Watch What Happens When Nathalia Arja Teaches a Tight End Ballet
Ah, pop culture. We'd like to thank you for your endless supply of amusement. Sometimes you blur the lines between life and art. On rare occasions, the unlikely worlds of Sunday Night Football and classical ballet even collide. This is one of those times.
Hey, Gronkowski. Think knees over toes. Photo via GQ.com.
Yesterday, men's magazine GQ released this video featuring newly promoted Miami City Ballet principal soloist Nathalia Arja and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. As you'll see, they're just about as different as could be. The petite and graceful Arja is a patient teacher. Gronkowski is a good sport with horrible technique, though surprisingly impressive ballon. And their height difference is probably the cutest thing you'll see all week.
This isn't the first time professional ballet dancers have been roped into a lesson/parody with a notable nondancer. A few months ago, Misty Copeland was tasked with teaching Jimmy Kimmel. At the very least, the video will make you appreciate all the hours of countless pliés you've put in at the barre—because we all know a dance career, just like football, takes years of dedication.
The cast of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise in rehearsal. Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy The Shed
Akram Khan loves to dive into genres he is unfamiliar with. While his own movement vocabulary is a hybrid of kathak and contemporary dance, he has choreographed a new Giselle for English National Ballet, collaborated with flamenco artist Israel Galván and made a dance theater duet with film star Juliette Binoche. Now, in between touring Xenos, his final full-length solo, and several other projects, he's found time to tackle kung fu. Khan is part of the collaborative team behind Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a blockbuster musical based on themes of migration and the fight for survival, running June 22–July 27. Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and featuring a score that remixes songs by Sia, it's part of the inaugural season of The Shed, a new venue in New York City.