The Flexibility Myth and Flexibility Exercises for Dancers

The Flexibility Myth and Flexibility Exercises for Dancers

I’ve always been fascinated with what I’ve learned from my injuries. Of course, it helps that I have a great physiotherapist who is very professional and supportive. His name is Andres Povea and we have been working together for over 15 years. One of the discoveries I’ve made through my injuries is that the “flexibility myth” is just that… a MYTH! The myth is that our flexibility is directly related to the length of our muscles. As it turns out, this is not so. The Flexibility Myth and Flexibility Exercises for Dancers But before we go into what makes a dancer flexible or not, let’s take a look at a part of our bodies that is basic in understanding flexibility. Lisa Howell  from Perfect Form Physio and The Ballet Blog is another physiotherapist I trust and follow. Below she explains what the fascia is and how it relates to your flexibility. Most people learn anatomy by learning about the bones and the muscles that attach to them. This is a good start, but is not really an accurate picture of our true anatomy. We are not just a skeleton held together with muscles and ligaments. A better picture is to imagine a mass of tissues including muscles, bones and ligaments, bound together, organized and coordinated by a complex web of fascia. Imagine your fascia as looking like an enormous spider web that covers over every one of your muscles and links it to the next one. It intertwines with everything in your body, including your stomach, your lungs, your eyes and your toes.   If you have ever seen a...
Photographer Luis Pons Captures Ballerinas in New York City [Breathtaking Images]

Photographer Luis Pons Captures Ballerinas in New York City [Breathtaking Images]

Photographer Luis Pons Captures Ballerinas in New York City Son of Dominican Republic parents, Luis was born in New York City and considers himself a true New Yorker. His love for photography began as a creative outlet, never imagining it would lead to his passion. He began photographing the city and it’s dwellers and soon discovered that he was drawn to lines and angles, especially those of Flamenco dancers. Photographer Luis Pons Captures Ballerinas in New York City He soon expanded to capture ballerinas as you’ll see when you visit his site (link below). You can view more of his breathtaking images in this  slide show. Photographer Luis Pons Captures Ballerinas in New York City I always enjoy meeting new people, especially folks like Luis Pons who is so passionate about his art. If you enjoyed this video interview, please visit Luis Pons at his website and facebook page, and remember to give him a friendly “Like”.  You can also see the slideshow of Luis’ work here Luis Pons Photography: Exquisite Ballet Photos Website: http://www.LPonsphotography.com Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PonsPhotography Instagram: http://instagram.com/ponsphoto# [Note: All images used with permission of © Luis Pons. Thanks...
The Anna Pavlova Dessert

The Anna Pavlova Dessert

One of many little known facts about Anna Pavlova’s life is that she had a dessert created in her honor: the Anna Pavlova Dessert. It has an interesting history, which you can read below, but it also is quite yummy and I look forward to preparing it. For you next special occasion, give it a try, the recipe is really quite easy to prepare. Take a picture of your creation and send it to us. We will publish it and share with our readers! Anna Pavlova Dessert Origin and History Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside. The dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the source. The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and with its simple recipe, is frequently served during celebratory and holiday meals. More interesting facts from original article on wikipedia.org. Anna Pavlova Dessert Recipe Recipe: 4 large egg whites 1 cup of superfine sugar 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon white vinegar 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour) Topping: 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1/2 tablespoon granulated white sugar (or to taste) 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Fresh fruit: kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, passion fruit, peaches, pineapple or other...
Jennifer Homans: The History of Ballet

Jennifer Homans: The History of Ballet

Former ballerina, historian and dance critic, Jennifer Homans has been passionate about ballet her entire life. She began her dancing career at 8 and danced professionally until the age of 26. Her latest book, Apollo’s Angels reveals her insights on the history of ballet. Her views are fascinating, to say the least. After 15 years of intense investigation, she has arrived to interesting conclusions. Follow the article and video below. The History of Ballet A dance critic for The New Republic, Homans earned her Ph.D. in modern European history at New York University, where she is a distinguished scholar-in-residence, teaching the history of ballet. In an earlier incarnation, she was a professional dancer, performing with the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet [and the Pacific Northwest Ballet]. “When I was myself a dancer looking for things to read, I did not find a cultural history that was broad about politics, ideas and the arts as well as about dance,” Homans said in a phone interview about Apollo’s Angels, which was 15 years in research and writing. “So when I stopped dancing and became an historian, over time I realized I had the equipment, the training and experience in dance and history, to write the book I always wanted to read.” Rita Kohn‘s original interview can be found here by following this link. In her book, Apollo’s Angels, the ballet critic asks: Why should we care about ballet? Jennifer Homans tells us what ballet means to her, as a dancer and as a historian, and why she has devoted her life to understanding this beautiful and civilizing...
The Evolution of Classical Ballet Technique

The Evolution of Classical Ballet Technique

The Royal Opera House and the Royal Academy of Arts presented ballet Mistress Ursula Hageli’s analysis of the evolution of classical ballet technique through the paintings of Degas dancers.  An excited Ms. Hageli shared her findings with the help of Royal Ballet dancers Leanne Cope and Lauren Cuthbertson; Leanne representing the Degas-style dancer and Lauren the modern day ballerina. Marie Taglioni was the first ballerina to go on her toes. Toe shoes were still very soft, no block, only darned at the tips. Dancers would only rise on their toes for a brief moment. Back then, ballerinas did not pirouette on their toes as they do today. Taglioni  trained with her father who boasted that she was light on her feet and also very chaste. By Degas’ time the length of ballet skirts had shortened to above the calf and had to be used with bloomers. Any family man could bring their entire family and even at the height of her (Taglioni’s) jumps they would not be able to see her knees. Hageli adds that dancers  also used corsets which limited the range of movement of their torsos as well as their arms, thus their more rounded port de bras and slightly forward-tilted stance. The evolution of classical ballet technique dates back to Louis XV’s court. It is in the tradition of classical ballet that technique is passed on directly Enrico Cecchetti having been taught by Giovanni Lepri who was taught by Carlo Blasis and the line can be traced back to Beauchamp the first ballet master at the court of Louis XV. Wikipedia.org Blasis developed a treatise of...
Ballet Stage Makeup in 10 Steps

Ballet Stage Makeup in 10 Steps

If you want to learn how to apply basic ballet stage makeup in 10 steps, here’s a video tutorial by Carli Samuelson, corps de ballet with PNB (Pacific Northwest Ballet) with tips and insider secrets. Here’s Carli’s process to ballet stage makeup in 10 steps: Start by applying basic foundation with a clean sponge on your face and neck. Make sure to blend it in well. Use lightly powder over foundation. Take pearly white eye powder and apply over eye-lid and under eyebrow to highlight. Darken eyebrows with brown eye shadow and on the crease of your eye-lid. Next, glue on false eye-lashes. Place blush under cheek bone and on jaw-line to define it. Use sparkle dust on the inner corner of your eye to open up area. Use liquid black eye-liner with a felt tip over top eye-lid and extent it out in wing shape. Add mascara on fake eye-lashes and lower lashes. Use lip primer to avoid smudges. Then apply red lipstick and blot it so it won’t stick to your teeth. Carli is shown below getting ready to go on stage. And voilà, you’re ready to go. This is The Nutcracker Ballet Stage Makeup in 10 steps. Anyone can do it. I really liked her idea of using sparkly white powder in the corner of her eye. I have always used plain white crayon to draw a dot in the same area to open my eyes and avoid looking cross-eyed from a distance.  Next time I dance I’ll give her make up technique a try! What did you think of Carli’s video tutorial? Did it help...

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