Alexandra Danilova at the Metropolitan Opera House, 1957. Photo © Jack Mitchell

#tbt: Why Alexandra Danilova Could Never Pick a Favorite Role

In the April 1944 issue of Dance Magazine, we chatted with prima ballerina assoluta Alexandra Danilova.


After leaving the Soviet Union in 1924 with George Balanchine, she danced with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and Colonel de Basil's troupe before becoming the most beloved leading lady of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, where she formed a legendary partnership with Frederic Franklin.

By the time of her final performance in 1957, the remarkably versatile dancer had seemingly mastered every ballet in the repertoire. "A ballerina loves all her roles, just like a mother loves all her children," she told us. "Each is dear for some special reason. One you love because your public adores it. Another you prize because you worked so hard to make it what you wanted it to be. Still another seems to be really you, it is so much like you personally. There are as many reasons for loving a role as there are different roles."

Courtesy DM Archives

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Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

How Turning Boards and Practice Mats Can Revolutionize Your Dance Training

When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials:

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