Inspiration of the Day
October 1, 2014
Picture and inspiration of the day :) a Degas sketch.
My First Fitting with William Ivey Long
September 29, 2014
Today I am having my first fitting with the incredible William Ivey Long! #LittleDancerDC
New York City Ballet Fall Season
September 26, 2014
Hey Everyone! In the midst of rehearsing everyday for Little Dancer, the New York City Ballet fall season started on Tuesday. For the opening night gala, I performed in the world premiere of “Fune-railles” pas de deux, choreographed by Liam Scarlett and was costumed in a gorgeous McQueen dress designed by Sarah Burton. The following night I performed the infamous Theme and Variations! This particular ballet is known for being one of the hardest to conquer for a ballerina and is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment when the curtain comes down :) I am happy to say last night felt like the best I have ever danced it! Here's to growing with each performance!
The beautiful McQueen dress. Photo credit: Erin Baiano
One of my favorite moments in the piece
Taking a bow after the premiere on gala night
The amazing Theme headpiece!
Taking a bow last night after finishing Theme and Variations
Day 5 of Rehearsals
September 20, 2014
Today we entered into the world of Degas' studio. It is an absolute pleasure working with the incomparable Boyd Gaines.#LittleDancerDC
Day 4 of Rehearsals
September 19, 2014
Today was our first full sit down reading and sing-thru of the entire show. What a moving story and amazing score! I am so honored and excited to be a part of such a wonderful show! #feelingveryinspired
Day 3 of Rehearsals for Little Dancer
September 18, 2014
Day 3 of rehearsals for Little Dancer. Lots of tutus and sore feet!
Day 2 of Rehearsals for Little Dancer
September 17, 2014
Day 2 of rehearsals for Little Dancer. Today was an exciting day of learning all of the songs :)
My First Official Rehearsal for the New Musical Little Dancer
September 16, 2014
Today I had my first official rehearsal for the new upcoming musical Little Dancer, which I will be starring in at the Kennedy Center this fall. I thought it would be fun to post a photo each day during the process so don't forget to check in daily for the update!
Week Two at the Vail International Dance Festival
September 9, 2014
The second week of the festival was just as busy as the first. I danced in the Dance for 20.14 and Now:Premieres performances, guested with the Martha Graham Dance Company, and then finished the festival with the Dance TV performance.
Dance 20.14 is a special performance where tickets are sold for a bargain rate of $20 and $14. That evening I performed in three pieces. I danced the Rubies pas de deux with Herman Cornejo, a Jookin routine with Lil Buck and Ron Myles, and Paul Taylor's fast and slow duet from Airs. It was fun to be able to show versatility starting with a a hip hop number, changing to a Paul Taylor modern piece, and finishing with a Balanchine pas de deux. I can’t think of a better way to grow than to have the opportunity to try as many different styles of dance as possible.
Rehearsing Budget Bulgar with Lil Buck and Ron Myles. Photo credit: Erin Baiano
Performing Budget Bulgar with Lil Buck and Ron Myles. Photo credit: Erin Baiano
Rehearsing Paul Taylor's Airs. Photo credit: Erin Baiano
Performing Paul Taylor's Airs. Photo credit: Erin Baiano
The next evening entitled Now: Premieres is a unique program that features only new pieces that are created during the two week festival. Robbie Fairchild and I had the opportunity to work with choreographer Matthew Neenan and the ever so talented company Ballet X. It was such a wonderful experience getting to work with Matt and dance along with such unique and gifted dancers.
Robbie and I then had the extraordinary opportunity to guest with the Martha Graham Dance Company. We danced a beautiful pas from their piece At Summer's Full and it was such a wonderful challenge to take on the Graham style for the first time. I believe that every style can, one way or another, aid your artistry growth and this was a tremendous learning experience. I am a firm believer in pushing yourself and taking risks in order to advance.
Performing At Summer's Full with the Martha Graham Dance Company in Body Wrappers costumes! Photo credit: Erin Baiano
What was an even more exciting addition to this collaboration was that the entire Graham company performed the piece in BodyWrappers/Angelo Luzio garments from head to toe. The women actually wore three styles of leotards from Tiler Peck Designs! It was wonderful to see my designs in motion :)
Modeling backstage our Body Wrappers garments and leotards from Tiler Peck Designs! The woman wore Body Wrappers, Tiler Peck Designs leotards style P1000, P1001, P1040, the 338 chiffon skirts in black and white and Angelo Luzio 246A Jazzy Tan totalSTRETCH Canvas Ballet Slippers. The men wore: the M401 shirt, M191 pants and 401A Angelo Luzio leather jazz shoe.
The last performance of the festival is always Dance TV. This evening brings together dancers from SYTYCD, DWTS, crews from America's Best Crew, and many others. This year Robert Fairchild and I performed the white swan pas de deux from Swan Lake and then a world premiere of Movie, which was a collaboration between DWTS pros Ana and Gleb and us. This performance was an extraordinary way the end the festival!
Performing the white swan pas de deux from Swan Lake with Robert Fairchild. Photo credit: Erin Baiano
Performing Movie with DWTS pros Ana and Gleb. Photo credit: Erin Baiano
Vail International Dance Festival Week One
August 24, 2014
The Vail International Dance Festival is something I look forward to every year. It is a two week long festival filled with many exciting challenges. Artists are partnered with artists from different companies, many debuts are made, and there is a cross-over between different dance genres. This year, I performed in eight shows during the festival and made six debuts!
On opening night, I performed the entire Rubies section from George Balanchine's ballet Jewels with ABT principal dancer, Herman Cornejo. This was both my first time performing the entire ballet and dancing with Herman. It was an absolute blast! I have always loved this ballet and it was an honor performing it with Herman for my first time.
Performing Rubies for the first time with Herman Cornejo at the Gerald H Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado.
Photo(s) credit: Erin Baiano
The next performance, Up Close: Jewels, was more of a lecture demonstration than a performance. It took place at the beautiful indoor theater, The Vilar Performing Arts Center, and focused on the ballet Jewels and it's three sections: Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds. During the performance, the audience was presented with excerpts from the ballet's three sections while learning the background history of the ballet.
Demonstrating a section from Rubies at the Up Close performance in my new Tiler Peck Designs style P1000 leotard!
Photo Credit: Erin Baiano
The first week ended on a high with the two International Evenings. The first International Evening, I debuted a Jose Limon solo excerpted from the piece, Mazurkas. I then closed the program with another debut, the pas de deux from Don Quixote, with Boston Ballet principal dancer Jeffery Cirio. For the second International Evening, I performed Afternoon of a Faun with Robert Fairchild.
Rehearsing the Jose Limon solo in Tiler Peck Design leotard style P1001! Photo(s) credit: Erin Baiano
Performing a solo from Jose Limon's Mazurkas and wearing Angelo Luzio/Body Wrappers totalSTRETCH Canvas Ballet Slippers
Photo(s) credit: Erin Baiano
Making my debut in Don Q. Photo Credit: Erin Baiano
Performing Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun with fellow NYCB principal dancer and husband Robert Fairchild
What I love about this festival is that it takes me out of my comfort zone pushing me to take on new challenges. For me it is always a period in time to watch, learn, and grow.
August 7, 2014
Jacob's Pillow is the dance world's hidden gem. Located in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, it is a perfect little oasis where various famous dancers have performed throughout the years. In fact, Jacob's Pillow is considered a national historic landmark and is home to America's longest running dance festival.
A few weeks ago was my first visit to the "The Pillow." I was asked in an interview to give three adjectives to describe Jacob's Pillow, and the three that came to mind were inviting, unique, and historic. It was amazing to dance at a venue with such rich history and to see old programs on the walls with the names of all of the amazing dancers who have graced the same stage.
During our week stay, I performed the last pas de duex from Benjamin Millepied's Two Hearts and then closed the show with Fancy Free. It was especially neat to dance Fancy Free at The Pillow because it was last danced there in 1947 and 1949!!!
It was an honor to be there and I look forward to going back someday soon.
Fun directional signs found around Jacobs Pillow
Robbie Fairchild and I dancing with the charming Jacobs Pillow as our backdrop! Photo credit: Christopher Duggan
Striking a Fancy Free pose with Robbie Fairchild in front of the Ted Shawn theater where we performed. Photo credit Christopher Duggan
Performing Two Hearts with Tyler Angle
Recreating the Fancy Free pose from 1944 with our cast :) Photo Credit: Christopher Duggan
New York City Ballet's Summer Home: Saratoga
July 27, 2014
The day after we returned from our honeymoon, we headed full blown into rehearsals for our NYCB upcoming tour to SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center). SPAC has served as the summer home for the New York City Ballet since SPAC's opening season in 1966 and has continued to be a summer stop that we dancers look forward to every summer. Unfortunately, the number of weeks that we perform there has slowly dwindled down over the years and this year we were only there performing for one week.
Even though we were only there for a short time, our week was jammed packed with an assortment of great ballets. During our week stay, I performed in George Balanchine's Who Cares?, Justin Peck's Everywhere We Go, and Liam Scarlett's Acheron. The audiences were very enthusiastic and supportive and we were extremely happy to hear that we will be going back for two weeks next year!
My Everywhere We Go and Who Cares? costumes hanging on the rack in our dressing room at SPAC
Enjoying a night off in Saratoga while watching a Polo match :)
A Honeymoon in Paradise!
July 21, 2014
The day after we tied the knot we headed off on our honeymoon. We decided to go to Bora Bora and a private island called Le Taha'a and couldn't have picked two better places. We made sure to go on our honeymoon immediately following the wedding, because we knew with our crazy schedules, we would get too busy and not be able to fit it in. So what better place to go to than French Polynesia...somewhere very far away :)!
The islands were absolutely stunning and from the first day we felt we were in paradise. We stayed in overwater bungalows and had amazing mountain and ocean views along with beautiful sunsets. The trip was unbelievable and we cannot wait to go back one day!
A victory picture after the shark and stingray tour!
Riding into the sunset on our private island dinner for two :)
Trying to learn the native dance moves!
Our amazing overwater bungalow in Bora Bora
My Dream Wedding
July 4, 2014
Where do I even begin? Our wedding was seriously a fairytale and more than I could have ever dreamed. On June 22 I married Robert Fairchild, my best friend since I was fourteen years old. From the stunning venue at the High Line Hotel, to the unbelievable decor thanks to Darcy Miller and the Martha Stewart Weddings team, to my amazing wedding dress designed by Mark Zunino for Kleinfeld, and to most importantly, marrying my best friend, the wedding couldn't have been more perfect in my eyes.
The ceremony was performed at 5pm in the Chapel at the General Theological Seminary. We both exchanged the traditional vows as well as written ones. My favorite part of the entire day was seeing Robbie's face as I walked down the aisle and while we spoke our written vows to one another. The rest of the evening was such a blast and everyone danced the night away to the incredible Dane Wright Band!
Below is an article in the New York Times that really tells the story of our life long romance :)
Stay tuned for pictures from our honeymoon in Bora Bora!!!
Wedding photo left to right: Tiler Peck, Principal, NYC Ballet and creator of Tiler Peck Designs, Trudy Christ, Marketing/PR Director, Body Wrappers, Marie West, Founder/President of Body Wrappers, Robert Fairchild, Principal, NYC Ballet
Season At A Glance
June 15, 2014
Now that the New York City Ballet Spring Season has come to an end, I thought it would be fun to recap some of the amazing ballets I had the opportunity to dance.
The first week was an absolute killer physically; I had two ballets every night. I made my debut in Justin Peck's Year of the Rabbit, performed in Christopher Wheeldon's DGV, Benjamin Millepied's Two Hearts, and Richard Tanner's Sonatas and Interludes. I remember on the first Saturday having all four ballets because I had the matinee and evening performance each with two ballets. It was a week of dancing some of my favorite works by modern-day choreographers.
Another highlight of this season was getting to perform Jerome Robbins' ballet Other Dances, which was originally made for Makarova and Baryshnikov. This ballet is set to Chopin and is such a joy to dance. It is like an airy beautiful perfume to perform. It was nice revisiting it since 2009 was the last time it was scheduled.
This past season I also made my debut in the world premiere of Justin Peck's Everywhere We Go and was able to dance some of my favorite roles like Who Cares? and the Divertissement pas de deux from A Midsummer Night's Dream. Personally, I think the Divertissement pas de deux might be the most beautiful of all Balanchine duets. The music is exquisitely soft and seems to transcend me to a different place. I absolutely love dancing this role!
Performing Everywhere We Go with Amar Ramasar. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik
One of my favorite moments with Gonzalo Garcia in Other Dances. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik
Ended the season dancing the amazing Divertissement pas de deux with Tyler Angle. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik
Tiler Peck Designs
May 29, 2014
Hi everyone! I wanted to share with you some very exciting news. I have recently started designing my own line of leotards exclusively for Premiere by Body Wrappers called Tiler Peck Designs. I particularly wanted my designs to be comfortable and unique. The first set or group of leotards will soon start shipping to dance stores! In the first group, there are three different styles that all have unique mesh features:
Style P1000, The Power Mesh Halter Leotard has a matching power mesh front and back neckline & back yoke insert, sweetheart open neckline and memorySTRETCH™ front lining.
The colors are Black, Corona Blue, Fuchsia, and Plum.
Adults: XS, S, M, L, Tall
Tweens: 8-10, 12-14
Style P1001, The Power Mesh Yoke Leotard has power mesh shoulders & an upper back yoke with low back gathers, a sweetheart open neckline and memorySTRETCH™ front bodice lining. The colors are Black, Burgundy, Navy, and Scarlet
Adults: XS, S, M, L, Tall
Tweens: 8-10, 12-14
And my favorite,
Style P1002, The Power Mesh Zip Front Leotard has a zip front mock turtleneck bodice and a matching power mesh back featuring a gathered center line.
The colors are Black, Navy, Pewter, and Plum
Adults: XS, S, M, L, Tall
Tweens: 8-10, 12-14
I designed all of these leotards with a mesh feature because I think it adds a sense of sophistication. Not only are these standout leotards for class, but they can also easily work as a costume.
It was my intention to design flattering necklines and bodices that would look great on everyone no matter your age or discipline. I hope you will give them a try and keep an eye out for them at your local dance store and online retailers. And don't forget the second half of my collection will be available soon as well! (More about them later.)
I am so excited and hope you like them and will give some a try!
New Dramatist Luncheon
May 22, 2014
Today I am performing at the New Dramatist Luncheon, which is honoring Susan Stroman. I will be dancing an excerpt from her new Broadway show called Little Dancer, which I will be starring in come October at the Kennedy Center.
Susan and I have a long history together. I met her when I was eleven years old when she cast me to play Gracie Shinn on Broadway in The Music Man. Stro has always looked out for me and it has been an honor continuing to work with her over the years at the New York City Ballet. I am beyond excited about our new project and cannot wait to start working on it in September!
The Day Has Come!
May 8, 2014
Tonight is New York City Ballet's Spring Gala featuring a New Justin Peck/ Sufjan Stevens collaboration called Everywhere We Go. After a exhilarating 3 month process, I am beyond excited to perform it! I wanted to share with you something that was originally penned by Sufjan after witnessing a complete run through of this ballet set to his music.
"EVERYWHERE WE GO
This ballet is about going places: EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE
The more we move the more shadows we cast
Experience weighs heavy and light
Shadows need LIGHT!
This ballet is about Friendship and LOVE
This ballet is about being alone
This ballet is about breaking apart
This ballet is about COMPANIONSHIP and the AUTONOMY of life in spite of SOCIETY
This ballet is about knowing we are all going to die ALONE
This ballet is about LIFE and DEATH
REVEL in the camaraderie of the HERE and NOW
This ballet is about NOTHING
This ballet is about NYCB
This ballet is about CREATING
This ballet is about MUSIC
This ballet is about DOING YOUR JOB
This ballet is about GOODNESS and kindness and dignity
There is absolutely no EVIL in this ballet
This ballet is about SPORTSMANSHIP
This ballet is about TEAMWORK
This ballet is about INDUSTRY
This ballet reminds us that BEAUTY = TOGETHERNESS = LOVE = MOTION = WORK
This ballet reminds us that BEAUTY = TOGETHERNESS = LOVE = MOTION = WORK
DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF
A rehearsal shot of Teresa Reichlen, Amar Ramasar, and myself in the new ballet.
The Dance Against Cancer Gala
May 5, 2014
Excited to perform in tonight's Dance Against Cancer gala!
Working with Twyla Tharp and the Carolina Chocolate Drops!
May 1, 2014
A few weeks ago, Robbie and I performed a Twyla Tharp duet at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Twyla created this "Cornbread Duet" specifically for us and she was an absolute pleasure to work with. She has such a wonderful sense of wit and creativity that the rehearsal process was pure joy.
The performance was particularly special because we were accompanied by the highly talented band, The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Their music is completely unique and sharing the stage with such a talented group of musicians was thrilling. As they played, their energetic charisma was completely contagious. We had such a blast playing off of them; letting their music carry us through the piece.
Performing Cornbread Duet at BAM in costumes designed by Norma Kamali
Taking our final bow with the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Twyla
A quick photo backstage post performance
The Premiere of Ballet 422
April 21, 2014
On the evening of April 19, I went to the TriBeCa Film Festival for the premiere of the new feature film Ballet 422. Ballet 422 is a film directed by Jody Lee Lipes showcasing what it takes to make a new ballet. The film focuses on the making of Justin Peck's ballet, Paz de la Jolla, which interestingly, was commissioned as the 422nd new ballet for New York City Ballet. Paz de la Jolla actually premiered in 2013 at the David H Koch Theater and Sterling Hyltin, Amar Ramasar, and myself were the leads. The film is particularly special because it is a true account of all that it takes to create a new ballet at the New York City Ballet. There isn't any added fluff to create drama, it is purely a wonderful film that depicts the ballet making process. Jody and his team filmed only about fourteen days of our rehearsals, so while I was watching the film I was shocked to see how involved I was. It was thrilling to sit in the theater and watch the film for the first time. I am very proud to be a part of such a creative and pure film.
Heading to the Premiere with my sis :)
Walking the red carpet with Robbie
Onstage doing a Q&A immediately following the premiere
The gold ticket to the After Party!
Having fun post premiere
The cast of Ballet 422: me, Justin Peck, Sterling Hyltin, and Amar Ramasar
New York City Ballet's Tour to Washington DC
April 10, 2014
This past week, I was performing at the Kennedy Center with the New York City Ballet. The Company presented two diverse programs. The first one was a mixed repertory program that featured Christopher Wheeldon's Soiree Musicale, Justin Peck's Year of the Rabbit, and Alexi Ratmansky's Namouna: A Grand Divertissment. The second program featured George Balanchine's full-length ballet, Jewels. Of the seven performances, I performed in four. I debuted in Justin Peck's ballet Year of the Rabbit and also danced the Emeralds section in Jewels.
Jewels is a unique three act ballet that has been called the first full-length abstract ballet because it lacks a story. The three different sections, Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds have their own unique style and flare. Each of the three acts features the music of a different composer: Emeralds is set to the music of Gabriel Fauré, Rubies to the music of Igor Stravinsky and Diamonds to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Of the three, Emeralds is the most romantic section, and the music just carries me away. On the other hand, Justin's Year of the Rabbit is almost the complete opposite, and my role is very daring and athletic. I always enjoy debuts because of the energy and excitement that overtake the performance. There is always a sense of the unknown that I love taking on.
Putting the finishing touches on my makeup and hair
Here are two photos taken from the wings by fellow colleague Devin Alberda during Emeralds.
PS Don't forget to come and see me in the premiere of a new Twyla Tharp duet this Thursday at BAM, featuring a live musical performance by the Carolina Chocolate Drops!
A Photo Shoot with Daniel D'Ottavio
March 28, 2014
Here are some beautiful photos from a photo shoot with Daniel D'Ottavio. Daniel had this wonderful idea to paint Robbie and I completely silver in order to really capture our bodies in movement. Daniel and Vasili Gavre also created this wonderful video of us that you can watch below.
A Weekend of Teaching Master Classes
March 20, 2014
This past weekend I taught two master classes for Indianapolis City Ballet and one class at Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne, NJ. Even though I am still completely invested in my dancing career, I have always enjoyed teaching others. Perhaps it is because I grew up in my mother's studio with her as my teacher :) I just love sharing the knowledge I have with younger dancers.
Each year Indianapolis City Ballet puts together a series of master classes with various teachers. The students come from many different schools, and the talent is absolutely extraordinary. I taught two classes and held a Q&A in-between.
The next day, I traveled to Wayne, NJ and taught a class at Passaic County Technical Institute. The students were eager to learn and extremely disciplined. After class, we sat around and talked for about an hour. They asked numerous questions like what my typical daily schedule is at the New York City Ballet and what it takes to be a dancer. It was fun to see how excited they were to listen and ask for advice.
Teaching class in Indianapolis
A quick shot after class in Wayne, NJ
The Paul Taylor Dance Company Gala
March 13, 2014
Hi guys! I am so excited to dance tonight at the Paul Taylor Dance Company Gala! Here are some photos from yesterday's rehearsal with Paul himself. Robbie and I feel extremely honored that Paul invited us to guest and share this special night with his company :)
My Debut in Opus 19/ The Dreamer and Acheron
March 12, 2014
This past winter season at the New York City Ballet I was fortunate to make my debut in Opus 19 and be a part of Liam Scarlett's world premier.
Opus 19/ The Dreamer is a wonderful Jerome Robbin's ballet. This ballet was originated for Patricia McBride and Mikhail Baryshnikov and has been danced by a number of exceptional artists thereafter. It was an absolute honor to be cast for this role, and I had the most magical time performing it. Though it was my debut in this role, it felt completely natural to me. I look forward to performing it again in future seasons and growing into it more.
I also had the opportunity this season to perform in the world premier of Liam Scarlett's ballet Acheron. Creating a new ballet is more about the rehearsal process than anything because it is such a wonderful feeling to collaborate. Working with a new choreographer is always inspirational!
Performing Acheron with Robert Fairchild. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik
Striking one of the final poses in Opus 19 with Robert Fairchild. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik
February 27, 2014
Hi everyone! Between performing Coppelia and trying to plan our June wedding it has been a busy Winter Season. Here is what I have been up to.
Coppelia is one of my favorite ballets to perform. The ballet is based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann and is about a budding romance between two villagers, Frantz and Swanilda and the unusual workings of their eccentric neighbor Dr. Coppélius, a clever toymaker. When Swanilda realizes that Frantz is infatuated by the sight of the inventor's new doll, they both sneak into Dr. Coppélius' workshop at different times, and mayhem ensues.
Swanilda is such a wonderful role to portray. She is a young girl, in-love who is curious and somewhat into everything. She will stop at nothing to find out who this girl is that Frantz is paying attention to and comes to realize that he is infatuated with a doll!
I think playing Swanilda is the most fun I have ever had on stage. She is such an uncanny and smart character and I find it thrilling to live out every moment, action, and thought through her eyes. The character development and musicality of the choreography make Coppelia such a joy to dance!
Swanilda dances in Act 1 while enjoying her fellow villagers. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik
Swanilda sneaks into Dr. Coppelius' workshop in Act II and acts like a doll herself to trick him. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik
The wedding pas de deux in Act III. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik
My Second Week of Season
February 6, 2014
Last week I performed in two completely different ballets. One ballet was the glorious Jewels choreographed by George Balanchine, and the other was the haunting Spectral Evidence, which was choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj. It was really thrilling to perform two works in the same week that are on the opposite ends of a spectrum.
Jewels is a wonderful full evening ballet that highlights three different sections -- Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds. I dance in Emeralds, which I think is the most romantic and lyrical section of the three. My part was originated for the one and only Violette Verdy. Violette danced with a special quality that seemed like she always added some expensive perfume to any role. I love dancing her variation in Emeralds that is filled with so much discovery and abandon.
Performing Emeralds in George Balanchine's ballet Jewels. Photo credit: Costas Cacaroukas
Spectral Evidence is the second ballet I performed. In this ballet, the women are witches who possess their partners. The ballet is very dark since most of the inspiration for this ballet was the Salem Witch Trails. It was exciting to have been challenged to perform two distinctly different roles in the same week.
Performing Spectral Evidence wearing the Angelo Luzio/Body Wrappers style 246A/C totalSTRETCH Canvas ballet slippers in Jazzy Tan
Opening Week of New York City Ballet's 2014 Winter Season
January 30, 2014
This past week was an exhausting one, but completely fulfilling. I had the opportunity to dance three wonderful ballets by three amazing choreographers. I performed in Balanchine's Who Cares?, Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain, and Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering.
On opening night I performed Who Cares? Who Cares? is one of my favorite ballets to dance. My role was originated by the wonderful Patricia McBride and it is an honor to try and carry on the legacy of the role. I feel completely at ease dancing this part and I find something new to love about the role every time I dance it.
Two days later I made my debut in Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain. This ballet is particularly special because it has only been danced in the company by the incomparable Wendy Whelan. With that said, it took a lot of courage to take on the daunting task of performing a ballet that I can only see and admire Wendy dancing. I can't put into words what I felt while performing this part. I felt completely transfixed and serene while dancing with Craig Hall, and it was a sort of out of body experience. All I can say is After The Rain is a "gift of a ballet!"
The third ballet I performed was the classic Dances at a Gathering. In this ballet, I perform the pink girl, which is another Patricia McBride role. Dances at a Gathering is such an intimate ballet and it is one that I feel extends my growth as an artist every time I dance it. What a wonderful week of ballets!
Performing Dances At A Gathering with Tyler Angle
Dancing with Robert Fairchild in Who Cares?
On The Town
January 23, 2014
This past month I participated in the the creative process of an On The Town Broadway revival. The way these broadway shows are brought to life is through what they call "workshops," "readings," and "labs." I was asked to play the wonderful role of Ivy Smith in a one week reading and a two week dance lab.
The one week reading was a time to really focus on "the book," meaning the script, and the dance lab was a time to focus on the choreography. The cast was really spectacular and it was wonderful to be a part of such a unique creative and learning process! It was particularly interesting to be a part of a show that is closely linked to Fancy Free, a ballet that I have performed in with the New York City Ballet. Fancy Free is such a fun ballet to perform, with the storyline of three sailors and their adventures that take place one night in New York City. The story never gets old!
Behind the scenes with Tony Yazbeck
The Artwork of Pointe Shoes
January 16, 2014
Pointe shoes are an essential part in a ballerina's career. The style and fit are very particular depending on the individual. The shoe of choice for New York City Ballet is Freed of London. My specific order is the Bell Maker and size 5XX. The 5 represents the length and the double X represents the width.
I take a particular interest in picking out the shoes I wear for performances. Sometimes I will spend around a half an hour the night before picking out the most perfect shoe that I can find for my performance the next evening. For some dancers they can use any pair, but Freeds are hand made so they vary from pair to pair. The advice I would give any dancer is to find a pointe shoe that molds to your foot as best as it can; a pointe shoe should merely look like an extension of your foot.
Below is an article from the NY Times where I am interviewed on pointe shoes.
Forbes 30 under 30
January 9, 2014
I cannot believe I made the Forbes 30 under 30 Hollywood and Entertainment list. I am definitely still pinching myself! I feel so honored and am beyond grateful!
Happy New Year Everyone!
January 3, 2014
This holiday season has been jammed packed yet extremely fun. Between dancing The Nutcracker and finally being able to go home for the holidays, I have been one busy girl.
One thing I always look forward to during the holidays is dancing George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. The production is so spectacular and truly brings some Christmas magic to the season. The two roles that I perform are Dewdrop (the lead of the Waltz of the Flowers) and the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Nutcracker is such a family show, and it is always fun to share the stage with students from the School of American Ballet.
Giving autographs to all of the children after dancing The Sugar Plum Fairy at the Family Benefit Performance.
Posing with Pippa in my Dewdrop costume :)
Besides dancing The Nutcracker here in New York, I also performed it in Texas and California. Tyler Angle and I guested with Chamberlain Performing Arts in Richardson, TX and Robert Fairchild and I guested with Pacific Festival Ballet in Thousand Oaks, CA. It was so wonderful to dance in both places :)
With my cavalier and fiancé Robert Fairchild
One very special moment in Thousand Oaks, CA was having the opportunity, before Robbie and my wedding, of meeting Robbie's Grandparents who just happen to live near there.
The best part of this holiday season was getting to spend Christmas with our families. It is such a rarity for both Robbie and I to not be cast around Christmas so we seized the opportunity. After our performances in Thousand Oaks, we stayed on the West Coast and spent Christmas Eve and the day before in Utah with Robbie's family and Christmas Day and the day after in California with my family. It sounds a little crazy, and I have to admit the traveling was a bit hectic, but so worth it. This was the first time we have gotten to spend Christmas at home in ten years!
Meeting all of the Fairchild's :) my soon to be second family in Thousand Oaks
The cookies Robbie and I baked on Christmas Eve
All of the doggies together with their holiday bows :)
My dad decorated the front lawn for me like the good old days!
Dancing the Grand Pas De Deux with Tyler Angle in Richardson, TX.
December 25, 2013
A Day with The One and Only Jacques d'Amboise
December 12, 2013
The George Balanchine Foundation is in the process of taping all Balanchine's ballets for archival purposes. The Foundation aims to capture the priceless coaching between a former dancer and a dancer of this generation. It is extremely important and educational for a dancer who the role was created for to teach and share with a dancer of today who never had the chance to work with George Balanchine. This process is particularly unique because these former dancers are able to share their insights and Mr. B's thoughts and words with those of us dancing the ballets today. By recording this rehearsal process, the George Balanchine Foundation, is able to capture some unique footage to help restore the ballets to their most original versions.
Prior to this experience, I was involved in one other filming where Merrill Ashley coached me on the ballet, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2. This time, I had the privilege of working with the incredible Jacques d'Amboise on George Balanchine's ballet Who Cares?! The role I dance now was originally created for Patricia McBride who danced this ballet with Jacques, and now it is a ballet that Robert Fairchild and I dance. It was very remarkable to be in a room with Jacques and hear things like "Mr. B used to always say this" or "He loved…". I couldn't have asked for a more inspirational day and from such an eager and loving human being.
My role in Who Cares? has become one of my favorites to dance and the one-on-one time in the studio with Jacques has now made it more special in so many ways. It's hard to explain in words exactly what I experienced working with an original Balanchine dancer. When we concluded the coaching session, it felt as if a magical "finishing touch" had been placed on me.
Taking a quick photo with Jacques after the filming :)
A Week Of Sharing With A Younger Generation
November 28, 2013
Last week I had the opportunity of being a part of two panel discussions. One was titled "Ask The Pros" and the other one was called "Living Through Dance." Even though I don't think of myself as an actual "Pro" because I am constantly learning new things, it was fun to share any tips and knowledge I have with aspiring young dancers and their parents.
"Ask The Pros" was held on November 17th at Steps on Broadway. When I was asked to speak on the panel about what it takes to become a professional dancer, I was excited to share my insights. I know how much it means to listen to advice from a dancer you either look up to or admire, and I was happy to share my experiences with a younger generation. The panel was very versatile and I was honored to be among such a wonderful group.
The next night, I was asked to speak at my alma mater, Professional Children's School. It was emotional being back at my high school and seeing all of my teachers, not to mention seeing how much the school has changed since I attended. This school holds such an important part in my life because it supported me through my first years as a young dancer living away from home and being a part of the New York City Ballet at fifteen. PCS is such a unique and amazing institution and I am proud to be a graduate of such a challenging and supportive school.
The Enemy Within: A New Dance Film
November 21, 2013
Seven years ago a college student had an idea to bring together talented artists from different dance genres to make something. On November 11th, his dreams came true, and Preston Miller had his first screening of a dance film that he created, choreographed, and produced. The film is called the Enemy Within and the cast includes Matthew Rushing, rehearsal director and guest artist with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Marquese 'Nonstop' Scott, member of Dragon House and YouTube Street Dancer, Samantha Figgins, dancer with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and myself, a Principal dancer with the New York City Ballet.
It was an honor to be a part of this collaboration. Being able to dance with these amazing dancers from various companies was a tremendous learning experience. The film took us all out of our comfort zones, which ultimately helped us grow as artists. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a apart of this film and am excited for everyone to see it. Keep up with the whereabouts of the film at theuai.com or follow theUAI on Facebook and Twitter!
Here are some trailers for the film. Enjoy!
A quick shot at the Nov 11 New York screening with everyone who made this film possible!
The Premier of Sarah Jessica Parker's New AOL Web Series "city.ballet"
November 14, 2013
The new web series "city.ballet" premiered in New York on November 4th at the Tribeca Cinemas. The brainchild behind this series is non other than the talented Sarah Jessica Parker. Ms. Parker is on the board of the New York City Ballet and is a wonderful supporter of the Company. She has really been an important figure in cultivating a younger audience at the ballet. She has helped partner fashion designers with choreographers for our fall galas, and she has now made NYCB accessible over the internet with this new web series.
This web series, produced by Pretty Matches Productions and Zero Point Zero Production, offers fans an all-access pass into the country’s largest and most prominent dance company, the New York City Ballet. Each 6-8 minute episode in the 12 episode series is narrated by Ms. Parker and takes viewers through a dancer’s journey both on and off the stage.
The series focuses on the dedication and determination it takes to be in the New York City Ballet. It isn't like a reality show; instead, it is more like a documentary and interviews individual dancers on various issues like relationships, injuries, ranks, and many more.
I really think this series is a wonderful vehicle to reach audiences that don't have the opportunity to see the New York City Ballet perform in New York. Hopefully the series reaches out to individuals who don't know about dance and will make them want to come see our Company live!
A quick shot in our theater seats before the premier :)
The 31st Annual Princess Grace Awards Gala
November 7, 2013
On October 30th, the Princess Grace Foundation held their 31st annual Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd street. The venue was absolutely stunning and marked a perfect spot for a memorable evening.
Walking the red carpet with my fiancé Robert Fairchild in a J Mendel dress. Photo credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Photo credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
I was honored to have Susan Stroman there to present me with the 2013 Statue Award. Stro is the reason I first moved to New York so it seemed perfectly fitting for her to be the one to present me with the Statue Award.
Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/ WireImage
Fortunately, I did have the opportunity to make a few remarks thanking the foundation:
"While a student at the School of American Ballet, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA helped me realize my goals and potential by awarding me with the 2004 Princess Grace Award. The award recognized me as a talented emerging artist, which opened many doors and helped facilitate the beginnings of my ballet career. The accolades of this award not only elevated my position within the dance community but also gave me the confidence that I needed to succeed.
Since receiving the initial award in 2004, I joined the New York City Ballet as a full time member the following year, and in 2009, I was promoted to the rank of Principal Dancer. Becoming a Principal ballerina with the New York City Ballet is a dream that I never thought was possible, but the Princess Grace Foundation-USA inspired me to “dream big and work hard.” I feel extremely humbled to be among the select few who have won the Statue Award.
The Princess Grace Foundation USA is unlike any other organization, supporting artists of this generation and many more to follow. I am just so grateful to be part of this philanthropic and international family. For me, one of the most remarkable attributes of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA is its active involvement in each recipient’s life. The Foundation is determined to help recipients further their careers beyond winning the award. This year, I was given a Professional Development grant that made it possible for me to take weekly voice lessons in addition to my ballet training. As a result, I was recently cast to play the title role in Susan Stroman’s new musical, Little Dancer, and I owe part of that to the Princess Grace Foundation-USA for their generous contribution towards my vocal training. I am very grateful to the Foundation for assisting with my development as an artist and continuing to aid my professional growth."
The gala then went on to present the new awardees with their initial Princess Grace Awards and concluded with Princess Charlene of Monaco presenting Cicely Tyson with the lifetime Prince Rainier III Award. Ms. Tyson's speech was the most moving, inspirational, and heartfelt speech I think I have ever heard. She said, "The minute you feel you have arrived, is the minute you will stop growing." I completely agree and was deeply touched by her words. The evening was very special and I am beyond honored to be a 2013 Statue Award Winner.
Standing with actress Jennifer Grant, journalist and newscaster Paula Zahn, Princess Charlene of Monaco, and the other 2013 Statue Award Winner, filmmaker Wendy Levy. Photo credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Sharing this special moment with my father and mother :)