a “ballet’s greatest hits” birthday

****update****

YAGP’s “ballet’s greatest hits” will be released on itunes and other digital stores in november! (via TenduTV)

here is an excerpt from the film – ABT’s stunning hee seo in dance of the sugar plum fairy! hee is one of my favorites- absolutely love her : )

********

when i discovered YAGP’s “ballet’s greatest hits” movie was back in NYC for one showing, and that it fell on the birthday of the only one of my 4 kids that loves ballet, i figured we had better go see it. i was all excited until she found out we were going to the city for a birthday surprise and squealed “OMG, ARE YOU TAKING ME TO A JUSTIN BEIBER CONCERT?!” (oh good lord, no.) so, i was afraid this would be something of a letdown – but whew, she was not disappointed at all and we both enjoyed the movie immensely and had a lovely time. 

“ballet’s greatest hits” is largely performance footage from a star studded gala presented by the Youth America Grand Prix, peppered with dancer interviews and interesting bits of ballet history. there were no low points- the entire movie was thoroughly enjoyable. with commentary from from the likes of alessandra ferri, alexi ratmanski and jose manuel carreno (who, i must note, has actually become even more handsome, if that’s possible) on swan lake, giselle, flames of paris and more, you can hardly go wrong!

for me the highest of the high points was the very first piece they showed, the pas de deux from the second act of swan lake, danced by the beautiful veronika part and marcelo gomes. now, as you may know, the white swan pas is my favorite thing ever and veronika and marcelo go beyond doing it justice. with veronika being such a lush and sensual dancer and marcelo so generous and in touch with his ballerinas (not to mention gorgeous), you can’t help but to be drawn in feel all mushy and romantic. it was also a joy to watch their preceding interviews, they obviously adore each other and were so cute and snuggly. 

marcelo veronika

flames of paris danced by ashley bouder and daniel ulbricht was equally fabulous but in a completely different way. these two were just full of smiles and jaw dropping virtuosity, both delightful and thrilling. ashley talks beforehand about  how daniel is so incredible that she feels challenged to up her game a bit when she dances with him. it was great and they both really pulled out all the stops!

flames

there was also an interesting bit about the make-up preparation for dancing la bayadere’s golden idol that my daughter and i both really enjoyed.  joseph phillips talked about how he has to be painted gold two hours before performing golden idol and then having to just wait around so he doesn’t ruin the make-up, all for one short variation! imagine just standing around all gold and naked for two hours. yikes!

jpgoldidol

we both loved all the dances and with such an amazing cast (hee seo, matt golding, stella abrera, maria kochetkova and then some!) and excerpts from the most beloved classic ballets of all time the entire program was incredible, making it very difficult to pick a favorite. i asked my birthday girl and she said “i can’t decide… but i really wish the girl who danced donQ (maria kochetkova) would join ABT!” we frequent ABT (well, mostly i do and once in a while i bring her) so if masha returns as a guest i suppose i had better bring my daughter next time : )

mkdq

so after a wholly entertaining time at the movies, birthday girl and i met up with handsome hubby and the rest of the kids for lunch and then headed home for presents and cake. c’mon, that beats justin beiber, right? what a  happy birthday!

gala

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