Original photo by Johan Persson.

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.

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AMDA students learn how to present their best selves on camera. Photo by Trae Patton, Courtesy AMDA

AMDA's 4 Tips for Acing Your Next Audition

Ah, audition day. The flurry of new choreography, the long lines of dancers, the wait for callbacks. It's an environment dancers know well, but it can also come with great stress. Learning how to be best prepared for the big day is often the key to staying calm and performing to your fullest potential (and then some).

This concept is the throughline of the curriculum at American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where dance students spend all four years honing their audition skills.

"You're always auditioning," says Santana Trujillo, AMDA's dance outreach manager and a graduate of its BFA program. On campus in Los Angeles and New York City, students have access to dozens of audition opportunities every semester.

For advice on how dancers can put their best foot forward at professional auditions, Dance Magazine recently spoke with Trujillo, as well as AMDA faculty members Michelle Elkin and Genevieve Carson. Catch the whole conversation below, and read on for highlights.

July 2021