Headshot by Paul Kolnik, from NYCB website.
One of my Twitter followers, a law blogger go figure, sent me a link to this article, by Gia Kourlas in the NYTimes about how several ballet dancers, mostly from NYCB (apart from Maria Kochetkova and Daniil Simkin) are now actively tweeting. I found Alberda’s posts to be absolutely hilarious. Follow him!
Kourlas didn’t mention them, but David Hallberg, Marcelo Gomes, Drew Jacoby and Roberto Bolle are all on Twitter too. Roberto and Marcelo, unfortunately, don’t tweet much. Marcelo in particular cracks me up though. He started the account to tweet about ABT’s recent Culinary Pas de Deux. He had several tweets leading up to it: can’t wait for the culinary pas de deux, follow us as we tweet throughout, etc., then the two tweets the night of the event were something like: almost time for the culinary pas de deux!, then, wow that was a great culinary pas de deux! But no tweets throughout
It’s hard because dancers are so used to expressing themselves with their bodies, not their words and I know they’re encouraged to do this — blog and tweet — to reach out and try to gain new fans. My advice though: they have to make sure they remember they’re talking to a general audience, not an audience of already converted ballet fans, lest their posts be largely lost on most. They have to try to bring new people into their world, not exclude them with terminology that wouldn’t make any sense to an outsider. That’s why I think David Hallberg made the Winger so popular for the time that he was actively blogging there. He wasn’t just its biggest star; he had a way of communicating with people who don’t know everything there is to know about ballet, and of making them want to know more. I’ll bet he doesn’t have any dancers in his family and basically had to grow up doing that. His tweets are mostly about his travels guest starring all over the world. His friend, Evan McKie, from the Stuttgart Ballet, who also used to blog on the Winger, is also on Twitter and it’s fun to keep up with him as well.
And those are only the ones I know of; there are probably many more. I don’t have time to search for people’s Twitter accounts, but just do as Kourlas suggests if you want to find them (or any other dancers): Google their name + Twitter and you should find them if they’re on there.
By the way, speaking of ABT’s Culinary Pas (see some photos of that here), my friend happened to go (she was invited by someone else, a patron, and didn’t even know it involved ABT until she got there!) She had a blast, said Marcelo and Craig Salstein (the organizers) were very nice, Craig in particular was very well spoken, which I’ve noticed before, that Marcelo and Gillian Murphy danced some duets from Dirty Dancing, including the mambo scene (said ballet dancers can’t move their hips properly for Latin dance 😀 ), and that Blaine Hoven was cutting up a rug on the dance floor along with Sascha Radetsky. I hate going to parties like this but love hearing about them afterward.