Five of Ballet's Best Wedding Pas to Celebrate the Royal Engagement
The Anglophiles in our office (myself included) are pretty chuffed to hear that there's another Royal Wedding in the works now that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have made it official. And naturally, it got us thinking about that wonderful staple of classical (and not-so-classical) ballet, the wedding pas de deux. To celebrate, here are five of our favorite examples:
Did Someone Say Cinderella Story?
Prince meets plucky commoner, falls in love and decides to get married. No offense to the newly-engaged British Royals, but this is how you do Cinderella: former Royal Ballet principal dancers Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojacaru, moves by Sir Frederick Ashton, luscious score by Prokofiev.
Snow White and Her Beau Deserve a Long Honeymoon After All This
Okay, so this is less of a wedding pas than it is an I-know-you-thought-I-was-dead-but-actually-I'm-not pas. But Snow White and her prince (danced here exquisitely by Nagisa Shirai and Sergio Díaz of Ballet Preljocaj) are definitely, definitely getting married after surviving this whole ordeal.
Absolutely The Dreamiest
Again, technically not a wedding pas (since Titania and Oberon are already the ruling monarchs), but the other two couples don't have duets nearly this gorgeous at the end of Sir Frederick Ashton's The Dream. (Also, the other two couples don't comprise Alessandra Ferri and Ethan Stiefel.)
La Bayadère, or The One You Hate to Love
We'll give Gamzatti this much: She knows how to throw a betrothal party. Sure, not five minutes after this she's poisoned Solor's true love Nikiya. And sure, when she does actually marry Solor it causes the destruction of the entire temple and everyone in it. But in the hands of the Mariinsky's Vladimir Shkylarov and Anastasia Matvienko, the dancing is amazing.
The Pinnacle of Classicism
Of course we had to include ballet's quintessential royal wedding. And we'll take any excuse to watch Svetlana Zakharova and David Hallberg be perfect specimens of classicism together.
Just hearing the word "improvisation" is enough to make some ballet dancers shake in their pointe shoes. But for Chantelle Pianetta, it's a practice she relishes. Depending on the weekend, you might find her gracing Bay Area stages as a principal with Menlowe Ballet or sweeping in awards at West Coast swing competitions.
She specializes in Jack and Jill events, which involve improvised swing dancing with an unexpected partner in front of a panel of judges. (Check her out in action below.) While sustaining her ballet career, over the past four years Pianetta has quickly risen from novice to champion level on the WCS international competition circuit.
Sean Dorsey was always going to be an activist. Growing up in a politically engaged, progressive family in Vancouver, British Columbia, "it was my heart's desire to create change in the world," he says. Far less certain was his future as a dancer.
Like many dancers, Dorsey fell in love with movement as a toddler. However, he didn't identify strongly with any particular gender growing up. Dorsey, who now identifies as trans, says, "I didn't see a single person like me anywhere in the modern dance world." The lack of trans role models and teachers, let alone all-gender studio facilities where he could feel safe and welcome, "meant that even in my wildest dreams, there was no room for that possibility."
It's hour three of an intense rehearsal, you're feeling mentally foggy and exhausted, and your stomach hurts. Did you know the culprit could be something as simple as dehydration?
Proper hydration helps maintain physical and mental function while you're dancing, and keeps your energy levels high. But with so many products on the market promising to help you rehydrate more effectively, how do you know when it's time to reach for more than water?