like Cunningham and Duncan, collaborating with hip-hop artists or guesting at the opera.

And when she's not dancing, she's known to be out and about experiencing other art forms—from classical music to theater to visual art.

Now, like all of us, Mearns' world has shrunk to her apartment. (Though you can still catch her dancing as part of NYCB's digital spring season.) But true to form, she's still knee-deep in all things dance and culture.

We talked to Mearns about everything that's getting her through quarantine for our "For Your Entertainment" series:


Music:

"Anything that gives me peace. I have been listening to the Berlin Philharmonic's free online concerts almost every day. I am a huge classical music fan and go very often to Carnegie Hall, so to have the Berlin Phil playing in my home is a dream.

"I listen to a fitness playlist on Apple Music for my workouts, and I like Philip Glass, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Maurice Emmanuel, Ólafur Arnalds and Jean-Michel Blais."

Online Dance Classes:

"I am taking Cunningham class almost every day on their live Instagram feed. I am also taking classes by Lynne Charles, Gonzalo Garcia, Darla Hoover, Olga Kostritzky, Petrusjka Broholm, Jock Soto and many more. I am trying to focus on pure technique right now, the bare basics, which is really the hardest thing to do."

Books: 

"Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks. I'm a hopeless romantic and I love stories that take place in the South or the Carolinas."

Dance Content: 

"I'm not diving too deeply into much content, to be honest. But I am going to watch my amazing company's digital spring season! I feel so lucky to be part of something that millions of people will be able to watch. I think it's truly remarkable what NYCB is doing for the dance community."

Podcasts: 

"The NYCB podcast is awesome!"

TV: 

"What am I not watching!? 'The Outsider,' 'Veep,' my usuals, which are 'Schitt's Creek' and 'The Great British Baking Show.' I binged 'Formula 1' on Netflix. Oh, also 'Making the Cut,' 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' and 'Homeland.' "

Instagram:

"@successfoundation, @mytherapistsays, @sarcasm_only, @theellenshow, @j.rowdy, @jessicavosk, @nygovcuomo. They make me laugh, and keep me inspired and happy."

Movies:

"The Report on Amazon Prime. I love movies that are based off of actual events."

YouTube: 

"Megan Fairchild's interviews! She is just such a good interviewer and has very interesting people involved."

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With the stressors of the pandemic still lingering more than one year later, self-care is, rightfully, a priority for everyone right now. But dancers have always known the importance of keeping their bodies and minds as healthy as possible. After all, your body is your instrument, and as we make our long-awaited returns to the studio and stage, finding self-care strategies that work for you will be crucial to getting back up to speed—mentally and physically—with your rigorous performing and training schedule.

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Read on for our breakdown of some of the most common ingredients to look out for in the topical pain relief aisle.

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May 2021