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Mariinsky Ballet: The Little Humpbacked Horse

2700 F St.: Mariinsky Ballet: The Little Humpbacked Horse
Once upon a time, there was a beloved Russian fairy tale that was told to countless generations about a young boy’s amazing adventures with a magical horse. Now, Alexei Ratmansky and the Mariinsky Ballet re-imagine this classic story in 21st-century style.
Dance, Ballet

Cinderella

2700 F St.: Cinderella: San Francisco Ballet Working Rehearsal
Okay, you know the story…it’s the well-loved fairy tale about an unlikely princess. Sounds familiar, right?
Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Folklore, Europe

Cincinnati Ballet Nutcracker

2700 F St.: The Nutcracker: Cincinnati Ballet
The Nutcracker, one of the most popular ballets of all time, is about the magic and mystery of the holiday season.
Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Folklore

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Cuesheet: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Mini Performance
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares "Ailey Magic" with students, giving insights into the history of the company and its founder Alvin Ailey. The company performs their signature work, Revelations.
Backstage, Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Cuesheet: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Mini Performance
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares "Ailey Magic" with students, giving insights into the history of the company and its founder Alvin Ailey. The company performs their signature work, Revelations.
Backstage, Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

Outside the BachX

Cuesheet: Outside the Bachx
What do you get when you combine the sounds of classical music and the moves of classical ballet with Hip-Hop? A magical mashup of old and new, grace and power, something familiar turning into something surprising and fresh—something you can’t squeeze into any box
Hip-Hop, Ballet, Composers, Music

Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire

Cuesheet: Scottish Ballet Working Rehearsal: A Streetcar Named Desire
Scottish Ballet celebrates the 65th anniversary of Tennessee William’s literary masterpiece with this original adaptation, a vibrant fusion of drama and dance set to a jazz-inspired score.
Dance, Choreographers, Ballet, Theater

Mariinsky Ballet: Working Rehearsal

Cuesheet: Mariinsky Ballet Working Rehearsal
Russia’s historic Mariinsky Ballet returns to the Kennedy Center with a dynamic program of Russian choreographers featuring Millicent Hodson’s Le Sacre du printemps, Michel Fokine’s Le Spectre de la Rose, Fokine’s The Swan, and Marius Petipa’s Paquita Grand Pas.
Dance, Choreographers, Ballet

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Mini Performance

Cuesheet: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Mini Performance (2015)
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares "Ailey Magic" with students, giving insights into the history of the company and its founder Alvin Ailey. The company performs their signature work, Revelations.
Backstage, Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Cuesheet: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Performance & Demonstration (2014)
The company performs their signature work, Revelations. The program also includes Bill T. Jones’ D-Man in the Waters (Part I). Set to Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20 (1825), it is a celebration of life and the resilience of the human spirit that embodies loss, hope, and triumph.
Backstage, Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

The Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker

Cuesheet: The Joffrey Ballet: The Nutcracker Working Rehearsal
The Joffrey Ballet brings the magic of the holiday season to life with heroic toy soldiers, sword-fighting mice, and a glittering journey to the Kingdom of Sweets.
Ballet, Choreographers, Composers, Dance, Dance Legends, Backstage, Europe

Ballet Hispanico

Cuesheet: Ballet Hispanico: Performance & Demonstration
Explore Latin American dance and music with Ballet Hispanico, a New York-based dance company dedicated to preserving and celebrating Latino cultures through dance
Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Latin America

Little Dancer

Article: On Stage: Little Dancer
This feature includes background about the musical Little Dancer as well as an interpretive piece for younger audience members about the play’s more sensitive themes
Theater, Ballet, Backstage, Controversial, Dance, Europe, Young Artists

Romeo and Juliet

Article: The Pas De Deux: It Takes Two
The pas de deux is not just a dance of love
Dance Legends, Ballet, Dance, Music

Article: Music as Dance’s Muse
Music is a muse for four different American choreographers
Choreographers, Music, Dance, Ballet

Cracking Open The Nutcracker

Article: Cracking Open The Nutcracker
Explore the most popular ballet of all time
Ballet, Dance, Choreographers, Composers, Folklore

Dancers

Article: Do You Wanna Dance?
Want to understand how dance works? Learn the five elements that make up the foundation of this art form: body, action, time, space, and energy
Dance, Ballet, Choreographers, Hip-Hop, Popular Culture, Young Artists

pointe shoe

Gear: Pointe Shoes
What makes dancing en pointe possible? Footwear called pointe shoes. With their flat, stiff fronts and special construction, pointe shoes give ballerinas the footwear that helps them stay on their toes and wow audiences
Young Artists, Science, Physical Activity, Jobs in the Arts, Dance, Ballet

Martha Graham

Series: Master + Work
Meet the masters...the talented artists who have created some of the most outstanding achievements of the twentieth century
Ballet, Choreographers, Composers, Dance Legends, Music Legends

Agnes De Mille

Master + Work: Agnes de Mille and Rodeo
This all-American master changed the stage of choreography in musical theater. Learn how
America, Innovators & Pioneers, Ballet, Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers, Folklore, History

George Balanchine

Master + Work: George Balanchine and Agon
Discover why Balanchine has been called "the father of American Ballet" and even the greatest choreographer of all time
Ballet, Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers

Russia

Collection: Russia
Sputnik and space travel, a soviet-born ballet dancer and choreographer of incredible talent, and a dance called the troika – learn about all this and more in this journey through Russia’s art and history
Asia, Ballet, Europe, Dance, Choreographers

Pointe Shoes

Collection: Ballet Resources
What does ballet have to do with the Russian Revolution? What's a plié or a jete or cinquième? How do ballerinas condition their bodies to perform like athletes? Delve into an art form with a language all its own and a rich history interwoven with cultural revolution, political rebellion, and artistic innovation.
Ballet, Dance, Dance Legends, Choreographers

Dancing feet

Collection: Dance Resources
What’s the difference between troika and hula? How can dance tell stories and preserve histories? Discover dance and its impact on culture by exploring Ancient Egyptian rituals and Native American legends. Learn how dance tells stories and poems through a language of movement and music, and pick up a few moves yourself.
Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Hip-Hop, Jazz, World Cultures

Ballet Production

Article: A Parents’ Field Guide to Ballet
Everything you need to know so you're good to go to the ballet!
Ballet

Stage Fright

Article: Scare Away Stage Fright
Help your child let go of performance fears
Backstage, Ballet, Broadway, Dance, Family, Musicals, Opera, Orchestra, Young Artists

Young Dancers

Article: Child's Play or Real Ambition?
How to connect your child with the performing arts
Young Artists, Family, Ballet, Dance, Musical Instruments, Music, Opera, Theater

Young Girls Doing Ballet On Stage

Article: Good Moves for Young Dancers
Expert tips for preventing—and treating—injuries in young dancers
Dance, Family, Physical Activity, Young Artists, Ballet

Mom and Daughter Doing Crafts

Article: Giving Feedback: Food for Thought for Parents
How can parents talk with and engage with their kids about their creative work? Here are seven suggestions to get you started
Family, Young Artists, Theater, Music, Dance, Ballet, Poetry

Art Teacher With Students

Article: Do Tell: Giving Feedback to Your Students
How can arts educators provide engaging and useful feedback? Here are seven suggestions to get you started
Education, Young Artists, Musical Instruments, Theater, Literature, Music, Poetry, Ballet, Dance

Ballerina

Grades 6-8 Lesson: Elements of Ballet
Explore and discover the elements of dance by demonstrating various simple movements. This exercise will help assess the students’ level of experience and ability.
Ballet, Dance

Ballet Dancers

Grades 6-8 Lesson: Language of Ballet
This lesson introduces students to the French vocabulary of ballet. They will learn basic ballet vocabulary through both verbal and technological instruction.
Ballet, Europe, Language

Painting of Nureyev by Jamie Wyeth

Grades 9-12 Lesson: Nureyev: Bringer of Light
This lesson focuses on the alignment of Nureyev’s artistic endeavors and achievements in the dance world of the West.
Choreographers, Dance Legends, Ballet, World Cultures

Painting of Nureyev by Jamie Wyeth

Grades 9-12 Lesson: Nureyev: The Unconquerable Will
This lesson provides an overview of how creative expression developed in the West, particularly in the development of dance.
Choreographers, Dance Legends, Ballet, World Cultures

Painting of Nureyev by Jamie Wyeth

Grades 9-12 Lesson: Nureyev: After Petipa
Nureyev’s early life and work were affected by changing social, political, and cultural forces in Russia. His artistic genius was influenced by the work of Marius Petipa.
Dance Legends, Ballet, World Cultures, Choreographers

Gilded age painting

Grades 9-12 Lesson: Arts of the Gilded Age
Learn about and discuss characteristics of the Gilded Age. Using books, internet and other media, research the various fine and performing art forms popular during that time period.
Opera, Musicals, Architecture, Ballet, Music, Theater

Ballerinas

Grades 3-4 Lesson: Ballet and Classical Music
This lesson will introduce students to both conceptual and practical elements of classical ballet.
Ballet, Dance, Music, Orchestra

arts challenge

Everyday Arts Challenge: Long Legs
Perform a grand jeté, or leap, like a ballet dancer. Measure the distance you go. Does it help to have a running start?
Ballet, Sports, Physical Activity, Dance

arts challenge

Everyday Arts Challenge: Heavy Hand
Draw a picture of a ballerina without picking your pen or pencil off the paper. Is it easy or hard to do? What else can you draw like this?
Visual Arts, Ballet

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Anna Pavlova
"Master technique and then forget about it and be natural."
Ballet, Europe, Dance, Dance Legends

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Ludmilla Chiriaeff
"Ladanse,c'est le mouvement,et le mouvement, c'est la vie.
Dance is movement, and movement is life."
Dance Legends, Dance, Ballet

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Erik Bruhn
"Dance every performance as if it were your last.'
Dance Legends, Dance, Ballet, Europe

arts quote

Arts Quotes: George Balanchine
"First comes the sweat. Then comes the beauty if you're very lucky and have said your prayers."
Backstage, Dance Legends, Ballet, Dance, Choreographers

arts quote

Arts Quotes: George Balanchine
"I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance."
Choreographers, Dance Legends, Ballet, Dance

arts quote

Arts Quotes: George Balanchine
"Dance is music made visible."
Dance Legends, Music, Choreographers, Dance, Ballet

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Mikhail Baryshnikov
"The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure."
Dance Legends, Dance, Ballet

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Margot Fonteyn
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable."
Ballet, Dance, Dance Legends

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Arlene Croce
"Good choreography fuses eye, ear, and mind."
Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends

Jerome Robbins instructing

Arts Days: October 11, 1918: Where Broadway Meets Ballet
The man born Jerome Rabinowitz infused 20th-century choreography with a uniquely American flavor. The work he did for ballets like Fancy Free displayed his penchant for freely mixing elements of many different types of dance: jazz, ballet, modern, and folk.

That creativity was burnished by Robbins’ work on a string of legendary Broadway musicals, from West Side Story to Fiddler on the Roof and Gypsy. A 1981 Kennedy Center Honor recipient, Robbins balanced his theatrical projects with ballet choreography throughout his career. With his dancing feet planted firmly in both camps, it’s no surprise Robbins won Tony Awards®, Academy Awards®, and served as ballet master of the New York City Ballet in the 1970s.
Musicals, Ballet, Dance, Choreographers, Dance Legends, Innovators & Pioneers

The John F. Kennedy Center

Arts Days: September 08, 1971: America’s Home for the Arts
In 1958, President Eisenhower signed legislation to build a national cultural center in Washington, D.C. Yet in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Congress decided that the center would be a “living memorial” to our 35th president, who had worked tirelessly to elevate the role of the arts in America.

Opening night saw the debut performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, written in memory of the fallen president; other performers included the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Berkshire Boys Choir. Since that night, the Center has welcomed and entertained millions as the finest performers from around the globe have graced its multiple stages. In addition, its Education Department touches more than 11 million young people, teachers, and parents each year.
Architecture, Art Venues, Backstage, Ballet, Choreographers, Composers, Dance, Dance Legends, America, Innovators & Pioneers, Music, Music Legends, Musicals, Opera, Theater

Jacques d’Amboise

Arts Days: July 28, 1934: Dancing for Joy
Few have done more to teach children about the joy of dance than this 1995 Kennedy Center Honoree.

D’Amboise was only 16 when he joined George Balanchine’s company, often partnered with Suzanne Farrell. As one of the earliest dancers and interpreters of Balanchine’s style, d’Amboise brought a powerful American energy to ballet.

When he was still a principal dancer of the New York City Ballet, Jacques d’Amboise founded the National Dance Institute, a program that teaches thousands of youngsters to dance and express themselves through ballet, jazz, and other forms of dance.
Europe, Dance, Dance Legends, Ballet, Choreographers

Rudolf Nureyev

Arts Days: March 17, 1938: Ballet's Rebel
Rudolf Nureyev was born on a train, setting the stage for a lifetime of perpetual movement, onstage and off. The premier male ballet dancer of his time, Nureyev began dancing to folk music as a child, attracting the attention of teachers who signed him to a local ballet troupe. He soon moved on to a major Russian ballet company, the Kirov, where he danced lead roles and got permission to leave the Soviet Union to dance in other cities like Vienna and Paris.

His dancing enchanted audiences, but his defection from the USSR in 1961 stunned the dance world. He soon signed with London’s Royal Ballet, the company he remained with until 1970. Nureyev’s creative partnerships with prima ballerinas like Margot Fonteyn are legendary; their pas de deux (“dance for two”) in Giselle and other ballets are exquisite examples of technical prowess and gorgeous artistry.
Ballet, Dance Legends, Dance, Controversial, Innovators & Pioneers

Nutcracker

Arts Days: March 19, 1892: A Winter Wonderland
The most popular ballet of all time is quite an international affair. Consider this: The story behind The Nutcracker was by a German writer, E.T.A. Hoffman. The music was written by a Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. And the dance steps of the version you are most likely to enjoy this Christmas were created by Frenchman Marius Petipa.

On this day, Tchaikovsky chose several pieces of his score to perform at an event offered by the St. Petersburg branch of the Musical Society. While the music was incredibly well-received, the version of the ballet we know and love today—filled with delicious dances from the Land of Sweets, performed by the Sugar Plum Fairy and dozens of others—did not emerge for another 60-odd years.

Enjoying the ballet’s fantastic sights—a sparkling Christmas tree shooting up into the rafters, the Nutcracker turning into a prince, and the Mouse King in battle—is a holiday ritual for many families around the world.
Ballet, Dance Legends, Dance, Music, Composers

Arthur Mitchell

Arts Days: March 27, 1934: Breaking Ballet’s Barriers
After learning to tap dance as a child, Arthur Mitchell wowed a teacher with his version of the jitterbug, a dance popular in the 1940s. Mitchell was encouraged to apply at New York’s High School of Performing Arts. After graduation, Mitchell went on to win a scholarship to the famed School of American Ballet, then to join the New York City Ballet. There, he was told he would have to work twice as hard as the white dancers to be accepted.

In 1957, he performed George Balanchine’s Agon to audiences shocked at the sight of a white woman paired with a black male dancer. Mr. Balanchine ignored the attention, and at 21, Mitchell became the first black male principal dancer of a major dance company and a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1993.
Ballet, Dance, Dance Legends, Innovators & Pioneers

George Balanchine

Arts Days: January 22, 1904: A Ballet Master is Born
George Balanchine was one of the most prolific, and often considered the most influential, ballet choreographers of the 20th century. Born on this day in Saint Petersburg, Russia, he revolutionized classical ballet by eliminating complex plots and emphasizing movements that expressed music.

Balanchine created more than 400 ballets and founded the New York City Ballet. His artistry and fresh approach helped popularize ballet in the United States. Balanchine worked with thousands of dancers and created more than 400 ballets.
Choreographers, Dance Legends, Ballet, Dance

Anna Pavlova

Arts Days: January 31, 1881: Turning Pointe in Ballet
After attending the classic ballet The Sleeping Beauty as a little girl, Anna Pavlova wanted nothing more than to be a ballerina.

At age ten, she was accepted to study at the renowned Imperial Ballet School in Saint Petersburg, Russia. For years, she struggled in training, finding basic ballet techniques difficult due to her arched feet and thin ankles—body parts ballet dancers rely on for balance and grace.

Nevertheless, Pavlova was determined to fulfill her dream, and so she enrolled in extra classes and practiced every day. Her hard work paid off, and when she graduated, she was invited to join the Imperial Ballet Company.

She is also credited for the design of the modern pointe shoe. To ease the stress on her curved feet, Pavlova strengthened her ballet slippers by adding a piece of hard wood on the soles for support and curving the box of the shoes to fit her arches.
Inventions, Dance Legends, Innovators & Pioneers, Ballet, Dance

Mikhail Baryshnikov

Arts Days: January 28, 1948: Ballet’s Leading Man
Mikhail Baryshnikov is often considered one of the greatest ballet dancers of the 20th century, known for his dynamic stage presence and effortless grasp of classical technique.

In 1974, after professional training and a promising start at the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he defected from the Soviet Union to seek artistic and personal freedom in the West. Baryshnikov made his Western debut with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) that same year, dancing in the classic ballet Giselle.

He stayed with ABT for four years before moving to the New York City Ballet, where he worked with choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. He returned to ABT in 1980 as principal dancer and artistic director, distinguished positions he held for almost a decade.

Since then, Baryshnikov has dabbled in acting in both film and television. In 2000, he was a Kennedy Center honoree.
Dance Legends, Ballet, Dance

Igor Stravinsky

Arts Days: June 17, 1882: Blazing Music's Trail
One of the greatest composers and conductors of 20th century music, Igor Stravinsky was urged by his parents to become a lawyer. But he was bitten by the musical bug as a child, attending concerts, learning to play piano, and most importantly, studying orchestration with his influential teacher, composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov.

At just 18, Stravinsky was hired to compose a score for the Ballets Russes. The Firebird, which met with critical and commercial success, was followed by more ballet scores, including Petrushka. His score for another ballet, The Rite of Spring, startled and even outraged listeners at its world premiere with its creative experimentation of chords and rhythms.

Stravinsky drew on Russian folk tunes in his works, but added elements that were completely his own, from new rhythmic patterns to polytonality, sounds that no one had ever heard before in symphonic music. Far ahead of his time, Stravinsky shook up people’s beliefs of what classical music was by reinventing modern music.
Ballet, Composers, Dance, Music, Music Legends, Orchestra

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