A Dancer’s Musician: Christopher Ferris

Two years ago, I tweeted about and backed a Kickstarter project by Christopher Ferris. Ferris, an artist, composer and performer with a gift for improvisation, works with the Evergreen City Ballet school and training company as an accompanist. I absolutely adore Christopher’s story on his first experience playing for a ballet class –  it was part of the first promotion video about the project here. Ferris became in time a dancer’s musician, able to create just the right mood and perfect tempo for every step and moment.

Working with dancers eventually inspired Ferris to create his own class album, and during the funding push he made some nifty videos where he thanked his backers to his own live music. It was just delightful to hear my own name. Sadly, the project did not reach its goal – but Ferris didn’t let that stop him. Like the true artist he is, Ferris doubled down his commitment to his work.

Today, Christopher publishes this inaugural album, Music for Ballet Class: Syncopé, available utterly for free to listen to here, or for purchase on CD or MP3 files. This body of work represents an enormous effort by the artist, the team at Lake Union Recording, photographer Tim Aguero, designer Ryan Obermeier, and the artistic staff of Evergreen City Ballet, including two former principal dancers with Pacific Northwest Ballet. Plus, it’s beautifully played on a spectacular concert grand piano.

It’s beyond generous for this music to be available free of charge to listen to. Check out the album, and if you like it – for gosh sake’s support the arts and these artists by ponying up for the CD, MP3, or iTunes version!

Congratulations to Christopher and all the artists involved in the making of this beautiful ballet class album. May you inspire dancers and dance teachers around the world.

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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!

2016 Summer Dance Intensives Update

Students of Ellison Ballet

Ellison Ballet SI 2012

I know you’re all waiting with bated breath for the annual list of summer intensives. While unfortunately the vast majority of programs that I typically include have not yet updated their 2016 information, the major top programs in the US have. So I thought I’d get those up here for your reference now.

Once most of the other programs have their houses in order, I’ll post the usual mega-spreadsheet with details like ages and dates. For now, in no particular order (and please don’t try reading into who I’ve included and excluded, though I know you guys love to do that!), here are the top US programs who have posted their 2016 main summer program details:

School of American Ballet (NT)

American Ballet Theatre (NY+)

Bolshoi Ballet (NY/CT)

Pacific Northwest Ballet (WA)

San Francisco Ballet (CA)

Ellison Ballet (NY)

Boston Ballet (MA)

Houston Ballet (TX)

French Academie (NY)

Kirov Academy (DC)

The Rock School (PA)

Let me know if this is helpful either in direct message or down below in the comments. Remember there are plenty of resources here on BalletScoop (starting here) to help you decide where to spend your time auditioning and how to find the best training for your needs. Merde to all!

Dancewear en l’air: Boxy Cropped Cover-Up

productcojocaru13I think this is the first time I’ve posted two similar articles in a row… but I’ve waited too long to show you Cloud & Victory! I’m so in love with their spring/summer 2014 collection I could bust – Do yourself a favor and check out all their shirts and skirts, as seen on such inimitable luminaries as Joy Womack of American at the Bolshoi fame.

I’ve chosen their Cojocaru cropped cover-up because it absolutely embodies the effortless style of dancers. It’s made of soft Tencel to slide over your skin luxuriously, and this version’s print is inspired by gorgeous Alina Cojocaru to give you your day’s inspiration.

Have a dress code that requires coverups between classes? This is the perfect solution to stay breezy cool after a long sweaty class. This top would look completely fabulous over a tank or camisole leotard for the wide neck to show off your beautiful shoulders. Add one of their lovely lace skirts and voilà, you have an ensemble fit for a dancer of the Paris Opera. I would even throw this on for coffee or shopping. So chic!

 

Dancewear en l’air: Stripey Bamboo Legwarmers

New York City Ballet dancer and self-made entrepreneur Cameron Dieck has established his own line of legwarmers, Échauffe. These line-lengthening limberers are made from high-end bamboo yarns and are designed to keep your gammies warm without hiding the muscle definition you’ve worked so hard for.

Available in multiple colors, my favorite is the striped “truffle/conch” version. For their debut, Pointe Magazine is giving away a few pairs to lucky entrants here!

Audition Season is Just Around the Corner!

This past August, BalletScoop turned one year old. (Yay!) Back in fall of last year, it was all about the upcoming spring audition season for the annual summer programs around the country. This year will be no different, and if we have half the comments activity that we had last year, I’ll be a very busy bee! I love hearing from you all though, so please do post your questions and I’ll do my best to keep on top of them all.

Audition line-ups for the 2012 summer programs are not quite complete at many schools, so look for my 2012 auditions post in a few more weeks. In the meantime, get prepped for success by checking out two great new audition-related articles from Dance Informa, “Don’t Stress” and “Audition Do’s and Don’ts“. And be on the lookout here for info coming soon about exciting new books and dancewear.

Finally, I stumbled on a new blog I’ve just added to the blogroll, SteelsBallet, written by an intelligent and talented young dancer, Sarah Steele, who is pictured above and is currently training at the Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York. (Be sure to check out the archive page, which is an easy to browse collage of all her posts to date.) Follow along as she tackles pre-calculus by day and pas de deux by night.

Dancewear en l’air: The Procut Convertible Mesh Tight

Do you prefer the feel of no tights in your shoes? But your teacher makes you roll them down? Well now there’s now a tight made especially for you! I was truly impressed to see this design from Body Wrappers style A47, which mimics what dancers often do to their tights with scissors. Built to look to from a viewer’s perspective as a full-footed tight when the dancer’s shoes are on, it actually has three cutouts that reveal most of the foot within the shoe – at the toes, sole and heel. These cutouts provide easy access for foot care post- and pre-pointe class and allow better feel of the shoe for those who like as little as possible between them and the floor. BW included a thong between the big and second toes to keep the fabric secure around the foot despite the cutouts.

The fabric is the same as Body Wrappers classic mesh tight, A46, and like that tight it features a backseam to highlight your lines. Currently, it’s only available in one shade of pink which they call “classic ballet pink”. This color seems to be much lighter than the notoriously bright ballet pink but slightly darker than their popular theatrical pink – which makes it a lot closer to most pointe shoe colors. Available in small, medium, large or tall (yay!), this is a great tight for dancers who need to look completely classical but love that no-tights feel.

Check out the always beautiful Tiler Peck as she introduces this tight in this video by BW: