New York City Ballet documentary

Have you seen City.Ballet, the online documentary series about New York City Ballet? Narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker, each six-minute episode shows what it’s really like to be a professional dancer and what goes on behind the scenes—tears, injuries, love affairs, you name it. The dancers open up and speak honestly about their struggles and triumphs. The first season was AMAZING, and the season two (with 12 new episodes) came out today. I plan to watch them all in a row with a glass of wine tonight.

P.S. Toby taking ballet, and have you ever done this ballet workout?

  1. Ballet is such a lovely thing. Lots of pressure (that some may find quite unhealthy) but that’s the job.
    In any case, it is one of the most elegant things ever. Love watching a good ballet.
    Hope you had fun watching the season ;)

  2. Thank you for sharing! So good, watching with my cappuccino this Saturday morning. :)

  3. Just watched season 1 in a row; somehow I missed your first post about this!
    It’s amazing; thanks a lot!! (I’ll save season 2 for Sunday after everyone’s asleep – tomorrow will be Interstellar night out with my sister)

    Have an amazing weekend!

  4. I am so excited to see this! I had no idea there would be more. Thanks for the heads up! I LOVED the first season, thanks to you, and have been obsessed with it ever since – I’ve watched it at least twice, and shared it with my mom as well. We were both dancers until our teens :)

  5. i just watched the first episode of City ballett. Love it!

  6. With all the influx of ballet stuff, a couple things strike me:

    1. how they know how to do their own stage makeup
    2. know how to break in their own point shoes
    3. how intelligent they are. To remember all those movements with such precision and emotion, to have the incredible mental strength to deal with stress and competition, to know all these classical pieces that most of us only know from looney tunes cartoons, it’s quite impressive.

    I always get a feeling of wistfulness when I’m watching these documentaries though. I mean, every girl wants to be a ballerina, but not only do I not have the talent, I would not have the discipline to dedicate my whole life to the craft (maybe because I don’t have the talent).

    I know what it’s like to have a calling, so I know that ballet is not it (since it has not chosen me or vice versa by now). So I don’t know why I still feel a pang when I watch these things!

    It’s also interesting to me to hear the principals saying they admire certain aspects of lower-ranked dancers. I’m so curious what it is! It sounds like it isn’t something as simple as being able to kick your leg higher.

  7. I just finished Astonish Me, by Maggie Shipstead, a work of fiction written against the background of ballet like this. I wouldn’t have been interested before the book but I am now. If you are looking for a good read (easy but interesting) I recommend it.

  8. Oh man I have now watched season 1&2 since I saw your post yesterday. Totally addictive.

  9. I’ve been doing ballet since September. I am super duper new to it and I have fallen in love. It is very hard, drenching but I feel so motivated everyday I have a class.

  10. I need to watch this! Where did you find the episodes?

  11. SL says...

    thank you for the recommendation jo!

  12. Maternity leave = possibility of marathon watching. This was so worth it. Loved every minute of it. My next trip to NY will be accompanied by a night at the Ballet. Is there a 3rd season? I hope so!

  13. OMG that top photo! Stunning. I can’t stop staring at them. Thanks for the heads-up about the series, I can’t wait to watch! XO

  14. Thank you for this recommendation. I just watched season 1. What a delight !

  15. I loved the first series (and actually my 3 year old watched a couple of the episodes too and was fascinated). I’ll be watching it with tea and some dark chocolate.

  16. I love the New york City Ballet Workout DVDs. They’re great for toning, especially thighs and abs, though the latter will screaming at you for days afterwards.

    Peter Martins voice is strangely hypnotic.

  17. On your recommendation I watched the first season. Can’t wait for this one!

  18. Thank you so much for posting! Loved watching the first season and didn’t know there was a season 2!

  19. Yes! I love this series! I loved the first season. I plan on watching this new season during the week of my Thanksgiving break when I’m in the mountains. Definitely with a glass of wine.

  20. Joanna, thanks so much! I didn’t know about this but I’ve just watched all the 12 episodes of the season two in a row! (Before even watching the first season haha) and I’m excited to tell my mum about this cause she was a dancer till she had me and she will love it.

    She tried to introduce me to ballet when I was 4 and I didn’t liked! I really enjoyed watching ballet but not dancing. Then when I decided to became an actress (I was 16) I had to take lots of dance lessons (ballet, tap dance, hip hop…) and I must admit I’m a terrible dancer… Now I’m planning to take some lessons again, and also doing some ballet workouts at home. I’ve made a little pause between chapter to pee (sorry, TMI) and I just danced through the hall doing pas de bourrée hahaha I really enjoyed it and I’m dying to dance again.

  21. YeSsss….also, I have that workout. It kicks my butt every time. And I usually end up just watching the little athlete documentaries that are on it ;)

  22. Whoever said “wine and ballet”, I’m in! Love their lithe, strong bodies.

  23. I love that you love ballet and expose more people to it through you blog–which, by the way, is my favorite blog to read!

  24. I don’t comment often, but your blog is one that I come back to daily for inspiration and for stories that hit close to home Joanna. Just wanted to tell you that I appreciate your daily posts and for the light and love that you bring to so many.

    And I found the first season of this series on the NYC ballet on here, and am so looking forward to watching season two tonight, thanks again to you! <3

  25. Oooh! I’m so excited! I just learned about season one a couple months ago and it was riveting. My 5 year old loves ballet, too. It’s pretty great. I hope he sticks with it. Ballet needs boys!

    I’ve totally done that workout. It’s pretty fun, actually. I love the little jumps at the end.

  26. Hooked! Just finished Season 1 all the Episodes in one fell swoop. Haven’t showered since coming in from the gym and reading your post. This is a benefit of being a Mom with kids off to school all day! Thank you for sharing!

  27. I loooved the first season! Can’t wait to watch the second one. Thanks for sharing!

  28. I used to do that NYC Ballet Workout DVD every morning before work a few years back. I really enjoyed it. A nice break from the typical intense, high energy workout DVD’s. I think it’s time for me to get back in to it. Thanks for the reminder!

  29. Yay! I loved season 1 – can’t wait for more! (and might I just mention the overwhelming cuteness of Toby and his ballet belly in the link you added). I used to teach dance – my favourite classes were the 2-3 year olds.

  30. LC says...

    Joanna, a good friend of mine was in a CW series last year called “Breaking Pointe.” It followed the Salt Lake City Ballet Company, and it sounds very much the same. If you are can’t get enough of this one, when you’re done with all of the episodes, watch “Breaking Pointe!” I couldn’t get enough of the dancing and the drama!

  31. Thanks for sharing this update, Joanna! I am dying to watch them right now…but the link isn’t working, and I can’t find season 2 online.

  32. I haven’t watched this season yet but plan to very soon. I am hoping to see Joseph Gordon who is in the corps de ballet. My twin sister was a paralegal to Joseph’s mother (an attorney) in Phoenix, AZ for nearly 20 years. We knew him when he was a little boy and when he first discovered his love of ballet.

  33. Thanks so much for the heads up. I loved the first series so am delighted there’s another! :)

  34. I LOVED this series, can’t wait to see the new episodes!!!

  35. This looks great! I’d highly recommend the documentary First Position, about young dancers training for careers in the ballet! It’s an emotional roller coaster in the best way (and available on Netflix).

  36. Thanks so much for posting about season 2. I loved the first season!

  37. My husband works tonight…and that sounds like a great plan! Wine and ballet for me, too :)

  38. Perfect timing, my boys are spending the inter-semestrial vacation at my parents so I will have the time to watch this.

    Thanks, Joanna!

  39. So excited for this! I watched the first season when you posted about it and it was great!

  40. YES! So glad you mentioned this. I became obsessed when you told me about this last time. Thanks!

  41. Thank you for this lovely recommendation. It certainly is enlightening to learn about the fascinating lives of these dancers. I, too, shall watch the series in a row!

  42. Ahh I’m totally going to do the same thing tonight once I put the wee ones to bed! I loved the first season, can’t wait to watch this tonight! Thanks!