Monday, March 29, 2010

Russian beauty Polina Semionova

Discovered Russian beauty Polina Semionova 3 years ago, and fell in love with her. She became the Prima Ballerina of Berlin State Opera at a tender age of 18. Now 25 years old, she's still the principal dancer of Berlin Ballet, featured as guest dancer in many ballet company around the world. This is such amazing video, just give me 'goosebump' everytime i watch it. Perfect body & perfect technique.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I vividly remember i enjoyed the rehearsal part of ballet performances. Dancers stretching, doing slits so effortless while chatting about the latest celebrity gossip, fashion news with a few other ballerinas. Warming up our muscle while waiting for ballet director's cue for us to take place. Bags filled with pointe shoes, band-aids, toe-pads, sewing kit, hairpins, hairspray, make-up bag, leg-warmers, ballet wrap skirt... lying on the floor.

The drama going on backstage is just as exciting as the drama on stage. Production staffs, choreographers, dancers, light technicians, stagehands handling setpiece engaged in a orchestra like drama. Everyone is busy with their task of making this ballet look perfectly flawless on stage.

But there are nothing flawless about ballet performances, dancers often dance so exquisitely onstage, adrenaline may cause the ballerinas to dash off into crisis- nearly smacking into a setpiece, costumes falling off... A seamstress rushes in to fix her costumes, ballerinas wipe the sweat off her face, sip tiny bit of water... All these drama goes on backstage!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ballet Books

1) Round about the Ballet.

This book celebrates the richness of dance. Beautiful photographs of prominent ballet dancers by Photographer Roy Round. He have been taking photos of dancers for 40 years.

Among the dancres featured in this book are:-
-Julia Kent (American Ballet Theatre)
-Gillian Murphy (American Ballet Theatre)
-Ethan Stiefel (American Ballet Theatre)
-Angela Corella (American Ballet Theatre)
-Albert Evans (New York City Ballet)
-Maxim Beloserkovsky (New York City Ballet)
-Maris Kowroski (New York City Ballet)
-Irina Dvorovenko (American Ballet Theatre)

I did flip thru the book, and i like the artistic photos.

2) Nureyev

A biography of the legendary dancer

3)The dancer's way
The New York City Ballet Guide to Mind, Body, and Nutrition

I personally read thru this book and find it very relevant for dancers and teachers! A good book to keep in every ballerina's library.

Here are some review of the book:-
"This book holds information and advice that could easily save many a dancer's career. It's written with a clarity and compassion that come from a woman who knows first-hand both the difficulties and the thrilling joys of being a dancer." - Bebe Neuwirth, Emmy & Tony Award-winning Broadway dancer, singer, and actress, and founder of The Dancers' Resource at The Actors Fund

"If you’re serious about a career in dance or just want to move through the rest of your life with grace, Linda Hamilton choreographs a perfect path. THE DANCERS WAY is the complete companion for anyone who wants the body, mind, and spirit of a dancer – a true athlete…” - Jerry Mitchell, director/choreographer of Legally Blond, The Musical and mentor of Bravo’s reality competition “Step It Up and Dance”

"The Dancer's Way is full of important and interesting information and I am impressed with the accessibility and practical applicability; not only for dancers but also for medical doctors and all other health care providers involved in the care of dancers. With this comprehensive book Linda Hamilton places herself in the forefront of dance medicine in its broadest sense. The book breathes the passion of the dancer, the skills of the writer, combined with the professionalism of the psychologist she is now. Highly recommended, a joy to read and - although dedicated to dancers - the book is a “must” for everyone active or interested in dance and/or dance medicine. Thank you, Linda, for sharing with us your vast knowledge and experience in two beautiful worlds, the worlds of dance and academia."
- A.B.M. (Boni) Rietveld, M.D. president of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science

“Yummy book. It’s the “fit” dancers have been waiting for. EAT FIT, WORK FIT, FEEL FIT, LIVE FIT, DANCE FIT.” - Grover Dale, Tony award-winning director and founder of

“Meticulously researched and written with a warm and generous tone, Linda Hamilton’s The Dancer’s Way is an invaluable guide for dancers of any age.” - Meredith Monk, Dance Magazine and MacArthur Genius Award-Winning composer and choreographer.
"Linda Hamilton has lived this book. I’ve followed her career since she was in New York City Ballet and took my classes. She has become such a wise and understanding person who truly knows how difficult it is to be a dancer today and keep your sanity. This book is especially important for young dancers because is a treasure chest of new information which can eliminate pain, doubt, and fear. Brava!” – Finis Jhung, former principal dancer, Harkness Ballet and Master Ballet Teacher

4)Ballet 101

Ballet 101 is not just for novices. Back in print, in its second edition, this hefty but accessible book by Robert Greskovic, dance critic for The Wall Street Journal, will help established professionals brush up on ballet history, technique, and the plots of popular ballets. Greskovic gives us witty, easily digestible chapters that are jampacked with insightful information.

5)Classes in Classical Ballet

Asaf Mikhailovich Messerer (Russian, November 19, 1903 - March 7, 1992) was a Russian Jewish ballet dancer and ballet teacher. He was born in Vilinius, Lithuania. From 1919 until 1921 he trained as a dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet School under Mikhail Mordkin. He then joined the Bolshoi Theatre, where he became a successful soloist, eventually becoming their chief soloist, a post he retired from in 1954.

Today Messerer is best remembered as a choreographer and an instructor; he was both the choreographer and ballet master for the Bolshoi Theatre. His book Classes in Classical Ballet is a thorough study of proper ballet technique and is still used today.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Swan

The Swan

The trumpets were curled away, the drum beat no more,
Only the Swan, the Swan, danced in my brain
All night she spun, dropped, lifted again
Arched and curved her arms, sunk on the
Snow-brittle feathers skirting her, reclined on hands
Buckling her waist, where the moon glanced
How small her waist was, and the feet that dance
Sometimes she bent back, and a breeze fanned

I cannot dance upon my Toes- Emily Dickinson

I discovered yet another strong, intensely reticent poet(silent girl, imagine sense and sensibility era kinda girl) Emily Dickinson (1830-86). I really liked her.

Choosing to live life internally within the confines of her home, Dickinson brought her life into sharp focus. For she also chose to live within the limitless expanses of her imagination, a choice she was keenly aware of and which she described in one of her poems this way: "I dwell in Possibility." Her small circle of domestic life did not impinge upon her creative sensibilities.

Dickinson neither completed many poems nor prepared them for publication. She wrote her drafts on scraps of paper, grocery lists, and the backs of recipes and used envelopes.

I cannot dance upon my Toes

I cannot dance upon my Toes—
No Man instructed me—
But oftentimes, among my mind,
A Glee possesseth me,

That had I Ballet knowledge—
Would put itself abroad
In Pirouette to blanch a Troupe—
Or lay a Prima, mad,

And though I had no Gown of Gauze—
No Ringlet, to my Hair,
Nor hopped to Audiences—like Birds,
One Claw upon the Air,

Nor tossed my shape in Eider Balls,
Nor rolled on wheels of snow
Till I was out of sight, in sound,
The House encore me so—

Nor any know I know the Art
I mention—easy—Here—
Nor any Placard boast me—
It's full as Opera—

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


The Ballet

They crush together- a rusting heap of flesh,
Of more than flesh, a heap of souls; and then,
They part, enmesh,
And crush together again,
Like the pink petals of a too sanguine rose
Frightened shut just when it blows.

Though all alike in their tinsel livery,
And indistinguishable at a sweeping glance,
They muster, maybe,
As lives wide in irrelevance;
A world of her own has each one underneath,
Detached as a sword from its sheath.

Daughters, wives, mistresses; honest or false, sold, bought;
Hearts of all sizes; gay, fond, gushing, or penned,
Various in thought
Of lover, rival, friend;
Links in a one-pulsed chain, all showing one smile,
Yet severed so many a mile!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Boy and Mom at the Nutcracker Ballet


There's no talking in this movie.

It's not a movie! Just watch the dancers.
They tell the story through their dancing.

Why is the nutcracker mean?

I think because the little boy broke him.

Did the little boy mean to?

Probably not.

Why did the nutcracker stab his sword through the mouse king?
I liked the mouse king.

So did I. I don't know. I wish that part wasn't in it.

You can see the girls' underpants.

No, not underpants. It's a costume called a "Tutu", same word as "grandmother" in Hawaiin.

Are those real gems on their costumes?
Do they get to keep them?
Is that really snow coming down?

No, it can't be, it would melt and their feet get wet.

I think it's white paper.

Aren't they beautiful?

They are very beautiful. But what do the dancers do when we can't see them, when they're off the stage and they're not dancing?
Do you have any pistachios in your purse?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tips on getting a strong and solid core muscle (Your abs!)

Tip 1:
Ballerina Cycle Crunch Abs Exercise
1. Lie face up on the floor and lace your fingers behind your head.
2. Bring your knees in towards your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground without pulling on your neck.
3. Straighten your left leg out to about a 45-degree angle while simultaneously turning your upper body to the right, bringing your left elbow towards your right knee.
4. Switch sides, bringing your right elbow towards your left knee.
5. Continue alternating sides in a ‘pedaling’ motion for 2-3 sets of 10-30 reps (both sides equals 1 rep). Do this excercise 2-3 times a week in order to get into a regular routine. And Ballerinas please pointe your toes.=)

Breath. Remember to breath while you do these exercises!

What we want to achieve is not muscular six pack but flat pretty stomach.

You can also do this exercise without 'pedaling', bring in both legs towards your chest. And straighten them to 45-degree angle (Don't even think about touching the floor!), remain for 2 seconds, bring them back to chest. Eyeline concentrate on your core/ stomach muscle. If you do it right, you will feel slight 'burning' at core muscle (stomach).

Tip 2:
Partner full vertical crunch ads exercise
1. Lie on your back
(Partner stand at top of your head) Both of you, create 'L' shape
2. Place hands on your partners ankle and contract your ab, and extend both legs up towards the ceiling.
3. Raise them over 90-degree angle until you reach your partner, partner push your legs towards the floor, your legs drop until 45-degree angle (do not touch the floor), rebound back up to your partner.
4. Change position. Your partner do the exercise, while you help her. Repeat for 2-4 sets of 10-20 reps. Do this abs workout excercise 2-3 times a week.

Tip 3:
Simply walk with a lifted up posture. Always lift up, tuck in abdominal. By walking in a good posture, not only will uplift your mood and spirit, you will look 10 pounds slimmer too!

Tip 4:
Next point is really interesting! Have you ever notice your tummy after meal? Do you just hang loose and relax your belly after meal? Well, try to tuck in your abdominal especially after you eat, will change you life! Try do it for one week, you'll notice a difference.

Love your tummy. Try these exercise at home, you'll have a smokin' hot abs in no time! Good luck, ballerinas!