Briefcases and Clown Noses: Oui Danse and Friends

By Rachel Zervakos

On July 26, I had the pleasure of seeing the NYC premiere of Brice Mousset’s company, Oui Danse, in his newly expanded work “Travailler,” along with a duet from Mike Esperanza (“DO:US:PART”) and a work in progress from Matthew Powell (“Quarter Note”) at Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater. If you weren’t there, here’s what you missed, and what I thought!  (more…)

Making Peace with Pirouettes: Advice from a Self-Proclaimed Non-Turner

There is something mesmerizing about a dancer catapulting themselves onto one leg and turning two, three, five, or ten times. It’s sensational, yet not terribly rare. Ballet companies across the board expect dancers to have no trouble whipping out three or more pirouettes in class and onstage. Youtube videos of students facing off in pirouette contests, or prima ballerinas in the midst of a sparkling coda, instantly grab our attention. Feats like these make it hard to believe that merely rising to pointe for an instant was once considered an act of virtuosity.

No discussion of amazing pirouettes would be complete without Sofaine Sylve of San Francisco Ballet in an excerpt of The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitudes by William Forsythe followed her super-human fouettes from The Nutcracker coda:

For those of us who secretly rejoice in a successful completion of a clean double pirouette, this can all be incredibly discouraging. As a dancer who has struggled to capture the elusive coordination and sensation of turning, I have sought advice and tried countless approaches to ease my way in to this exclusive club of “turners”. I have been given all manner of images and tools, ranging from imagining being in a swimming pool of goo to floating on a cloud. Trying to think of every correction and tool at once resulted in my body becoming confused, and left me feeling frustrated. At the age of twenty-two, I have finally found strategies that work for my turns.

Eat, Dance, Craft: The Etsy Shop

A few weeks ago, I created my shop! This blog began as a way to share my crafts and handmade accessories, and I am excited to have a way to share my work with even more people on this fantastic site! I am so inspired by the thousands of talented craftsmen on this site, and encourage you to check out my site and others! You can navigate to my shop by clicking here. Below, I’ve posted some of my new headbands and accessories. Enjoy!

Bridal Hair Lace Applique with Swarovski Crystals

Bridal Hair Lace Applique with Swarovski Crystals


Allie Gold Painted Lace Headband


Life Transitions and Harry Potter

In times of life transition, I continually find myself turning to the Harry Potter universe, without even meaning to. After I graduated from high school, I had Harry Potter-themed dreams all summer. Sometimes Voldemort was in fact coming for me, sometimes I was on the train to Hogwarts, sometimes already at Hogwarts mixed up in some shenanigans. I turned to Harry Potter again, many times, during college. Now, as my life is in a certain state of unpredictability and transition, I’m craving this world as much as ever, and recently found myself having to dedicate an entire board on Pinterest solely to my Harry Potter-related pinning.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a “Harry Potter Generation” girl; I read the books as they came out and saw the movies, dressed up in my Ravenclaw colors for midnight premieres, and even threw a Harry Potter party with my best friend upon the release of Deathly Hallows. (We handmade replica wands and personalized Hogwarts acceptance letters for attendees, had theme food, a Sorting Ceremony, and of course we all dressed for the occasion. It was awesome, FYI). My fandom dedication, however, does not even begin to compare to some of the fiercely dedicated fans out there, or the likes of these talented people. It also seems that as time has passed (or maybe my perspective has just changed) the status of being part of “Fandom” has become markedly more glamorous than it once was, and the pervasiveness of Tumblr and Pinterest has made it easier than ever to unite in expressing ourselves through this series.


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In preparation of the aforementioned party, I stayed up very late one night dying these letters in English Breakfast Tea, while live streaming the Deathly Hallows Premiere red-carpet events from Trafalgar Square. This is when J.K. Rowling famously said, (more…)

My Ode to TMP

This week, the Trey McIntyre Project performed its final company shows at Jacob’s Pillow. There has been much discussion as to why this popular group is taking “a bold new creative direction” at, seemingly, a height of success, but I don’t feel qualified to talk about that. Dance USA and Sydney Skybetter have spoken quite well on that subject, and expanded the discussion to what this move says about the functionality of arts organizations in America as a whole. While this is an important discussion, I want to indulge in an ode to TMP and the effect it has had on my life during their (relatively short) tenure as a performing and touring full-time dance company.