AOL released its new web series "city.ballet" today. Following the growing trend of straight-to-Netflix series, all 12 episodes about the inner workings of New York City Ballet are now available online, each about six to eight minutes long. But that’s no reason we can’t appreciate them one week at a time, like a good old-fashioned TV show.
The first episode breaks down the ranking system at NYCB, unique for training nearly all of its dancers at the School of American Ballet and requiring students to climb—one step at a time—from a coveted but tenuous apprentice role to corps member, soloist and eventually (hopefully) principal. It’s informative to nondancers and in many ways even to balletomanes; refreshingly candid interviews with dancers reveal lesser-known pressures of each rank.
We see the new apprentices, who rarely get the spotlight, let alone the microphone, speak about the pressure to prove themselves. And principal Teresa Reichlen admits that being a soloist was the hardest part of her career, because she felt stuck in between being a fresh new talent and a top dog. Ashley Bouder even offers some performance advice. She says, “We’re told a lot when we’re learning things, ‘Do it as big as you can, and I’ll tell you when it’s too much.’”
For all the hype about the drama of competing to “make it big” in a “cutthroat industry,” it looks like “city.ballet.” might be taking a more educational, documentary approach. On the other hand, we haven’t seen the “Relationships,” “Sacrifice” or “Injuries” installments yet, so perhaps we’ll get some drama after all.
Marketing is a vital part of operating and sustaining your business, but figuring out what works best for your studio requires creativity and trial and error. The good news is that today—thanks to technology—it's easier than ever to use DIY marketing. Below, learn from the experiences of four studio owners: how they tackled different marketing strategies and what did (and didn't) translate into paying customers—plus, advice from an expert on how to up your game.
You know how some people lust over the interiors of beautiful homes? Scandinavian aesthetics, marble countertops, chrome appliances? That's how I feel when I look at images of gorgeous dance studios. And I'm willing to bet you feel the same—which is why I've been drooling over photos of the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center.
I recently watched your YouTube video on exercises for the intrinsic muscles of the feet. I have a question about the doming exercise. When doing the movement, I find it impossible to keep my toes long. The same is true for when I point my feet. I have a hard time lengthening my toes, and I feel a limited range of motion in the front of my ankle. Is there anything I can do to fix this?
Starting this Saturday, the Children's Museum of Manhattan on the Upper West Side will have an interactive dance exhibit called "Let's Dance!" Basically every facet of dance is featured in the exhibit: kids can explore lighting design with a special child-friendly lighting box; choreograph with the use of props, signs and costumes; create accompaniment with percussion instruments; manipulate posable figures; see incredible dance photography and video; and, best of all, interact with the dance portal, where they can watch, learn and interact with professional and student dance companies like Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dancing Classrooms, Mark Morris Dance Group and Martha Graham Dance Company. Whew. That's a LOT of great stuff.