Eva Alt is a dancer and dance scholar in New York City. Her work spans various disciplines across practice, choreography, teaching, writing, new media, and performance——and presents ballet as a vital social practice and tool for living a beautiful life. When asked to describe herself - I am and have always been, a dancer, because it is beyond something I just “do”, it is connected to my purpose and how I live my life. Eva is also an expert brand builder, having been one of the founding members of Glossier,
We feel so privileged to have Milou Milou linens in her home and an insight into her daily rituals.
_How do you begin and end your days?
I go to sleep and wake up in the arms of my boyfriend. We designed our bed frame together, and he built it for us. We wanted to create something very Apollonian, classical, with a perfect rectilinear form. A simple plinth bed with two steps, like a little bed palace. I love it! Our bedroom has a very peaceful, calm energy. It’s a larger space, and it doesn’t have much in it. I find living in NYC, which has so much constant energy, that I need my home to have a more empty, zen environment. On winter nights like these, we like to have a fire, project a movie or old episodes of Mad Men, and usually share a bowl of cereal. I also love a bath before bed with epsom salts and a little oil—very relaxing.
In the morning, I have to move my body… or else! [laughs] I feel like if I don’t, I get really sleepy in the afternoon and my back starts to hurt. I have more energy if I take time in the morning to put on a 30 minute Pilates video and get my circulation going, articulate my spine, connect to my core. I also love to go out and get a coffee. I don’t make it at home much, I love going out into the world first thing in the morning and seeing what happened over night!
_ What advice do you have for living a more considered, simple, sustainable life?
A few things:
I try to shop less and with more consciousness. I mainly buy vintage or secondhand clothes and homewares. I like making homemade presents. Shop local. Avoid Amazon.
I try to not waste food. I learned this from my aunt who is a chef and she is very conscious about food waste. For example, when I make broccoli, I roast the stems and dip them in hummus. When I make squash, I roast the seeds and eat them for a snack.
I like to talk to my friends and hear what they do and learn little tips and tricks from them.
_ How is colour important to you and how does it influence your life?
When I was younger, I went to a ballet summer program at the Kennedy Center led by Suzanne Farrell, one of the most important and celebrated ballerinas of all time. She required that we wear white leotards with a white skirt as our uniform, whereas most ballet schools require you to wear black. She explained that white is a prism, which allows you to dance and be all of the colors. Wearing red, for example, brings out a completely different temperament. This has always stuck with me, and I’ve found myself drawn to wearing a lot of white ever since.
My last apartment was a little bit extreme—it had white floors, white walls, glass tables, neutral furniture, and no rugs. Everything was pretty much white or translucent. I filled it with white orchids. It was an amazing feeling to be in there, but also very rigid to live that way. I’ve started to let go of my conceptual grip on my home now that I live with my boyfriend [laughs] and my space now feels much more homey and comfortable.
_ What have you been consuming of late, can you share the artists, books, podcasts, albums, films and brands you've been drawn to?
I stay connected to the things that inspire me, and am always consuming a lot of dance and art in different forms. Netherlands Dan's Theater has done some wonderful digital shows during the pandemic, as has New York City Ballet.
I often watch old ballets and enjoy reading about my favorite choreographers and dancers, past and present. I just read Joan Acocella (former dance critic at The New Yorker)’s book “ Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints" which I highly recommend to anyone.
Pets: My parent’s dog Lucy and my friend Kyle’s dog Smokey
People: my friends, the 90 year old ladies that take ballet class at Steps, my parents, my boyfriend
Artists (choreographers): Martha Graham, Crystal Pite, Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, William Forsythe,
Piece of art in home: The glass sculptures my dad makes
Go to dinner: spaghetti
Exercise : Ballet class. It always feels hard, and it never gets easier
Beverage: Sparkling water
Wine: A natural, chilled red
Products for face and body - masks, soaps, makeup My go-to’s are Glossier milky jelly and priming moisturizer rich, Chanel lip liner and blush, and some lip balm
Morning rituals: move
Stress Relief: dance
Meditation tool: mantra
Photographer: Martha Swope, Franco Fontana, Duane Michals
Before the pandemic, I used to teach a ballet class on Sunday’s for all levels. People have been asking me for a while to make videos they can dance along to at home, so I finally did it!