kottke.org posts about ballet

Ballet storiesNov 06 2014

city.ballet is a video series about the workings of the New York City Ballet. The twelve episodes of season two cover everything from apprentice dancers to injuries to the sacrifices the dancers make to pursue their onstage dreams.

Imagine a city unto itself -- a place where 16 year olds are professionals, 18 year olds are revered and many 30 year olds are retirees. Imagine a world so insular that nearly every one of these virtuosos has trained together in an academy since childhood, their lives forever intertwined by work, play, competition, friendship and love. Imagine a world in which the bottom line standard is to be, simply, the best on the planet, and where each night, an empty stage, in front of thousands, beckons with a challenge. This enclave has a name -- New York City Ballet -- and you are invited into this world, one that has never opened up to the outside before.

Season two just came out and is available at AOL. (via cup of jo)

On pointeOct 30 2014

Three dancers from The Australian Ballet share their prep routines for their pointe shoes.

Take-aways: Ballerinas' feet are really not attractive, they soup up their shoes in all sorts of unusual ways, but the end result is beautiful. (thx, fiona)

Difficult ballet moves in slow motionMay 29 2014

Professional dancers from the Washington Ballet show off their most difficult moves, filmed in slow motion.

(via colossal)

The Heather ProjectMay 04 2014

Heather Project

Heather Ogden is a principal dancer for the National Ballet of Canada and The Heather Project is a series of short videos shot by Christopher Wahl that shows how beautiful and demanding ballet can be. (via cup of jo)

The Bolshoi Ballet acid attackMar 18 2013

Writing for the New Yorker, David Remnick covers the Bolshoi acid attack and the larger ills that afflict the historic ballet company.

At around eleven, Filin, feeling tired and eager to see his wife, steered the Mercedes into a parking lot outside his building and headed for his door. The snow was icy and thick. Filin was reaching for the security buzzer when he heard someone behind him call out his name. Then the voice said, "Tebye privet!" -- literally, "Hello to you!," but more abrupt and menacing, as though someone were relaying an ominous greeting from a third party.

Filin turned and saw a man in front of him. He was neither tall nor short. He wore a woolly hat and a scarf wrapped around his face. His right arm was crooked behind him, as if he were concealing something.

A gun, Filin thought, in that flash of confrontation: He's holding a gun and I am dead. Bolt! But, before he could move, his attacker swung his arm out in front of him. In his hand was a glass jar filled with liquid, and he hurled its contents at Filin's face. A security camera in the parking lot fixed the time at 23:07.

The liquid was sulfuric acid -- the "oil of vitriol," as medieval alchemists called it. Depending on the concentration, it can lay waste to human skin as quickly as in a horror movie. Scientists working with sulfuric acid wear protective goggles; even a small amount in the eyes can destroy the cornea and cause permanent blindness.

Filin was in agony. The burning was immediate and severe. His vision turned to black. He could feel the scalding of his face and scalp, the pain intensifying all the time.

Always good to read Remnick on Russia...he was The Washington Post's Moscow correspondent for a few years in the late 1980s.

Ballet dancers in super slow motionMar 26 2012

Bless me Father Sloan, for I have committed a radical act on the Internet. I have watched this slow motion video of ballet dancers four times and loved, yes, loved the display of precise power and grace contained therein.

And playing a remix of Radiohead's Everything in Its Right Place over the video? I think they made this just for me. (via devour)

Holy Jesus, look at what this ballerina can do!Jan 11 2012

I have rarely in my life seen something as physically impressive as this performance of Swan Lake:

It's not just what she does, it's how rock-still she is while doing it. Just, wow. (via ★interesting)

The shoe makes the dancerNov 08 2011

A short but fascinating look at how changes in ballet shoe technology altered the way ballerinas moved and even how their bodies looked.

In the 1840s, when Marie Taglioni went on pointe for a few seconds in La Sylphide, her momentary weightlessness became an icon of the transcendent power of ballet. A pair of her shoes sold for 200 rubles and was cooked and eaten by her admirers.

(via @alexismadrigal)

Black Swan trailerAug 17 2010

The first trailer for Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan is out. Natalie Portman plays an out-of-control ballerina.

Tags related to ballet:
video dance

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