Ballet in Film: Breaking Legs

BreakingLegsFor each dancer who trains at a major dance academies, there are hundreds at humble local schools or living in towns where even basic dance classes are actually not available. Released April 25th on VOD and DVDBreaking Legs is a story for all the young dancers out there who are just trying to keep their dream alive, in the face of lacking culture, education, understanding of many around them.

Liv Southard stars as Bloom, and dancer/choreographer Mark Marchillo wrote, directed, and stars as her uncle. Southard’s natural facility leaves you wanting to see what more she can do, as her choreography seems limited to reflect the lack of training available according to the story. A dance highlight of the Breaking Legs is a completely iconic and incredibly difficult Kelly-esque classic dance sequence performed by Marchillo himself.

Both starring and supporting characters have complicated issues to address, and each have their own motivations, demons, and insecurities. Breaking Legs is a comedy, but actually addresses some dark human issues as well like addiction, child abuse, and infidelity. It offers no reassurances or solutions to those complexities, but somehow manages to walk a fine line to keep its comedic lightness throughout.

Presented with a vintage feel and nods to many of the decades of dance and film that have built to present day, this is a special cast and a quirky story with a ton of heart. Breaking Legs is a must-see for dance fans and students.

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*WIN TICKETS!* Ballet in Film: A Hero of Our Time

Fathom Events is hosting special screenings of the Bolshoi Ballet Series! In A Hero of Our Time, Pechorin, a young officer, embarks on a journey across the majestic mountains of the Caucasus, on a path set by his passionate encounters. Disillusioned and careless, he inflicts pain upon himself and the women around him. Drama!

If that’s not enough to entice you to click that link, I promise you the gorgeous photography on the Bolshoi Ballet Series site is thoroughly worth clicking through.

Tickets are available to purchase here – and for a limited time you can WIN tickets to this Fathom Event!

Ballet in Film: Prix de Lausanne Finals

Prix de Lausanne finals were posted on Youtube yesterday, complete with beautiful classical and contemporary classwork, performance montages, and coaching excerpts. Former prize recipient, former Royal Opera House creative director and current board member Deborah Bull is host and the faculty is equally world-class.

The footage quality is better every year and this is some of the best yet, with about 2.5 hours. See some of today’s best-trained and naturally promising young dance talent in the world at the Prix finals, and find out who rose to the top to receive prizes this year.

Top 5 Best Ballet YouTubers

joywomackThanks to YouTube, ballet is more accessible than ever. What was once a niche art has become increasingly available for fans and for dancers themselves who are looking to improve and gain a competitive edge by studying other accomplished dancers. So what are some of the best YouTube channels to help you achieve your goals?

#5 BallerinaBadass – The name says it all. Long-time dancer Georgia is your host for this frank and ‘tells it like it is’ channel. The featured video as of this writing is about bunions, which kind of tells you all you need to know. Georgia’s danced with multiple companies so she has plenty of stories to tell, and lots of worthwhile tips along the way, from alignment and stretching to pointe shoe prep. Plus, there’s cats.

#4  TwinTalksBallet – Hosted by fresh-faced girl next door Kirsten, this channel takes you on the journey of her first apprenticeship in Oklahoma City. Kirsten refers to herself as a big fish in a small pond now moving into the role of small fish in a big pond, the typical experience for a new professional. She has plenty of advice on how she got where she is, managing her time, maintaining the athlete’s body, and she has the ideal attitude for success that is a great example for any dancer. Plus, more cats.

#3 Mitch’s Moments – This is a pretty cute channel, hosted by a wry dancer and his friends, all with delightful accents. Expect lots of dancer in-jokes, pretty demos, and some totally non-dance content for fun as well (Legos! So awesome.) Perfect for a mental break and de-stress.

#2 Russian Ballet – World-renowned dancer Joy Womack has been super active on YouTube for quite some time now. You could spent many days indulging in her collection of behind the scenes and vlog footage of her professional ballet life at the highest level of achievement. You can learn so much just from studying the quality in her warm-up and barre routine, and there’s so much more to this channel.

#1 Kathryn Morgan – OK duh. If you don’t know Katie, you don’t know ballet on YouTube. Kathryn Morgan became an overnight success when she began opening up about her battle with thyroid complications during and after her rocket-propelled career at NYCB. She is la reine de ballet in social media. Always well-appointed, with flawless makeup and fashion, Katie is one part virtual sister, one part virtual ballet mentor, and one part style guru. Plus, there’s puppers. Can’t get enough? Check out her personal vlog, Life with Katie.

Have a favorite YouTuber you’d love to share? Are you a YouTuber yourself? List it in the comments below!

Ballet in Film: Ballerinatips

RachelSilvermanI’d love to introduce you guys today to a youtube channel called Ballerinatips by young dancer Rachel Silverman. Follow Rachel as she shares her experience and takes you into her world of being a serious dance student.

Videos on Rachel’s channel cover everything from what’s in my dance to how to make a great ballet bun, audition vlogs, and of course there is a Yumiko collection video! For those of you preparing for an SI this summer, you’ll particularly enjoy Rachel’s video on how to pack for a summer intensive. There are also a bunch of fun videos of Rachel and her friends in class and rehearsal with, of course, some tips on what they have learned.

Check out Rachel’s channel, and maybe you’ll be inspired to create your own ballet youtube vlog for me to feature one day!

Ballet in Film: Bolshoi Babylon

Bolshoi_Babylon“Where the real drama happens offstage,” claims the trailer for Bolshoi Babylon, an understated but high-drama documentary about the present-day scandal and politics of the Bolshoi Ballet.

Indeed, while considered the foremost ballet company in the world by many, the Bolshoi’s dysfunctions were publicly and violently exposed by a shocking physical attack on its Artistic Director in its very recent past. In the film, backstage intrigues and the distressed commentary of dancers reflecting on those events are buttressed by flawless, glittering performances by those same artists. It seems that the height of all that is best about ballet and art intersects sometimes with its extreme opposite, and Bolshoi Babylon capitalizes on this with a stylistic presentation of the story as a fascinating metaphor for that dichotomy.

Bolshoi Babylon is premieres this Monday, December 21, 2015, on HBO exclusively.

Ballet in Film: The Garden

Only a few minutes left to support The Garden: A Fierce Ballerina in the Future. I love how this project links dance and science, encouraging young women and dancers to think beyond pink tutus and candy . This intriguing project has been successfully funded already, and they just need help getting to their stretch goal, which will allow them to pay off their Kickstarter fees. They are so close! Help them out and support the arts!