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353 Ballerinas Break a Record at the Plaza Hotel

It's the most dancing on pointe in one place

(Newser) - Hundreds of young dancers in white tutus and tightly coiffed hair gathered in New York's Plaza Hotel on Wednesday to break the world record for dancing on pointe in one place, the AP reports. The spectacle was organized by Youth America Grand Prix, a ballet scholarship program that is...

The Ballet Company Failed. The Marriage Imploded

'Vanity Fair' digs in to the tale of Doug and Ashley Benefield

(Newser) - Alice Robb thought she was digging into the story of a ballet company that debuted in 2017 and rapidly crashed and burned. "I had no idea that I would be spending the next three years piecing it together, or that it was a story only in the earliest stage...

Touching Dance to Swan Lake Also Comes With a Mystery

Ballerina with Alzheimer's puts in a moving performance, but her identity is puzzling

(Newser) - She was on death's doorstep. And still she danced. A moving video shared by the Asociacion Musica para Despertar, a Spanish organization that supports music therapy for those afflicted by memory loss, claims to show a former prima ballerina with Alzheimer's dancing a routine to Tchaikovsky's Swan ...

Ex-Ballerina's Bitter Custody Battle Turns Deadly

Ashley Benefield, 28, is accused of murdering estranged husband Doug Benefield, 58

(Newser) - A former professional dancer is accused of fatally shooting her estranged husband after she claimed a domestic violence incident forced her to act in self-defense. A release from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office says the incident took place Sept. 27 in Central Park, Fla., where Ashley Benefield, 28—who...

The Ballet School Was Missing $1.5M. The Story Gets Stranger

A convicted embezzler is again at the center of a financial mess

(Newser) - They gave her a second chance. Bad idea, perhaps. The New York Times reports on the financial mess the elite Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC, finds itself in: As the paper puts it, the school is "recovering from one of the bigger embezzlement scandals in the history...

Top Ballet Academy Pushed Children to Smoke: Report

It was used as a weight control method, commission finds

(Newser) - The prestigious ballet academy at Vienna State Opera encouraged its pupils to smoke for weight control, according to an investigation by a government-backed special commission. "It is clear that children and adolescents are not sufficiently protected from discrimination, neglect, and negative medical effects," says the report from the...

Lara Spencer Takes Action After Ballet Controversy

'Good Morning America' host apologizes, sits down with 3 influential male dancers

(Newser) - Lara Spencer apologized Monday on Good Morning America for her teasing comments about Britain's Prince George, 6, taking ballet in school. But she did more than that—she sat down with three influential male dancers to try to turn her comments, which led to a massive outcry, into a...

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...

Ballet Lessons May Come With a Dark Side
Ballet Lessons
May Come
With a Dark Side
new study

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...

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...

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,...

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...

Ballet Alters Dancers' Brains to Spin Without Dizziness
 Ballet Alters Dancers' Brains 
Study Says

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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