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Suzanne Farrell works with Sara Mearns during a rehearsal of George Balanchine's "Diamonds." Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy NYCB.

In a large practice studio inside Lincoln Center's Koch Theater, Suzanne Farrell watches quietly as New York City Ballet principals Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen work through a series of supported poses. As Janzen kneels to face her, Mearns brushes through to croisé arabesque, extending her leg high behind her. "I wouldn't penché there," says Farrell, gently. "You can, but I wouldn't."

"I get so excited here," says Mearns with a laugh. The three are slowly working through the pas de deux of "Diamonds," the ballet George Balanchine created on Farrell and Jacques D'Amboise in 1967 that makes up the third act of his full-length Jewels.

"I know," Farrell says. "But it's more exciting if the arabesque turn afterwards is sustained."

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Suzanne Farrell rehearses Sara Mearns in George Balanchine's "Diamonds." Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy NYCB.

In a large practice studio inside Lincoln Center's Koch Theater, Suzanne Farrell watches quietly as New York City Ballet principals Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen work through a series of supported poses. As Janzen kneels to face her, Mearns brushes through to croisé arabesque, extending her leg high behind her. "I wouldn't penché there," says Farrell, gently. "You can, but I wouldn't."

"I get so excited here," says Mearns with a laugh. The three are slowly working through the pas de deux of "Diamonds," the ballet George Balanchine created on Farrell and Jacques D'Amboise in 1967 that makes up the third act of his full-length Jewels.

"I know," Farrell says. "But it's more exciting if the arabesque turn afterwards is sustained."

Keep reading... Show less
Peter Frame performing Paul Taylor's solo in George Balanchine's "Episodes." Photo by Monroe Warshaw.

The dance community mourns another loss this week, as we learned former New York City Ballet principal Peter Frame passed away on August 30. Frame, who was 61, trained at the School of American Ballet and was a member of NYCB (his twin brother Paul danced with the company as well) from 1976 to 1990, earning the rank of principal in 1988.

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Just for fun
Bucharest National Ballet's 2013 trailer for "La Sylphide,' via YouTube

Few things are more powerful for promoting ballet performances than captivating trailers—especially in today's visually-focused, digitally-connected world.

We've rounded up some eye-catching ads from seasons past and present that not only make us wish we could have seen the show, but also stand alone as short films.

Bucharest National Opera's La Sylphide

Magnifying the scarf which—spoiler alert—brings about the ballet's tragic conclusion, this 2013 Bucharest National Opera's trailer turns that fateful fabric into a beautiful, deadly web. Its windswept movements form a dance of its own.

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Dancer Health
Marika Molnar directs the physical therapy department at New York City Ballet. Here, she works with principal Ana Sophia Scheller. Photo by Rachel Papo

In her work as director of physical therapy for New York City Ballet, Marika Molnar relies on tools like bands, balls and Pilates equipment to rehabilitate and strengthen dancers. She says there's a place for such tools in daily dance classes, as well. Resistance and stability tools can help students develop strength and even break bad habits. "Say someone is compensating because of a weakness or restriction—that's what they're always going to do," she says, even after a teacher corrects them repeatedly. "If you give them something that makes things a little unfamiliar, their brain has to participate more. It becomes not only a physical exercise but a cognitive one." The dancer learns in a new way, and improves.

Molnar has collaborated with Pilates expert Joan Breibart and PTs at Westside Dance Physical Therapy to create a series of tools and exercises with dancers' training and recovery needs in mind. Here, she shares three of her favorites.

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Körbes with Karel Cruz in one of her final rehearsals at PNB

The Los Angeles dance scene’s meteoric rise continues, with another major gain for the Golden Coast: the superlative Carla Körbes. We hadn’t finished drying our eyes following her retirement from Pacific Northwest Ballet earlier this month, when the announcement came she’d been appointed associate artistic director of L.A. Dance Project. While founding artistic director Benjamin Millepied is overseas running Paris Opéra Ballet, Körbes will be on-site, overseeing programming, casting and rehearsals.

She joins LADP managing director James Fayette, also associate director of the freshly launched Colburn Dance Academy, which trains pre-professional ballet students under the leadership of Fayette's wife, retired New York City Ballet principal Jenifer Ringer. (More on this in our July issue.)

And Körbes’ news comes on the heels of the announcement that American Ballet Theatre’s executive director Rachel S. Moore is also heading west as the new president and CEO of L.A.’s Music Center.

The migration continues! We can’t wait to see what Körbes achieves in her new role.

Photo by Lindsay Thomas, courtesy of photographer

Screen capture from Les Bosquets

Les Bosquets

Last year, French visual artist JR participated in the creation of Les Bosquets, an original piece for New York City Ballet. Now, the artist has announced he will premiere a film based on the ballet at next month’s Tribeca Film Festival. Les Bosquets is named for a housing project outside Paris, one of the poverty-stricken areas affected by riots in 2005. According to JR’s website, “The film brings the audience [to] a place where art, social uproar and the power of image interweave.” The 17-minute film will feature Lil Buck, Lauren Lovette and members of Paris Opéra Ballet, with music by pop star and producer Pharrell Williams, French musician Woodkid and famed movie composer Hans Zimmer.

Screen capture from A Ballerina's Tale

A Ballerina’s Tale

Also premiering at the 2015 festival is a much anticipated documentary on Misty CopelandA Ballerina’s Tale. Directed by Brooklyn-born writer and filmmaker Nelson George, this full-length film documents Copeland’s rise to stardom while investigating the challenges of being a black woman in the ballet world. It also promises exclusive performance footage. Check out the somewhat dizzying trailer here:

Ma

And finally, don’t miss the first feature film by Celia Rowlson-Hall. The former Monica Bill Barnes and Faye Driscoll dancer wrote, directed and stars in Ma, described as a modern retelling of “Mother Mary’s pilgrimage,” set in the American Southwest.

Visit tribecafilm.com for more info.

A screen capture from Heatscape

Vogue recently spotlighted this film, which previews Justin Peck's new work, Heatscape, to be premiered by Miami City Ballet at end of the month. In the video, dancers—casual in jeans and Keds—explore the city's mural-covered Wynwood Walls, which inspired the ballet.

If you like that, be sure you've seen the music video for "Man On Fire" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, directed by Ballet 422's Jody Lee Lipes. In the uplifting final scene, New York City Ballet dancers perform in a West Side Story–esque alley on a dusty stage of gravel and sand.

And for a final ballet-in-streetwear favorite,  who could forget the mysteriously captivating Cylindrical Shadows, featuring choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet? We guarantee you'll feel like you've been transported to another world.

Ahhhh. Have a relaxing Wednesday evening, everyone.

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