Dance Teacher Tips
Forsythe's in the middle, somewhat elevated uses the battement like an attack. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet

Just before retiring in 2015, Sylvie Guillem appeared on "HARDtalk with Zeinab Badawi," the BBC's hard-hitting interview program. Badawi told Guillem,

"Clement Crisp of the Financial Times, 14 years ago, described your dancing as vulgar."

Guillem responded,

"Yeah, well, he said that. But at the same time, when they asked Margot Fonteyn what she thought about lifting the leg like this she said, 'Well, if I could have done it, I would have done it.' "

They were discussing Guillem's signature stroke—her 180-degree leg extension à la seconde. Ballet legs had often flashed about in the higher zones between 135 and 160 degrees before. But it wasn't until the virtuoso French ballerina regularly extended her leg beside her ear with immaculate poise in the 1980s that leg extensions for ballet dancers in classical roles reached their zenith. Traditionalists like Clement Crisp were not taken with it.

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Actress Mary Tyler Moore passed away yesterday in Greenwich, Connecticut, at age 80. Known for her starring roles on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in the '70s and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" in the '60s, Moore helped create a positive image of the 20th-century career woman.

But did you know that she was a dancer, too?

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Happy Halloween, DT readers! Every year, as the spookiest of holidays rolls around, I’m impressed with the humor and creativity of dancers’ Halloween costumes. This year was no exception. Enjoy a roundup of some of our favorite 2016 Halloween looks.

  1. Divas to the dance floor please! ABT principals Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside had a diva dance-off in company class as Sylvie Guillem and Natalia Makarova.

  1. ABT royalty Sascha Radetsky and Stella Abrera enchant and amuse as John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Can you imagine?

  1. Watch out for the Suicide Squad! “Dancing with the Stars” pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd are terrifying as the Joker and Harley Quinn.

  1. Houston Ballet’s Harper Watters goes for the gold as dynamite gymnast Simone Biles. We also love Rhys Kosakowski’s take on The Sims.

  1. Dressed as company alum Ethan Stiefel, ABT soloist Cassandra Trenary impresses with a Center Stage moment—one-upping Charlie with a double tour.

Have a happy Halloween, and don’t miss a single issue of Dance Teacher.

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