"Behind the Curtain" with Simkin

Dance Magazine’s second episode of "Behind the Curtain" follows fan favorite Daniil Simkin for a day. The American Ballet Theatre principal takes viewers inside a rehearsal for INTENSIO, a program of four new dances by Alexander Ekman, Gregory Dolbashian, Jorma Elo and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Simkin is dancing in and co-producing the performance, which premieres July 22 at Jacob’s Pillow.

In the video, the cast—which features ABT dancers, as well as Céline Cassone of Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal—is rehearsing Ochoa’s piece, including a duet between Simkin and Cassandra Trenary. They only have the choreographer for an hour, a shorter session than usual. But they’ve been hugely productive, nonetheless. Simkin says they’ve set 50 minutes of choreography during their first week of rehearsals.

Even though Simkin is a principal at one of the world’s top companies, he still dedicates his performances to his parents and considers their approval more important than anyone else’s. This makes sense, since his mother gave him his formal ballet training when he was growing up and introduced him to the world of dance competitions. The episode ends with Simkin leaving to meet his parents at his Brooklyn apartment.

Watch the complete "Behind the Curtain" episode playlist here.

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