Viktorina Kapitonova in "Swan Lake Bath Ballet" (photo by Ryan Capstick, courtesy Corey Baker Dance)

Please Enjoy the Quarantine Genius of “Swan Lake Bath Ballet”

That old saying about limitations breeding creativity—hat tip to Orson Welles—has never felt more relevant than in these lockdown days. Here's the latest brilliant dance project born (hatched?) of quarantine restrictions: "Swan Lake Bath Ballet," a contemporary take on the classic featuring 27 A-list ballet dancers performing from their own bathtubs.


The BBC commissioned the project from choreographer Corey Baker. And while you might be imagining a lighthearted, soapy romp (full disclosure: that's what we pictured when we first heard about "Swan Lake Bath Ballet" back in May), the result has striking beauty and complexity, as well as some gentle splashstick humor.

Baker, the director of Corey Baker Dance and an alum of BalletBoyz, told The Guardian that he created the choreography in his own bathroom. He made special tutorial videos to help the film's impressive cast—including American Ballet Theatre's Skylar Brandt, The Royal Ballet's Meaghan Grace Hinkis, National Ballet of Canada's Jurgita Dronina, and Paris Opéra Ballet's Mathias Heymann—learn the tub-specific moves. The dancers then filmed themselves on their phones. Some of them performed in colored water; one filled his tub with feathers, harvested from 20 pillows. Producer Anne Beresford, director of photography Nicola Daley, editor Travis Moore, and line producer Guy Trevellyan used innovative tech solutions to make the results feel remarkably polished.

The filming process was "like trying to hang a picture with your eyes closed from 5 miles away," Baker said in a statement. He credits the gifted cast for making it all work: "Dancers became camera operators, stage managers, as well as costume and prop department, not to mention performing tricky choreography at the same time, all from their bath tubs."

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Paulo Arrais rehearsing Agon with Lia Cirio. Photo by Brooke Trisolini

Fear of Reinjury Could Make You More Prone to Hurting Yourself Again. Here's How to Avoid It

It was Boston Ballet's first full run-through of its upcoming show, Kylián/Wings of Wax. As he prepared with a plié for a big saut de basque, principal dancer Paulo Arrais, 32, heard a Velcro-like sound and suddenly fell to the floor. He went into a state of shock, hyperventilating and feeling intense pressure on his knee. It turned out to be a full patellar tendon rupture, requiring surgery and an entire year off before he could return to the company.

Though his physical condition continues to improve, Arrais' mental recovery has also been challenging. "Treating your mind is just as important as treating your body," he says.

Feeling safe when returning to the studio can be tricky for any dancer. Some researchers believe a fear of reinjury can actually make athletes more prone to hurting themselves again. We talked to several medical professionals to understand why that might happen and what dancers can do to overcome that anxiety.

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