Washington Ballet
Hard Steps Video

Here is a really cool video of bravura ballet steps demonstrated by Washington Ballet dancers produced by The Washington Post:

Andile Ndlovu-The Butterfly
Chong Sun-540 Battement en Rond
Maki Onuki-Kitri’s Grande Jeté
Corey Landolt-5 Consecutive Double Tours
Francesca Dugarte-7 Double and One Triple Fouetté en Tournant
Luis R. Torres and Maki Onuki-The Cheshire Cat Lift

After viewing about 20 times, I find it both instructional and inspirational. As a former dancer, I feel like getting up and trying these tricks until reality sets in with my artificial metal hip and creaky joints.

Andile’s trick is unique-he takes off from a turning coupe into a single rotation in a backward arch position, finishing on one knee. A very interesting step that I have not seen before. Chong does a 540, a type of turning switch kick step. A nice step when done well that is popular with male ballet and hip-hop dancers. Former ABT Soloist Gennadi Saveliev was great at this.

I liked Corey’s nice five double tours, all in tight fifth positions. He’s right that this is very tough as there isn’t much time for preparation once a tour is landed; time to go up for another. If a tour is off and not vertical, the next will be way off. Francesca Dugarte does seven double fouettés ending with a triple. She has nice form throughout, extending to a solid second position before going to posse position and starting the double. Luis R. Torres and Maki Onuki round out the video with a unique lift they call the Cheshire Cat Lift.

Thanks to my colleague Joachim Skor for the link. 

ABT also has a new video: The ABT Dancer. The focus of the series of dancer interviews is dancer diversity in terms of training and nationality. I agree that diversity is a virtue, but I’m not sure why they produced a video to drive this point home. I want to rush to the box office to buy tickets to Washington Ballet after viewing their video; not so much the ABT video.

I like performance videos and ABT would be well served to provide clips of dancers in performance. I saw a nice clip of Daniil Simkin in Don Quixote on the ABT website, but I can’t find it anymore. My advice on promotional videos: more dance, less talk.