Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dancer as Walker, Baker, Reader

The first time she performed the role of Dewdrop in “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” with the New York City Ballet, Ashley Bouder was 17 and made a memorable entrance: she fell on her face. Now 27 and a principal dancer for the company, Ms. Bouder is in her eighth season as the Sugarplum Fairy and her 11th as Dewdrop. She will perform that role in a live City Ballet broadcast in movie theaters on Tuesday and on the PBS program “Live From Lincoln Center” on Wednesday. Ms. Bouder lives on the Upper West Side with her boyfriend, Matthew Dibble, 35, now touring in Twyla Tharp’s “Come Fly Away,” and their dogs: Scout, a Beagle; and Enid, a Boston terrier. On nonperforming Sundays, she unwinds with the dogs, naps, posts to Twitter and has a big dinner.

LATE RISER I sleep until between 10 and 11; I would sleep longer, but I know I have to get up and walk the dogs. They’re angels; they sleep with me. I put the coffee on, feed the dogs, and jump in the shower.

WALK, THEN TWEET I grab a cup to go and take the dogs around the block, come home, and drink a few more cups while I watch NY1 and catch up on e-mail and Facebook and Twitter. My family and friends are on Facebook; it’s a nice, no-pressure way to connect. Three years ago my friend Daniil Simkin, a soloist with the American Ballet Theater, told me I had to do this thing called Twitter because it’s like “one big status update.” Twitter has become a little overwhelming. I follow 164 people and they tweet all the time!

FAVORITE TWEETERS I recently began to follow Ricky Gervais — he’s really funny. I used to follow Will Ferrell but I don’t think he’s funny anymore. Barack Obama, for links to his speeches. I was an Artist for Obama in 2008.

LUNCH WITH A BOOK When the weather is nice, I take a book and sit outside at Bella Luna at 88th and Columbus. I’ll have soup, a glass of red wine and the linguine with meatballs. I got a Kindle a month ago, but I do love real books — I just finished Jock Soto’s autobiography and Alison Weir’s “Eleanor of Aquitaine.” If it’s awful outside, I cook a big omelet with bacon, cheddar and broccoli. And I’ll eat Greek yogurt while I’m making the omelet.

A WALK AND A NAP After lunch I take the dogs to either Riverside Park or Central Park. If we go to Central Park, we might walk for two hours; my hound likes to smell everything. Then we go home and everybody takes a nap on the bed. During the season, I often have rehearsals or performances on Sundays; when that happens, Monday is my only day off.

COOK, MAYBE BAKE If my boyfriend is away, I’ll stay home and cook myself something I really want, broil a steak and make a salad with everything in it, or make one of my mother’s recipes, like pork chops with mushroom gravy and potatoes. It’s a substantial meal, and I of course feed the dogs some, but I have a small stomach, so it takes me forever to eat it. On my day off sometimes I’ll bake. I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I like pumpkin, so I make pumpkin muffins or pumpkin banana bread. It doesn’t last.

TV AND STRETCH I take the dogs out around 8; I like to walk them three times a day. Then I’ll watch TV or Netflix — nothing special, my TV night is Wednesday for “Modern Family” — and drink a glass of wine or two, mostly pinot noir. When I’m watching TV at night, I’m not a couch potato, I’m always stretching and exercising. I’ll put tennis balls under my back or feet. I might be on the floor doing the splits. Or I have the heating pad on. I have a machine called the Reflex Roller; it massages my legs and calves. I’m learning a new ballet, “DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse,” by Christopher Wheeldon, so everything aches.

BEDTIME I go to bed around 11:30 and probably read for a couple of hours before I fall asleep.