FLASH DANCE: James Whiteside certainly loves a challenge: The principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater arrived in Paris at 6 a.m. on Saturday ahead of his smashing performance on Thom Browne’s men’s runway. As soon as the show ended he was headed back to New York for rehearsals for his day job: On Tuesday, he’ll be performing as Siegfried in Swan Lake. He called the Browne gig “an incredible opportunity” beyond what he’d ever dreamt of doing.
On top of the jet lag, he had to deal with the oppressive heat at the show, which took place under a big glass ceiling inside the Beaux-Arts. The temperature did not weigh on him though. “As a dancer I like to be hot — it’s good for the muscles,” he said.
Whiteside, whose costume was a trompe l’oeil pinstripe suit on top, and a tutu on the bottom, said he’d welcome more opportunities like the Browne one. He said that as a gay man, he wants to go beyond playing “straight male characters” on stage and explore other roles. “I want to get my freak on in other ways,” he said.