Tag Archives: Robert Fairchild

Top 10 Swoon-Worthy Ballet Boys

One of the first questions people ask in a discussion about ballet is: what’s up with the men? There are those who assume that if a man puts on tights he must be gay. But if that were true, why are droves of football players signing up for ballet? Regardless of the choices they make for their private lives, ballet men are some of the strongest, most athletic and graceful beings on the planet. As headliner Steve McLendon of the Pittsburgh Steelers says, “ballet is harder than anything else I do”. To quote a recent tweet (a Jane Austen spoof) from the Ballet Boyz: “It’s a truth universally acknowledged that real men wear tights.” Check out this list of Top 10 Swoon-Worthy Ballet Boys and see for yourself.

Chihon Wespi-Tschopp. Chihon began ballet at age 13 and at 14 he was offered a spot to train at The Royal Ballet School in London. An alum of the Los Angeles Ballet, Chehon won the ninth season of So You Think You Can Dance and was the first winner who was classified on the show as primarily a ballet dancer.

Desmond Richardson. Desmond is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Richardson’s talent was first recognized as a student at New York High School for the Performing Arts during which time he received a merit scholarship from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. He was formerly a principal at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and ABT.

Cory Stearns. Cory has been at ABT since 2004 in the studio company and worked his way up to become a principal in 2011. In 2009 he won the Erik Bruhn Prize for best male dancer. He also models for the runways occasionally, casual.

Alex Wong. Alex danced briefly with American Ballet Theatre before joining Miami City Ballet, where he was a principal dancer. He left Miami City Ballet to compete on So You Think You Can Dance but then had to drop out after an injury while remaining a crowd favorite. During recovery he focused on singing and acting and has since released his first dance single “Crave” on iTunes and Amazon.

Robert Fairchild. Robert and his sister Megan Fairchild are both principal dancers with New York City Ballet. The real-life romance between Robert and fellow NYCB principal dancer Tiler Peck rivals most popular big-screen love stories. 

Chase Finlay. Chase is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet. In 2011, while part of the corps de ballet, he danced the title role in George Balanchine’s Apollo, one of the most sought-after male roles…and it shows the male form in a particularly enticing way.

Chris Rodgers-Wilson. Chris is originally from Australia, but studied at the Royal Ballet School before joining the Australian Ballet. Rumor has it he’s dating Andrew Killian — both of them dance at the Australia Ballet and both of them are painfully gorgeous.

Ivan Vasiliev. Ivan trained in Russia and was a prinicpal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet until he left in 2012 to join ABT as a principal dancer.

Billy Bell. After competing on So You Think You Can Dance, Billy joined Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in 2012. Most recently he founded the Lunge Dance Collective, a project based dance company for young artists.

Roberto Bolle. Roberto is a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre and has been featured in Armani and Salvatore Ferragamo ad campaigns.

Hope you found a new favorite!

 

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Men In Ballet: The Real Story

One of the first questions people ask in a discussion about ballet is: what’s up with the men? After all, male dancers spend fair amount of time in the shadows making their female partners look good. There are those who assume that if a man puts on tights he must be gay. If that were true, why are droves of football players signing up for ballet? Headliner Steve McLendon of the Pittsburgh Steelers says, “ballet is harder than anything else I do”. Regardless of the choices they make for their private lives, ballet men are some of the strongest, most athletic and graceful beings on the planet. To quote a recent tweet (a Jane Austen spoof) from the Ballet Boyz: It’s a truth universally acknowledged that real men wear tights.’

 

There are certainly enough off-stage ballet romances out there to prove this point. The real-life romance between New York City Ballet principal dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck rivals most popular big-screen love stories. San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancers Vanessa Zahorian and Davit Karapetyan made ballet history when he proposed onstage after the couple finished performing Romeo and Juliet. Other prominent ballet couples include Boston Ballet principals Carlos Molina and Erica Cornejo and Nelson Madrigal and Lorna Feijoo, Ballet West soloists Easton Smith and Haley Henderson.

As an aside, male ballet dancers are extremely pleasing to look at. Here for your viewing pleasure is some serious eye candy: 37 Dreamy Ballet Boys You’ll Want To Dance With.

However, looks are beside the point. It’s all about artistry (right?). The role of men in ballet is changing dramatically, and today’s male dancers are artists in their own right, enjoying equal footing and equal time center stage with their female counterparts. Who doesn’t love watching those gravity-defying leaps and insanely difficult turns? Male soloists such as David Hallberg, Carlos Acosta and Benjamin Millepied are now household names and companies like Ballet Boyz, the company formed by former Royal Ballet lead dancers, are shaping the re-branding of ballet from a male perspective.


Call them what you will. Artists. Dancers. Athletes. Underneath it all, they are guys. Still not convinced? Rent “The Turning Point” (a classic ballet film) and watch Baryshnikov make his moves.

How Amy Elkins’ “Danseur” series portraits of male dancers challenges ideas of masculinity. 

Dancers and choreographers talk about how gender influences their lives and their work.

Real Life Love at the Ballet

Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle…. these are some of the most romantic ballets in history. This is the stuff of love come to life on stage in a sweeping pas de deux, full of grand gestures, of love lost or found. While the dancers who put their hearts and souls into these roles might look like the perfect couple onstage, those sentiments are over once the curtain goes down…

Or are they?

Lately there has been an epidemic of real-life love stories at the ballet. On-stage engagements, incredible weddings, it’s all happening. In honor of Valentine’s Day here is a snapshot of some of our favorites:

The marriage of San Francisco Ballet principal dancers Vanessa Zahorian and Davit Karapetyan has been coined the “royal wedding” for many reasons. Karapetyan proposed on stage when the couple took their curtain call after performing “Romeo and Juliet”. Does it get more romantic than that? On their wedding day the bride wore a cream colored strapless gown by Lazarro studded with delicate appliquéd rosettes and crystals. The couple danced a passionate Tango they choreographed themselves to the Pussycat Dolls’ recording of  ’Sway’.

New York City Ballet principals Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild are a couple onstage and off, engaged to be married since Fairchild dropped to his knee at Sacré-Coeur, in Paris, last spring. You may have seen them at Lincoln Center or on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars… either way, they have no boundaries to what they can accomplish, and being being dubbed as the dancers of today.

Pittsburgh Ballet’s ballet mistress Marianna Tcherkasky is married to Artistic Director Terrence Orr. Tcherkasy says dance is such an intimate profession and requires great commitment, sacrifices and dedication, she says, that it is valuable to be with someone who understands that, as well. The intimate nature of ballet work can reinforce offstage feelings, says Christopher Budzynski, who’s married to Alexandra Kochis. They’re both principal dancers with the ballet and often play opposite each other in the leading roles of “The Nutcracker.”

Jenna Lavin-Crabtree describes falling in love while working with her soon-to-be-husband: “My husband (Cornel Crabtree) and I fell in love while doing freelance work here in NYC with a small pickup company who had hired Staton Welch ( now the director of Houston Ballet ) to choreograph a new ballet. Cornel and I were partnered together and Staton was/is incredibly talented and having that ballet created on us was really a magical experience. Every one of the performances was a journey for us and really I think some of my most enjoyable *moments* on stage were spent happily in my soon to be husband’s arms!”

Still not satisfied? Read more about love behind the scenes at the ballet….

More about the San Francisco Ballet royal ballet wedding that tops them all here.

Read Dance Magazine’s story about three married ballet couples here.

A guide to marrying a ballerina from 28 Sherman here.

Josh Charles must have read 28 Sherman’s guide because he married dancer Sophie Flack. Read how here.

For those who would prefer to just date a dancer, Tights and Tiaras tells you how here.

Pointe Magazine’s story on four ballerinas married to normal folk here.