20 Stories

Amid 'Painful' Sex Misconduct Inquiry, NYC Ballet Chief Retires

Peter Martins says it's time to 'bring an end to this disruption'

(Newser) - The longtime leader of the New York City Ballet is retiring in the midst of an investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct by him, reports the AP . Peter Martins wrote a letter to the company's board of directors on Monday announcing his retirement, saying the scandal had "exacted... More »

Ballet Lessons May Come With a Dark Side

Study sees a psychological toll on young students seeking perfection

(Newser) - Parents who think their kids are learning discipline by taking ballet may be right, but a new study suggests that it comes at a cost. Reporting in the journal Psychology of Music , researchers say they've found that young ballet students show greater "psychological inflexibility" than their peers studying... More »

Black Ballerina Makes History

Misty Copeland is now the principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre

(Newser) - Misty Copeland, the Missouri-born dancer who has become a forceful voice for diversity in ballet and a rare celebrity in that field, was named principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre today— the first African-American ballerina to achieve that status in the company's 75-year history. The company announced the promotion... More »

This Dancer Could Break an Enduring Ballet Barrier

Misty Copeland has torn down walls her whole career

(Newser) - Ballet star Misty Copeland may break another barrier if she can snag just one more promotion. The dance world is buzzing that the 32-year-old may become the American Ballet Theatre’s first black principal dancer. The company has gone its full 75 years without an African-American in the prestigious role,... More »

Bolshoi Dancer Sentenced to 6 Years in Acid Attack

Pavel Dmitrichenko, hit man, driver clearly guilty: judge

(Newser) - Russian dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko is headed to prison for six years over an acid attack against Bolshoi Theater artistic director Sergei Filin. The sentence is less than the nine years prosecutors had sought for the dancer known for playing evil roles, the New York Times reports. Dmitrichenko confessed to asking... More »

Ballet Alters Dancers' Brains

Could help people who suffer chronic dizziness

(Newser) - Ballet dancers aren't like the rest of us. And it's not just their tiny waistlines and ability to stand on the tips of their toes—the dancing alters their brains. A new study has found years of ballet training changes dancers' brain structure, so they can spin around... More »

Russia Cans Bolshoi Boss Amid Scandal

Anatoly Iksanov offered work at culture ministry

(Newser) - Russia's culture ministry has fired the director general of the scandal-plagued Bolshoi Theater. After a January acid attack on artistic director Sergei Filin and amid claims of pimping at the ballet , the country's culture ministry is replacing director general Anatoly Iksanov, the AP reports. Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky... More »

Bolshoi Ballet Pimped Out Its Dancers: Claim

Fired soloist says girls were forced to sleep with wealthy patrons

(Newser) - If you thought the Bolshoi Ballet scandals would be confined to a single acid attack , well, you'd be wrong. A soloist who last danced with the company a decade ago alleged this weekend that the Bolshoi was "a giant brothel" during her time there, the BBC reports. Anastasia... More »

At Acid Attack's Center: This Ballerina?

Anzhelina Vorontsova once a rising star under Sergei Filin

(Newser) - A young, ambitious ballerina appears to be at the center of the January acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin, reports the New York Times . Anzhelina Vorontsova, described by the paper as a "luminous blonde," made a splash when she was discovered at 16. Filin brought... More »

Ballet Villain Cops to Bolshoi Acid Attack

'Ivan the Terrible' plotted attack on director, police say

(Newser) - Did playing Ivan the Terrible go to the head of one of the Bolshoi ballet's star dancers? Russian authorities say Pavel Dmitrichenko, a soloist who danced the title role in the ballet about the ruthless tsar, has confessed to masterminding the acid attack on the Moscow troupe's artistic... More »

Secret to Guys' Happiness? Culture

Guys who take in a show or museum are more satisfied with their health

(Newser) - Good news for guys looking for a health boost: You may not have to rely on strenuous exercise (that you probably weren’t going to do anyway). Bad news: It might involve soaking in a little more culture than a ball game and a six-pack. Men who attend the ballet... More »

Black Swan Drama: How Much Did Natalie Really Dance?

Natalie Portman 'can't move,' squawks dancer-double Sarah Lane

(Newser) - Uh-oh. The black swan is emerging in the ballet dancer who doubled for actress Natalie Portman. Sarah Lane, a performer with the American Ballet Theatre, now says she performed some 95% of the "full body shot" dances in Black Swan. "I would say 5% are Natalie," says... More »

Portman: I Thought Black Swan Would Kill Me

Grueling regimen just a taste of what real dancers go through

(Newser) - With her punishing schedule, 8-hour daily rehearsals, and 20-pound weight loss on an almonds-and-carrots diet, Natalie Portman feared her training for the critically acclaimed ballet film Black Swan might kill her, reports the Independent . "There were some nights that I thought I literally was going to die," says... More »

Naomi Cries, Explains Rage Issues to Oprah

It all goes back to ballet...

(Newser) - Poor, poor Naomi Campbell was too tall to be a ballerina, and the ensuing anguish she went through probably has a lot to do with why she now punches cameras and throws cell phones at people. The supermodel actually broke down in tears yesterday on Oprah while talking about her... More »

YouTube 'Alchemist' Makes Ballet Legend Dance

(Newser) - A YouTuber has unearthed the only footage of famed early 20th-century dancer Vaslav Nijinsky in existence, the New Yorker reports—sort of. Actually, it’s more like he created it himself. “These films are animations of photographs,” Christian Comte said. “I work as an alchemist in animated... More »

YouTube Lets Ballerinas DIY

But teachers are 'horrified', cite potential for injury

(Newser) - Formal ballet is one of the most rigid education systems in art—dancers spend years doing exercises before they are even allowed to purchase pointe shoes. But some students are abandoning the hierarchy and turning to a less-stringent, modern master—YouTube. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at aspiring... More »

Donkey Retires From Ballet

Monika ends successful run with Russia's Mariinsky ballet

(Newser) - A veteran Russian artiste is headed for retirement today: Monika, a 21-year-old female donkey. She has performed for 19 years as the trusty steed of Sancho Panza in the Mariinsky ballet's production of Don Quixote. "She loves to perform and she loves applause," said Tatyana Solomatina of the... More »

Choreographer Kidd Dies at 92

He won five Tonys and and an honorary Oscar

(Newser) - Choreographer Michael Kidd, creator of some of the most enduring dance steps on Broadway and in Hollywood, has died of cancer at age 92, the New York Times reports. Kidd, who won five Tonys and an honorary Oscar, is best known for his choreography in the 1954 film Seven Brides ... More »

KGB Doggedly Stalked Nureyev

Russians wanted to break defector dancer’s legs

(Newser) - He was never interested in politics, but Rudolf Nureyev was a KGB scourge for decades after his 1961 defection. The famed ballet dancer’s colleagues were glad to see him go—‘Rudik’ was a prima donna to management and competition for fellow performers—but the state was incensed, the... More »

Ballerinas Dance Into History

Nichols, Ferri star in weekend farewells

(Newser) - Two of the dance world's biggest names took their leave this weekend as Alessandra Ferri and Kyra Nichols sashayed into retirement in touchingly similar fashion—onstage with their young children in a hail of cheers and flowers. Nichols, 48, bowed out after 33 years with New York City Ballet; Ferri,... More »

20 Stories