a chat with lauren lovette

Lauren_Lovette_for_Zarely_1800_1000_1400x.progressiveNYCB Principal Lauren Lovette, photo by Zarely.

At the Vail Dance Festival back in August, I was walking through the park on my way back from the amphitheater when I happened upon Lauren Lovette. She was sitting on a park bench, headphones around her neck, smiling at the wind. Mere hours away from premiering her new work (in which she was also dancing) that evening, Lauren looked calm and comfortable. So I decided to say hello.

Two hours later, we had recorded an entire (2 part!) interview and were now veering into a most interesting topic- her recent foray into veganism. Having just watched What The Health? with the rest of the Netflix loving world, veganism was at the forefront of my mind, and chatting about it with Lauren only further excited me. It wasn’t until the imminent food poisoning incident that I actually went fully plant-based, but I recently re-listened to our veganism chat and found Lauren’s story pretty enlightening.

Ms. Lovette is insightful, down-to-earth, and honest. Plus, there’s no denying her perfect podcast toned voice. ;) She shares her struggle with keeping on weight, eating a junk food diet, fighting for endurance, a serious health scare, and healing herself with plant food.

If you are curious, pull up a park bench and chat with us…

Thank you so much, Lauren, for sharing your experience!

there is only now


I am such a huge fan of New York City Ballet’s 2016-2017 campaign.  It’s somehow both hauntingly timeless and incredibly current; a breathing incantation of Balanchine’s mantra “There is only now.”  The captivating video and stunning photos by Peter Lindbergh are just dreamy, and his musings on the special art of capturing ballet dancers are truly poetic…New-York-City-Ballet-2016-2017-03.jpgnew-york-city-ballet-2016-2017-07New-York-City-Ballet-2016-2017-06.jpgnew-york-city-ballet-2016-2017-01new-york-city-ballet-2016-2017-02-762x1024New-York-City-Ballet-2016-2017-04.jpg

“With dance, it is about capturing movement, which is everything I love.  It leaves space for the unexpected, as the same movement is never twice the same.”

-Peter Lindbergh

big screen ballet


The past two Sundays have ironically both involved a cinematic ballet experience of some kind, with a trek up to Cambridge to see Ballet 422 last weekend and a drive to East Greenwich yesterday for a screening of The Bolshoi’s Romeo & Juliet.  The two shows were vastly different, save their only similarities seated in the audience: a combination of bunheads and bald heads…my kinda crowd.

Following New York City Ballet corps member and resident choreographer, Justin Peck, Jody Lee Lipes’ Ballet 422 offers up an impressive array of balletic athleticism and choreographic innovation, wrought with a generous supply of stylish #BTS shots.  Mr. Peck, at the tender age of 25, exudes professionalism and creative depth beyond his years, and the entire company (especially featured principal, Tiler Peck) demonstrates a skill level and quickness of movement that only the NYCB can deliver.  Of course it suits that these inspired minds belong to NYCB, a company founded on choreographic liberation and the freedom to create entirely new movement.  An artistic peek into the modern world of ballet, the film provides a backstage guide to the choreographic, rehearsal, staging and performance process of a world premiere at the historic Koch theatre.  I truly enjoyed seeing the magnificent costume department and the care that goes into each garment, as well as the showcase of talented orchestral musicians and powerful NYCB dancers, but without any real narration or interviews to speak of, Magnolia Pictures may want to consider renaming the film Justin Peck Relaxes Face While Thinking.*

The Bolshoi’s R&J on the big screen could not have been more opposite; One of the world’s oldest companies performing one of literature’s oldest tragedies in ballet’s most traditionally classic choreographic style.  In three words, it. was. dramatic.  Of course, drama is to be expected from a famously grim love story in which so many crucial characters suffer an untimely death**, but there’s something about this particular rendition that seemed just a bit over the top to me.  Maybe it was Tybalt’s refusal to die without a lingering (re: dragging) “death dance” for the books, but that’s probably just my impatient millennial mind at work there.  Gorgeous in its classicism, but predictable by nature, this show separates the diehard traditionalists from those of us who chuckled when Lady Capulet practically dislocated her shoulder tossing herself onto her nephew’s dead body about fifteen times (Mom, I’m looking at you!).

So, have any of you seen either production?  What did you think?

*Spoiler Alert: Justin Peck’s “deep in thought” face comprises 90% of the film.

**Yet another spoiler, everyone dies.  Sorry for giving away the ending, guys.

photo via

snow day education


Growing up, I didn’t know much about “the ballet world”.  Sure, I had heard of New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and the Bolshoi, but I couldn’t tell any of them apart and the name Balanchine didn’t mean a whole lot to me.  In my mind, the ultimate principals were Cooper Nielson and the Kathleen Donahue, but no one was cooler than underdog Jody Sawyer.  Fast forward 10 years and the baby bunhead in me is making up for lost time with some borderline obsessive fan-girling tendencies, re: hours of youtube-ing on a lonely snow day (I didn’t say I was proud of it!).

Yesterday I dove in hard to the New York City Ballet’s online presence, which is rather extensive, I might add.  I thought I would share some of the beautiful content I uncovered during the NYCB-themed cyber stalk sesh…

Some gorgeous photos from the impossibly chic, talented and well-spoken Garance Doré, taking us along on her visit behind the scenes with the New York City Ballet.  (part II here)

Ever wonder how NYCB principal Sara Mearns creates that just-tossed-it-up-real-quick twist/bun hybrid thing she’s always sporting?  Ponder no more, here’s a tutorial from the master herself.  And ps, she just replaced Jody as ballet’s resident “cool girl”.  Sorry, Sawyer…

I never considered that a person actually holds the job title of “official shoe sprayer to the New York City Ballet”, but it’s pretty rad.

Take a peak inside the NYCB costume shop and follow the recreation of the Theme & Variations tutus.

The euphoric purgatory of being promoted to Soloist in the New York City Ballet.


photo by Garance Doré

ballet on broadway

broadway ballerinas

If you read Pointe or Dance Spirit Magazine, or keep an ear to the wings of the David H. Koch Theater, you may have already heard that several of NYCB’s favorite ballet dancers are dipping their callused toes into the lights of Broadway.  The first dancer to challenge her Balanchine-technique with musical theater is Ms. Tiler Peck, who will star in Susan Stroman’s Little Dancer, a show based on Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer Aged 14 sculpture, and one that was created exclusively with Peck in mind.  Proving they are as in sync career-wise as they are romantically, Tiler’s NYCB-dancer husband, Robbie Fairchild, will take on the title role in Christopher Wheeldon’s adaptation of the Gene Kelly classic, An American in Paris (of course), which premieres this season in Paris, before making its move to Broadway.  However remarkable (and adorable) as this power-couple may be, it’s Robbie’s sister Megan Fairchild (also a principle with NYCB) who has really caught my attention.  Opening this month, Megan will star in Broadway’s revival of the On The Town, (sort of an expanded version of Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, in ballet terms).  It’s exciting to see ballet dancers who aren’t afraid to be more than just bunheads- and their versatility and acting skills are seriously impressive!  Check out Ms. Fairchild in rehearsal for her “Miss Turnstiles” number, in which-as the story goes, she just has been chosen as New York City’s prettiest subway-riding lady of the month (oh, the 1940s and their taboo behaviors, gotta love it)…

I love that choreographer Joshua Bergasse really challenged her, creating an epic, action-packed scene that takes some serious stamina.  And Ms. Fairchild conquers everything he’s thrown at her with the finesse of a true professional- from quick petit allegro to complicated lifting sequences, all culminating in a mènage and a considerable amount of fouettés.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it!  Really hoping to make it to the Big Apple to catch this one live…



photos via here and here

NYCB x The Coveteur

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As a long time fan of The Coveteur, a website that takes you inside the closets of today’s tastemakers and publishes the scoop on all of the latest designer collaborations, I practically jumped out of my dress when I noticed their feature on New York City Ballet‘s annual Fall Gala, which happens to be tonight.  Because I stalk several NYCB dancers on instagram, of course I had already heard about the company’s collaboration with Thom Browne, Carolina Hererra, Mary Katrantzou, and Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen (coordinated by NYCB board member and resident fashion insider, Sarah Jessica Parker).  But, being the stalker that I am, the idea of sneaking a peek behind-the-scenes before the costumes even hit the stage was impossible to resist!  Imagine how fun it would be to don an exclusively NYCB designer costume for the night?  Swoon.

Check out the designs for yourself here!

Read more about the project here.

All photos via The Coveteur