Posts by Hila Shachar

Styling The Dream

blog_styling_01

Frederick Ashton’s The Dream was made to celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth in 1964 and as homage to Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ashton zeroed in on the themes of love and magic, allowing him to heighten the artistic significance of the enchanted woods as one where anything is possible. For Shakespeare, the fantastical woodland setting, complete with supernatural creatures and a quarrelling King and Queen of the Fairies, was also a poetic space of nature and imagination, separate from the everyday world. Ashton’s The Dream plays up on this fantasy space, and nowhere is this more evident than in the costumes of the ballet. (more…)

11 June 2015

Romance ballerinas

Romance ballerinas

It’s not surprising that ballerinas are a popular choice for heroines in romance novels when you consider that for many girls, the first love affair they ever had was with ballet. Lovers of dance and romance, this list of the top five ballet romance novels is for you! (more…)

7 January 2015

The perfect flowers to give to dancers
Senior artist Ako Kondo. Photography Kate Longley

The perfect flowers to give to dancers

When the Guardian’s dance critic Judith Mackrell wrote a fascinating article on how ballet fell for flower-giving, she explored the secret world of floral gifts. As a tribute to this tradition and nod to Mackrell’s own account, here are some of the best flowers to give to dancers, based on their hidden meanings.

Photography Kate Longley

Photography Kate Longley

(more…)

5 December 2014

La Petite Mort: The Little Death
Lana Jones and Andrew Killian in Jiří Kylián's Petite Mort. Photography Lynette Wills

La Petite Mort: The Little Death

Jiří Kylián created Petite Mort for the Nederlands Dans Theater in 1991, and it’s been popular ever since. Petite mort, translated from French, means “little death”, and is generally used as a euphemism for orgasm. Kylián’s Petite Mort plays on this meaning with subtle sexual symbolism.

The term la petite mort has quite a history. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it referred to a temporary and brief loss of consciousness, such as one may experience from fainting or dizziness. But the term has always been linked in some way with sexual release.

IMG_4832_0003_Layer 0
Jacob Sofer, Vivienne Wong and artists of The Australian Ballet. Photography Lynette Wills (more…)

13 June 2014

  • The fascinating Margit Wolf
    Margit Wolf
  • The fascinating Margit Wolf
    Pasquale Frutaci

The fascinating Margit Wolf

In 1938, the Italian conductor and composer Pasquale Frustaci wrote a beautiful song for his ballerina wife. But this is no simple tale of romance. World War II was still a year away, but Frustaci’s family was already experiencing the tragedy that would eventually envelope Europe. Separated from his wife and son, he was compelled to write a song that would have a history as heartbreaking and fascinating as Margit Wolf, the woman who inspired it. (more…)

10 January 2014

Rings on her fingers and pointes on her toes

Rings on her fingers and pointes on her toes

Hila Shachar matches ballet heroines with beautiful bling

Hands are one of the most expressive parts of a dancer’s body, sending messages to the audience about the story and characters. Some of ballet’s most famous heroines are here explored through their hands and what one imagines would best grace them – an imaginary exercise of pure indulgence! Here’s a compilation of ballet rings for our leading ladies.

Odette from Swan Lake –  Wave Ring by Elizabeth Knight
The most fitting ring to adorn the graceful figure of Odette is one that resembles a deep blue lake encased by a gentle, wave-like band. The watery brilliance of this ring speaks of both the tears of sorrow that formed Odette’s magical lake, and the eternal nature of her love.

(more…)

23 December 2013