midweek reads

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The season has officially begun. Michele Gifford arrives Friday to set Christopher Wheeldon’s The American, and she’ll also be staying with me while she’s in town! It’s going to be a busy few days, a few links if you feel like reading…

Getting my house guest-ready.

Can dancing keep your brain young?

Seven different generations of retired San Fransisco Ballet dancers discuss what it really feels like to stop dancing. This is one of the most thoughtfully done articles I have read in a long time.

“If you have no life outside the studio, how can you portray a person of broad experience?” Ballet Hispánico dancer Christopher Bloom on getting his dance obsession in check.

This short dance film by Bat-Sheva Guez looks wonderful!

The Dancer’s Best Body Program– from the creator of The Whole Dancer- begins its next session soon! Will you be signing up?


photo by Tasmina Tanzim

weekend reads


I have been back in PVD for less than 24 hours, now I’m off to New York to see my sweet Gma. If you’re in the bloggy mood, a few fun links from around the web..

Flip through the newest dance magazine,The Wonderful World of Dance, here. Gorgeous! (download it here)

Cannot wait to see this new dance film.

Isabella Boylston dishes on her #squadgoals cast and how her debut festival, Ballet Sun Valley, came to fruition.

Do you guys follow BalletMoods? It gets me every time.

A familiar face in DanceSpirit. ;)



photo of Iana Salenko by @pickledthoughts for The Wonderful World of Dance.

off to colorado


Welp, friends, we’re off to Colorado! I’m putting on my journalist hat, so follow along here and on Intagram (@settingthebarre) and Twitter (@setthebarreblog) my Vail Dance Festival reviews. I might even vlog(?!) so stay TUNED people! For now, a few fun links from around the web…

A touching piece on the often untreated mental health of young dancers.

Seeing this beauty perform live soon, but for now, this pretty music video will do.

Vintage photos of dancers at Jacob’s Pillow.(!!!)

An update from Pointe on the status of my strong friend, Jordan. Thanks to all who donated and sent some light his way!

Have you guys joined The Whole Dancer Facebook group? Tips, encouragement, and support, right this way.

So excited for the release of the inaugural issue of The Wonderful World of Dance. Look for my interview with ABT Soloist Calvin Royal III, coming soon!

weekend reads


I’m taking off early this weekend, up to Maine for a long pre-fourth-of-July celebration weekend. I can’t wait to be in my happy place, falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing and waking up to waffles. What are you up to this weekend? For some fun reads around the web…

Diana Vishneva took her final bows with ABT last week.

So bummed to have missed Miami City Ballet opening the season at Jacob’s Pillow.

Have you seen the work of Karolina Kuras? I’m addicted, and loved this podcast interview from Conversations on Dance.

With photos by Ms. Kuras, this interview featuring National Ballet of Canada Principal Sonia Rodriguez provides a refreshing combination of humanism and prima secrets.

I’m joining the team at Wonderful World of Dance! Look out for exclusive articles and interviews as I dive deeper into dance blogging.


weekend reads & some announcements!


This weekend is pvdFEST- a huge Festival of artists invading my city to perform, install, and stomp around downtown. Next week I’m headed up to the Berkshires to rehearse and perform a piece of choreography done by one of my favorite people, as a part of the project of another of my favorite people, in one of my favorite places- Jacob’s Pillow! I’m pretty excited to head back to my old stomping grounds (see vintage shot of 17-year-old Keeks at the Pillow above), and I’ll be sure to keep you updated, but for now…

How Boston Ballet’s Misa Kuranaga became a world-class ballerina.

The rebirth of David Hallberg.

A poignant review of Justin Peck’s The Decalogue

Obsessed with these new socks specifically designed for dancers– review coming soon!

A surprisingly well-rounded list: The 51 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time.

Community Day at Jacob’s Pillow– if you’re local, come out and see! Free dance for all!

Zarely is giving away some of their seriously *wonderful* gear. #zarelyperfectlines to enter.

I’ll also be heading to Vail Dance Festival this August to cover and review the performances in Colorado! SUPER excited to bring you guys behind-the-scenes at one of ballet’s most inspiring Festivals. Stay tuned…

midweek reads

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The 39th season has official come to a close, and I am quickly gearing up for my trip to New Zealand! M and I take off Friday(!) to Queenstown…any recommendations? In the meantime, some fun reads from around the web…

A review!

This Buzzfeed article profiling Royal Ballet principal Marianela Núñez is so well-written and refreshing! Loved every word.

Swan Lake in-the-round at English National Ballet.

Yannick Boquin’s notes on connecting barre with center.

The Coveteur discovers a day with Tiler Peck.

Couldn’t stop smiling at this young boy Gabe getting vocal about his love of ballet- SO endearing.

Flash Footage: The Decalogue.

I wore my Zarely performance tights during the Cinderella run and felt *magical*. Get 20% your order with the code KIRSTENZARELY at checkout.



photo by Jenay Evans

weekend reads

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This week I’ve been pushing a bit harder, giving myself a class every morning and attempting to rehabilitate my body.  In short, everything hurts.  Shelby’s face in the photo above describes my feelings pretty accurately.  Here are some fun things that have been distracting me from the pain…

Morning walks.

My dear Emily’s words on confidence came at just the right time this week.

Beyond the barre.

The most accurate description of fresh farmer’s market tomatoes I’ve ever read.

A career in the corps.

PSA: Go see this movie.

Plate it.

Vintage Olympics.

Speaking of Olympics, this article makes a lot of good points about the dancing in female gymnast’s floor routines. (somehow I’ve never questioned why the male gymnasts don’t dance…)


photo via.

midweek reads


I can hardly contain my excitement to board a plane for France with my best friend tomorrow night.  I cannot be distracted from Parisian plans, but if you’re looking to take your mind off of things…

FBP’s Marissa Parmenter on sexism in the ballet world for Dance Magazine.

NYCB just got sportier.

Addicted to the Hamilton soundtrack right now.

Go Jeff!

Will I really be watching this live a week from tonight?

…and walking barefoot through these country roads, too?  pinch me.  swoon.

Vintage Paris Opera Ballet.

Currently consulting.




photo by Anna Ray Studio.

bon weekend!


It’s been a homework-filled, muggy hot week.  I can’t wait to escape up to Boston for a few days off.  Some fun things from around the web…

Excited to see my best friends perform in Cambridge this weekend!

Vegetable sushi bowls.


Help!  Sesamoiditis just made me get these babies.  Any styling advice?

Women having a terrible time at parties in Western Art History, ha. (via Joanna)

Never despise the mundane.
Embrace it.
Unwrap it like a gift.
See something more in the everyday.

A make-believe Paris morning, swoon.

…speaking of Paris, I’d like to plan a make-believe Normandy morning.  Must-not-miss (see, taste, hear, do) suggestions welcome.

Picking grapes, sorting the laundry.

My heart hangs so low for the victims of monstrosity in Orlando.  What JetBlue is doing for the families of victims is pretty darn cool.

midweek distractions


Hello friends!  I’m headed to Maine with (lots of) friends for the long weekend.  In case you need some distraction from the last few hours of this week’s work…

The most beautiful partnering by Lauren Lovette and Jared Angle in Justin Peck’s Belles Lettres. (equally gorgeous embroidery on the costumes pictured above)

The swimming specifics of San Fransisco Ballet’s Frances Chung. (love the note about winging your foot to promote proper muscle memory)

William Forsythe is saying Au Revoir Paris and Hello Boston. (welcome to Beantown, Bill)

Alessandra as Juliet. (watched it 3 times in one night)

I’ll be in France (!) when NYCB does A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Saratoga, but I’ll be back just in time for Jewels. (be sure to watch that Midsummer preview all the way through)

Maria Kotchetkova talks personal style and mental strength with Vogue. (“a sweatshirt is never just a sweatshirt” + sheer ennui)

Craig Hall retired from NYCB. (this little video featuring a pas de deux from the Peck/Stevens ballet Year of the Rabbit would probably make Wes Anderson happy)