I wish they would have discussed this picture 🙂

Did you guys see it? If you missed it, basically, it was short but sweet. IMO they had Daniel Radcliffe on for far too long and her not enough, but … Anyway, he introduced her, called American Ballet Theater one of the most prestigious ballet companies, and remarked that they’d never had a ballet dancer on the show … except for Richard Simmons… — which garnered lots of laughs.

She came out in this gorgeous blue strapless satin-y-looking tea-length dress. She seemed a bit nervous, but who wouldn’t be?! David Letterman was sweet though and I think his silly questions and funny demeanor kind of calmed her, made her laugh. He asked her where she was from in Russia and she said yes, I am from St. Petersburg, in Russia. She has a beautiful thick Russian accent and her understanding of English is probably not perfect but so what — I think she was endearing to his audience because of her Russianness. I think it’s very hard to learn English if you’re Russian and vice versa for us.

He asked her what their schools were like in Russia, she said they were good. He asked if she always knew she wanted to be a ballerina and she said someone had told her family that she had pretty, long legs and so must become a ballet dancer. But then she kind of laughed at herself, shook her head and said no one in her family knows anything about ballet. “Well, except you,” he said, and everyone laughed.

Then he put some pictures of her up to the camera and had her explain what they were. The first was of her doing an arabesque in — I’m not sure which ballet it was. She named the step, and he asked her if it hurt! She laughed (as did the audience). The other picture was of her as Odette at the end of Swan Lake, preparing to commit suicide by jumping off the cliff and into the lake. She called it “the final pose” of the ballet and explained that she jumps onto a mat under the stage. He asked if it hurt and she laughed again and said no. My question of course is — but does David Hallberg’s flamboyant swan dive hurt? He’s got to land on his belly. That mat must be thick!

Photo by Rosalie O’Connor, taken from The Winger.

And that was all of the pictures unfortunately. I really wish they would have shown one like the one up top, of the no hands fish dive. (photo by Gene Schiavone, by the way). She could have explained how hard it is (and, in Dave’s lingo, how much it hurts 🙂 ) and of course she could have talked all about her wonderful partner, that Marcelo Gomes 😀

Or this picture too

Anything with a fancy lift, basically. Photo also by Gene Schiavone.

Then he whipped out some toe shoes and gave them to her. They must have discussed beforehand what she’d do with them because she seemed to grab them and begin putting them on right away. The camera homed in on her feet, so we all watched her tie the ribbons. Then she got up and he led her out to the non-carpeted area and she went on pointe. She took him by the hands and lifted her leg up in back of her, in arabesque, and kind of motioned for him to walk her around like in a promenade. But he didn’t really get it and instead emulated her, lifting his leg up in back too, in a very funky-looking attitude. It was all very cute.

And then it was over, too soon.

Anyway, I was out at ABT tonight being completely floored by Hee Seo’s absolutely stunning, tear-jerking portrayal of Juliet (best I’ve seen since Alessandra Ferri, honestly), and then having a little after-performance bite to eat at Ollie’s with a couple of fun new ballet / writer / publishing friends (the best kind!), who I met in the blogosphere (the best place to meet!) Write-up soon of Seo and Cory Stearns (who was very good too, albeit a bit nervous — but excellent chemistry those two!) But, because I still live in the dark ages home entertainment-system-wise and still use a VCR to record, I could only record one show — and had to choose Veronika over SYTYCD results. If anyone could fill me in on the latter, would be much appreciated!

Part arriving at Letterman earlier today. Image taken from here.


  1. Even though it's been years since I've used a VCR (DVR is the way to go! It can alert you to dance performances on tv!) you can set it to tape two different shows as long as they are not on at the same time!!!

    I'm pretty sure that Ms. Part was championed onto the show by Tony Mendez who is David's cue card guy as well as a former dancer and a huge ABT fan. I read a wonderful interview with him here:

    I'm the one who sent you the email about Veronika being on the show, I was alerted to it by my DVR…I'm telling you that thing is a godsend. If there was any show for her to be on, I'm glad it was Dave's, he's very good with first time talk show guests.

  2. i saw it too and thought she was ADORABLE! it thought it was funny how completely clueless david letterman is about ballet! she seems incredibly sweet and is so lovely. i loved her dress too but thought surely those heels must hurt much more than pointe shoes!! confess i was also hoping for pics or discussion about marcelo, lol. maybe this will start a trend of ballet dancers on talk shows—one can only hope.

    looking forward to your final R&J review 🙂

  3. Hi Tonya,
    I have Veronika's Letterman on tape and the very next thing I'm going to do this morning is watch it. I was never a big fan until this year when I saw her in LaSylphide with Cory Stearns. Initially I was disappointed b/c my tickets were supposed to be for David and (hmmm now I can't remember who he was going to dance with) and then the cast was changed. And last year I had seen her do Swan Lake with David and didn't really care for her. But now I think I've gotten to understand her style more and even tho I originally thought she was miscast in LaSylphide she completely changed my mind. And I loved Cory too! I would never be disappointed to see him again:) Then I saw Veronika in Swan Lake with Bolle and she completely took my breath away. Now I'm a big fan!! Off the topic of Veronika – I don't know if you saw an earlier post I made about David's final jump in Swan Lake. In the performance I saw he didn't do the BIG JUMP! My daughter and I looked at each, stunned. We had been waiting for that final moment 🙂 I guess he decided to tone it down a little and he simply “fell” into the lake. I wonder what he'll do next year. I for one would like to see him reinstate his huge leap.

  4. I think David just wanted to do an arabesque/attitude! I thought it was cute at how respectful Letterman was, and how in awe he was of her talent. I'm glad he didn't crack too many jokes – I don't think she would have understood – but it was such a cute interview. And she's gorgeous! She has beautiful feet too.

    I wonder if she dresses like that photo above all the time. 🙂 She's very glamorous.

  5. It's already on YouTube !!
    Last night, I was waiting but couldn't keep my eyes open…
    I'm so happy to find your comment and video 🙂

  6. The appearance was boring and awkward to the layperson, for reasons not entirely her part (Letterman is an oaf).

    I imagine James Wolcott might be feeling a little like Dorian Gray when he took Basil and Lord Henry to see Sybil as Juliet.

  7. I believe the first pic was Veronika as an odalisque in Le Corsaire 🙂

  8. [b]Tonya[/b], here is a good recap of the SYTYCD top12 result.

    A lot of posters enjoy Ade's solo for its musicality. I thought I would include a solo by Travis (S2) to the same music here. Incredible musicality.

  9. Whoa! thanks for posting both links. Ade only has 30 seconds, but he shows us all the energy and creativity we've been missing because he's been harnessed by the choreography. Travis has grown so much since his time on SYTYCD. thanks for the link!

  10. I've been reading your admiring descriptions of Ms. Part for a number of months and your writngs have certainly helped her career. You are correct: She is a phenomenon, both personally and artistically.
    May her star rise for years to come.

  11. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Hi Barbara — I've been so busy I forgot to respond to your earlier comment, but, funny thing — my friend saw Wiles and Hallberg too in SL and she said he did do the jump at the end, like he did last year. She said she would have been really disappointed if he didn't. She said she's one of the people who wrote into the Winger saying he should continue to do the jump — I didn't know her then! So, I guess he did do it at one performance and not the other. I wonder why? Maybe he was trying out both ways?…

    By the way, I waited for you after the Saturday matinee performance thinking maybe we could go to the stage door together, but I never saw you. I should have known I'd never be able to find anyone in that crowded of a place! Next time maybe we can make plans beforehand:)

  12. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Oh cool! Thank you so much for those links EM — just what I was looking for!

  13. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Thank you!

  14. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    I know, I wonder too. When I saw her at the stage door that one night she was just wearing a sweater and t-shirt, etc., but so has everyone I've seen at the stage door. I know, she did look really glamorous!

  15. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    Thank you so much for that link, Jennifer — and for alerting me to her being on the show in the first place! I really appreciate it! Well, enormous thanks, obviously, to Tony Mendez — wow, how wonderful that he was able to get her on! Okay, who's next 🙂

  16. SwanLakeSambaGirl

    I totally agree about Hee Seo. That scene gave me chills too. I'm sure she will get a promotion this summer, or whenever they give promotions there. I just wish it could be all the way to principal — I wonder if that's ever happened? It might have happened with Julio Bocca?…

  17. I am a mom in connecticut. I am a lifelong Letterman fan! I was so excited to see Veronica Part on Letterman! My son Sam is a new apprentice for Richmond Ballet. We are all about anything Ballet!!! Thank you Dave, Please have some Nutcracker excerpts this year!! He is Mr. NY, he should promote ABT!!! Thank you for your page here. Very enjoyable!

  18. I am a mom in connecticut. I am a lifelong Letterman fan! I was so excited to see Veronica Part on Letterman! My son Sam is a new apprentice for Richmond Ballet. We are all about anything Ballet!!! Thank you Dave, Please have some Nutcracker excerpts this year!! He is Mr. NY, he should promote ABT!!! Thank you for your page here. Very enjoyable!

  19. I just want to say that tonight was the first time I ever saw “Swan Lake” amd I had to look up on the internet who this wonderful dancer was??…and it was Veronika …Marcelo “sicked Out” that’s two down cause Bolle was supposed to do it..BUT this is a women’s ballet….and Veronika BLEW ME AWAY!!…this is what I want to see when I go to Lincoln Center..REAL DANCING…I swear, I thought she was a SWAN!! the movements, the NUMBER of steps she has in that ballet, are of a gold winning athletic!
    CHEERS and thanks for the amazing performance!


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