Feline Grace

Dancers are inspired by the elegant movements of cats.

By Ramona Marek

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CATFANCY

The dance world has long admired the cat for its beauty, grace and agility, giving it roles in ballets and even a dance step - the pas de chat, step of the cat. "Cats are elegant, slinky and slithery - like they have no bones," says Wendy Whelan, principal dancer for New York City Ballet. "They pounce and land so quietly that we don't hear them. Cats are very sexy."

Dancers strive to capture the fluid, sinuous, effortless movements of felines. Paying tribute to his 20-year old cat, Olivia, Christopher Stowell, artistic director of Oregon Ballet Theatre, in Portland, Ore., says, "I think it is natural coordination, flexibility and a combination of calculation and spontaneity that makes dancers want to appear feline."

**Get the November 2011 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article or click here to purchase a PDF version.**

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