6/7/19 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Le Jeune Homme Et La Mort

Le Jeune Homme et La Mort, the iconic masterwork choreographed by Roland Petit featuring Nicolas Le Riche and Marie-Agnès Gillot as Death.

With a libretto by Jean Cocteau and choreography by Roland Petit, the 1946 ballet Le Jeune Homme et la Mort is a highly theatrical mix of post-war existentialism and chic. It has an explosive star part for a male dancer, all soaring jumps and writhing gymnastics, and a vampish figure of death. This rendition set in 2005 for the Paris Opera is a very sensual interpretation probably staged by Petit who died in 2010. 

Le Jeune Homme Et La Mort

10/25/16 O&A NYC INSPIRATIONAL TUESDAY: Sylvie Guillem- Mademoiselle Non (1993)

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Sylvie Guillem joined the corps de ballet of the Paris Opera at age fifteen. A dance superstar whose breathtaking technique ranks her beside the likes of Nureyev and Baryshnikov the program centers on film of Guillem rehearsing and performing a range of pieces, both contemporary and classical, which display her astonishing virtuosity. Continue reading

2/12/16 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: First Look At Misty Copeland Channeling Edgar Degas For Harper’s Bazaar

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Misty Copeland, principal dancer American Ballet Theatre, appears in the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar to recreate iconic ballet inspired paintings and sculpture from impressionist painter Edgar Degas. Congratulations to Copeland for once again disrupting the historical whiteness of ballet. 

56bca4611a00009c01ab2736Copeland as Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green); Oscar de la Renta dress, $5,490

Photographers Ken Browar and Deborah Ory captured the world-renowned dancer for the eye-catching editorial spread. The resemblance to Degas’ original works of dancers at the Paris Opéra Ballet is uncanny. Copeland nails the graceful poses while dressed in high fashion designs by Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Carolina Herrera, and Oscar de la Renta that look like they were literally plucked from each painting and sculpture.

56bca4091a00009c01ab2735Copeland as Degas’s Dancer; Carolina Herrera top, $1,490, skirt, $4,990

In the article, she explains why she love to dance. “I was drawn to ballet and performing for a reason that I think a lot of people can’t really understand or relate to,” she says. “People think it’s like, ‘You’re out there,’ or ‘You’re exposed.’ But I felt safe when I was on the stage, like no one could get to me. It was the first time in my life that I felt protected.”

56bca4b81800002d0080bc14Copeland as Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen; Alexander McQueen dress, $4,655, and corset, $4,525

At 33, she’s in the midst of the most illuminating pas de deux with pop culture for a classical dancer since Mikhail Baryshnikov went toe-to-toe with Gregory Hines in White Nights.

56bca3aa1a00009c01ab2734-1Copeland as Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green); Oscar de la Renta dress, $5,490

Degas’s ballet works, which the artist began creating in the 1860s and continued making until the years before his death, in 1917, were infused with a very modern sensibility.  He offered images of young girls congregating, practicing, laboring, dancing, training, and hanging around studios and the backstage areas of the theater. 

1454957845-hbz-030116-welldegas10Alberta Ferretti dress, $28,090

Copeland is engaged to Olu Evans, an attorney, who she’s been with for more than a decade. They live together in an apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. She admits to an “intensifying” designer-footwear addiction, and while she’s still working out the details of her nuptials, she confesses giddily that Christian Louboutin is making her shoes for the occasion.

1455035644-hbz-030116-welldegas03Roberto Cavalli skirt, price upon request

Misty Copeland- The Art Of Dance

Video shot by Sandy Chase

Photography by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory of the NYC Dance Project

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11/6/15 O&A NYC Shall We Dance Friday: Le Jeune Homme et la Mort- Rudolf Nureyev or Mikhail Baryshnikov? You decide

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Le Jeune Homme et la Mort (1946) choreography by Roland Petit, set to Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 582, with a one-act libretto by Jean Cocteau. The story of a young man driven to suicide by his faithless lover. Two of the most memorable interrupters of the male role (both stage and film) have been Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov.  Continue reading