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After the Dream

Sara Mearns Rehearsal

"Every night, I got to sit next to the concertmaster on stage ... Every night he looked at me and smiled as if to say the notes are yours, let's make something beautiful."  — Sara Mearns

New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns shares more about her experience performing with the Phil in A Dancer's Dream — and what happens when that dream ends — in her blog for The Huffington Post. Plus, she leads a video tour of her Philharmonic dressing room filled with her Dancer's Dream costumes.

Photo by Chris Lee

PHOTOS: A Dancer's Premiere

Last night, Avery Fisher Hall was filled with jealous puppets, dancing violinists, the Swiss Alps, a magic baton, and one passionate ballerina. Check out the slideshow above to relive opening night of the Philharmonic's genre-bending season finale, A Dancer's Dream, running through Saturday. 

The sold-out performances will be broadcast to theaters nationwide and beyond beginning in September.

Photos by Chris Lee

PHOTOS: At Today's Dress Rehearsal

We're about an hour away from the first performance of A Dancer's Dream! To get your toes tapping, here's a sneak peek from today's dress rehearsal.

Photos by Chris Lee.

The Price of Being an Artist

Ice Maiden Video Shoot

Opening tonight, A Dancer’s Dream is what director/designer Doug Fitch calls an “über Fairy Tale,” combining Stravinsky’s disparate ballets The Fairy’s Kiss and Petrushka to create a new narrative.

Here’s the story: a young woman, played by ballerina Sara Mearns, sits entranced at a Philharmonic concert. She is “kissed” by the passion to become an artist and drawn into the performance, dancing to the complete score of The Fairy’s Kiss. By the second act, she has completed her transformation into an artist, becoming Columbine in Petrushka. But becoming an artist has consequences. As Giants Are Small detailed in a production plan, “she loses her ability to have an ordinary life as the demons of ambition and love claim her as their plaything.”

The real Sara Mearns can relate. As she told The New York Times, "It's kind of true that you have this massive dream to be this ballerina, to be out there onstage performing, and you pour everything into it. Then there is a point where you feel like you are trapped in it and cannot get out. And that is the curse.”

Stravinsky meditated on this theme in The Fairy’s Kiss, which he dedicated to Tchaikovsky, an artist who paid this price (“Tchaikovsky’s personal life was a mess,” Mr. Fitch says in the Times). As Stravinsky inscribed in the score: “I dedicate this ballet to the memory of Pyotr Tchaikovsky by relating the Fairy to his Muse, and in this way the ballet becomes an allegory, the Muse having similarly branded Tchaikovsky with her fatal kiss, whose mysterious imprint made itself felt in all this great artist’s work.”

Extra! Extra!

New York Times A Dancer's Dream

“It’s kind of true that you have this massive dream to be this ballerina, to be out there onstage performing, and you pour everything into it. Then there is a point where you feel like you are trapped in it and cannot get out. And that is the curse.” — Sara Mearns

Dance writer Gia Kourlas presents a peek behind the curtain of A Dancer's Dream in this past Sunday's New York Times. Sara Mearns, Doug Fitch, and Karole Armitage spoke with Gia about all-things Dream, including the narrative that will tie together Stravinsky's The Fairy's Kiss and Petrushka.

(Photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

VIDEOS: The Unspoken Side of Show Business

A casting agent walks into a production studio. Hired on the spot, he's tasked with casting a critical role in A Dancer's Dream. Follow his adventures as he contends with Siri, networks with Sara Mearns, and pumps up the virality in Giants Are Small's five-part "documentary" series.

SLIDESHOW: A Dancer's Rehearsal

Exactly two weeks before A Dancer’s Dream, we found New York City Ballet principal dancers Sara Mearns and Amar Ramasar hard at work rehearsing and preparing with choreographer Karole Armitage and director/designer Doug Fitch with his Giants Are Small crew.

Photos by Chris Lee.

VIDEO: Choreographing A Dancer's Dream

Choreographer Karole Armitage says that she and Giants Are Small detailed a “second-by-second action plan” for A Dancer’s Dream, which uses Stravinsky’s The Fairy’s Kiss and Petrushka as the foundation for a new narrative about a young woman (played by New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns) and her dream of becoming a dancer. Check out this video of moments from a recent dance rehearsal. Read More...

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