the colour in anything

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To burn like cedar, I request another dream, I need a forest fire…

When the curtain rose and James Blake’s echoey beats leaked out, I became aware of every sense.  Jet-lagged as I was, my eyes widened, ears hallowed, body tilted forward- quite literally I sat on the edge of my red velvet seat.

The dancers were lined up and still. Clad in that quintessential, elementary French blue, they looked more like paper dolls than actual humans, each more perfectly cut than the next.  At the snare’s first kick, in unison they ticked a ronde de jambe to B+ and snapped up to elongé.  It was unmistakable Serenadian goodness, a current choreographic genius’s nod to old world classicism.

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The four lines moved separately from one another, but in decided consonance, each painting its own layer of the music.  Forsythe’s choreography braided steps together effortlessly, showcasing technique and timing in a celebration of 21st century dance.  Movements were bright and loud, but never boastful.  The ladies tilted hips and flexed hands between turned-in footwork while the men maintained Blake’s syncopated baseline with precise profiles and brisés on the upbeat.

The six movements which followed were pure balletomane bliss.  Much like the soulful, poetic electronica, Forsythe’s neo-classical choreography ranged from spritely to wrenching.  A la Jerome Robbins, much of the ballet felt like it was being danced by the dancers for each other, rather than for the audience.  Parts of it looked like the most fun anyone could have on stage, ever.  Others were magnificently tender.  Blame it on the lack of sleep if you will, but a haunting pas de deux between Léonore Baulac and François Alu nearly brought me to tears.

And how I told you what I’d do, if one day I woke and couldn’t see the colour in anything…

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What an important piece of ballet history.  Sitting in Le Palais Garnier (dream come true) witnessing all of this was an unforgettable night in my development as an artist and spectator.  There is so much more of this French travel I want to share with you, all in good time…
I noticed I can still ghost the streets
I noticed just how slow the killer bee’s wings beat
And how wonderful, how wonderful
How wonderful you are…
lyrics by James Blake.

midweek reads

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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.

women of character

C’est dans la chute que je prends mon élan.

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Have you seen Anthropologie’s new campaign featuring short video profiles of women that inspire the brand?  T pointed me in the direction of their October muse, Paris Opera Ballet prima and choreographer Marie-Agnès Gillot, and I found her words so inspiring:

“My body is the ultimate expression of myself.  I train and learn more about it- more about me- daily.”

“Discipline is the cornerstone of freedom, not the opposite.”

I’m also a big fan of the clothing at Anthro, so seeing them in motion was a big treat.  Oh, and I suppose the Parisienne background might have won me over a bit, too…ANTOCT15_PARISFASH_014_120_RGB_postScreen Shot 2015-09-28 at 9.52.10 AM

See the full video below, and read her extended questionnaire here.

photos and video via Anthropologie.

gold, on the ceiling

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Leave it to Vogue to create a stunning editorial in celebration of ballet big wig/Hollywood’s most envied Baby Daddy and his first year as artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet.  This gorgeous spread has everything: the always magical city of Paris, suave Mr. Millepied, breathtaking Natalia Vodianova, one of the world’s most distinguished professional ballet companies, and shimmering designer gowns that bring the extravagant Palais Garnier to life.  Glamour is at an all time high here, folks.  I’ve shared a few of my favorite photos above, but for the full collection, head on over here.

all photos by Annie Liebovitz for Vogue

tis the season to drink baileys

Have you seen Baileys’ latest holiday-inspired tv ad?  The Nutcracker themed commercial features an epic Rat King battle for the beautiful Clara, who stars in this version of the story as an ethereal, light-footed bar patron out for a night in “Candyland” with her girls.  A bedraggled protagonist is found in our studly Nutcracker Prince- love how they made him look like he’d been off at war for some time before stopping for a beer Baileys in the twinkling, chandelier-studded bar.  The Rat King, a tattooed-and-facial-scruffed hunk of man intervenes in the (extremely confident) Nutcracker’s sweet courting of light-as-air Clara, resulting in a ballet battle of carefully crafted roundhouse kicks, expertly choreographed by my Nantucket bff, Natalie Portman babydaddy arm candy husband, and new Paris Opera Ballet director, the ever dreamy Benjamin Millepied.  The dancing, executed by Royal Ballet dancers Steven McRae, Thiago Soares and Iana Salenko, is impressive to say the least.  There is something about the soft fluidity and pure power of the Royal Ballet that always astounds me.  I also love the girl-power message by Baileys, as Clara turns the tables on our dance fight, only to return to her friends for more fun, leaving us with the suggestion to “spend time with the girls this Christmas”.  Don’t mind if I do!  Check out the making of the commercial for yourselves, down below…

black swan in paris

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Those of you less familiar with the ballet world may know him as Mr. Natalie Portman, but in reality, Benjamin Millepied is so much more than that.  He’s a former New York City Ballet principle, acclaimed choreographer, founder of the L.A. Dance Project and choreographer of Hollywood’s infamously creepy take on Swan Lake, otherwise known as Black Swan.  Starting in September of 2014, Mr. Sexy Millepied can add director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet to his resume.  Why do we bunheads care about someone we don’t know getting a new job at a company 3,481 miles away, you might ask?  Wellllll, let’s just say that with so many former POB company members in line for the job and the company’s notorious loyalty to tradition, Mr. Millepied’s new position came with a side of shock and, as all great ballet scandals are served up, with an extra helping of controversy.

That’s not stopping Benny Boy, though (yeah, I did that).  He has a clear plan in mind when it comes to tackling this challenge.  He says, “My interest is in developing the art and the craft of ballet, which is so rich and interesting. This is a great classical company, and I want it to be an environment for the evolution and knowledge of the ballet idiom. I want to develop a new identity, really challenge the dancers, make them dance ballets that are not just the classics.”  Sounds fantastic, B. Mill!
575944_3557340820727_1940584488_n^^^just the roommie and I hanging out with Sasha Radetsky and the Ben Mill himself…nobigdeal…