It’s many things to many people, ol New York. It’s the Big Apple, the City of Dreams, where fast people lead fast lives and where the astronomical sums of Wall Street bookend the razzle-dazzle of Broadway. Four of our dancers – Principal Artists Adam Bull, Lana Jones, Amber Scott and Soloist Rudy Hawkes – recently found themselves in this bustling metropolis for the already sold-out Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Centre, where they performed Glen Tetley’s Gemini to great acclaim.
So after 24 hours travelling, where were the first places our dancers headed to? Here’s a dancer-tourist guide to NYC.
To stretch those plane-squished limbs, Amber and Rudy headed straight to a local Pilates instructor recommended by Paula Baird-Colt, the The Australian Ballet’s body conditioning specialist. Routine and discipline is an important part of a dancer’s life, so getting into a local rhythm is essential to staying focused.
Back home, the dancers do a morning daily class, and overseas it’s no different. The famous Steps dance studio on Broadway was established in 1979 and holds over 30 different dance classes a day, including advanced ones specifically for professional dancers. Famous teachers David Howard and Willie Burman put the dancers through their paces in studios overlooking one of the city’s most famous streets.
For a company that spends a lot of its time in Melbourne – a coffee mecca – finding the right brew was a priority (Starbucks was just not going to make the cut). Blue Bottle Coffee’s single-origin, brewed in Brooklyn, was the drink of choice for our dancers as they explored the amazing greenery of the High Line (a former freight train line that has been transformed into one of the city’s coolest green spaces).
4. The arts scene
There’s a ridiculous amount of arts to see in New York – you could go out every night for a month and still not see everything this town has to offer. While the opening of the New York City Centre Gala offered excellent celebrity spotting (hello there Sarah Jessica Parker!) the hands-down favourite show seen by the FFD crew was Sleep No More – a film noir take on Macbeth where the audience spends three hours following different characters around an old hotel. Only in New York!
While exploring and getting to see shows is an exciting benefit of touring, the dancers still spend a good part of every day in rehearsal. As Gemini is such a demanding piece, Adam, Amber, Lana and Rudy could be found every day in the studios of the Koch Theatre at the Lincoln Centre, using the New York City Ballet studios while the company was out of season. With the familiar mirrors and barre, it felt just like home.