Deborah Riley, longtime co-director of Dance Place, steps down in August, and finding the next director is hectic. “‘It’s been my family,’ she acknowledges. But she won’t miss the constant worries that go along with managing morning-to-night classes for adults and children, after-school programs, summer camps, visiting artists and performances nearly every weekend — and always, always, the funding concerns.”
Roslyn Sulcas moderates a three-way between Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, and Justin Peck.
“The organization, which is the State Ballet of Virginia, is entering the public phase of its ‘Road to the Future’ campaign after reaching more than half of its fundraising goal.”
“[San Antonio] Symphony CEO David Gross says they offered Ballet San Antonio a reduced rate of $150,000 for a 2-week multi-show run, but the ballet company couldn’t commit.”
Police were called to break up an eight-person fistfight in the stalls at the Manchester theatre where the production is playing before beginning a tour of regional England.
“Today, principal Robert Fairchild is currently headlining the West End production of An American in Paris, [having been nominated for a Tony in the Broadway production,] while soloist Georgina Pazcoguin has been on a leave of absence this past year to play Victoria in the Broadway revival of CATS. When the just-announced revival of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic Carousel opens on Broadway in March 2018, we’ll be adding three more names to the list: …
“Les Grands Ballets Canadiens will take over its new digs next month, after 37 years in a converted garage building that had no elevators, insufficient washrooms and studios where ballerinas had to take care not to bump their heads on the ceiling during lifts. The ballet will join two contemporary-dance companies – Agora de la danse and Tangente – as well as École de danse contemporaine de Montréal. All the companies are getting better and more versatile spaces than they had before. They’re also being challenged to think about how to relate to each other, and to their new environment in the Quartier des Spectacles.”
There are some real health challenges in this community, says Terry O’Toole, senior health advisor with the division of nutrition, physical activity and obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has given the Coeur D’Alene tribe $2 million to develop “Powwow Sweat.” It also supports a community garden on the reservation and a project that stocks the gas station market with healthy food options.
“To be sure, the persecuted Falun Gong movement is within its rights to promote its agenda. Through The Epoch Times and other means, it has worked hard to expose human rights abuses at the hands of the Chinese government that has mercilessly suppressed the movement’s spread. Many of the goals of Falun Gong followers are laudable, and its religious tenets – while perhaps striking Westerners as odd – seem to be generally focused on meditation and moral teachings. But none of that excuses its creation of one of the most brazen and deceptive theatrical infomercials ever conceived.”
“Both Peck and Copeland are established names in their art forms, but handing them the reins for a major event on the Kennedy Center’s ballet subscription series is a risk. Why did the center decide on guest curators, and on these artists?” Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter has an answer.
Certainly there are other companies at work developing young dancemaking talent, but DNB artistic director Ted Brandsen has a unique four-pronged approach.
Sophie is one of the first transgender students to sit the Royal Academy of Dance exam.
In 2008, the ballet dissolved its artistic partnership with the Eugene Ballet and struck out on its own with Peter Anastos at its head. “Starting a new company from scratch is certainly not for sissies,” he says now, as he prepares to finish up his decade with the reinvented company.
“AXIS today includes six professional dancers with and without disabilities, a 100-city annual tour schedule that includes regular performances in the Bay Area, burgeoning apprentice and teacher-training programs, school visits that reach approximately 15,000 students, … and partnerships with institutions and organizations in the vanguard of inclusive instruction and physically integrated dance.”
“In the ballet world, ‘shut up and learn the steps,’ I think is an archaic sentence.” Reporter Kate MacArthur does a Q&A with the Joffrey’s artistic director.
Brian Schaefer pays a visit to the Brooklyn-based company Ballez, whose director, Katy Pyle, says, “We’re using these definitions of masculinity and femininity to create something that’s not neutral, but it’s layered and it’s complicated.”
“Even as she prepares for her company farewell gala, the Havana-born artist remains a highly critical observer of how – and what – she dances.” Allan Ulrich talks with Feijoo about the roles she did and didn’t get to dance and about her training at Alicia Alonso’s famous ballet school and what it has meant for her art.
“One of the complexities the company faces is that the definition of Hispanic or Latino has become increasingly hybrid, complicated and personal, partly because of the blending brought by immigration and globalization. And also because Latin America is enormously diverse. Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Argentine, Colombian culture: They can seem to have little in common beyond a shared language.”
“Former professional ballet dancers Wendy Whelan and Virginia Johnson join us to discuss life after a career in dance. Whelan, who had a 30-year career with the New York City Ballet (NYCB), is the inaugural Lida Orzeck Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Barnard. Now artistic director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Johnson was a founding member and principal dancer with the company for more than 20 years.” (audio)
“The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has a new fleet of subway and streetcars, so why not show them off in style? In its latest ad campaign launched late last year, called We Move You, dancers from the National Ballet of Canada run, twirl, and twist their way through empty stations and rail cars with an elegance few riders can match.” (includes video)
The company was performing its “Romance” program last Thursday (April 6) when the lights on the musicians’ stands flickered and then, in the woodwind and brass sections, went out completely. Yet the musicians played on and the dancers danced on. Peter Dobrin has the details.
“Crystal Pite and actor/playwright Jonathon Young won Best New Dance Production for Betroffenheit, their harrowing exploration of loss and grief [at Sadler’s Wells]. … Tamara Rojo has made some gutsy choices since becoming artistic director in 2012, and ENB’s Best Achievement in Dance Olivier ‘for expanding the variety of their repertoire with Giselle and She Said at Sadler’s Wells’ is just one more spot of validation. … Not only did he garner the Best Theatre Choreographer award for his production of The Red Shoes, Bourne also got to accept the award for Best Entertainment and Family, again for The Red Shoes.”
Yes, that’s right: New Yorkers just want to have fun. “Members of the newly created Dance Liberation Network are battling, Footloose-style, for their right to cut loose — by rescinding the city law that bans busting a move in an establishment that doesn’t have a cabaret license.”
The turnover may be somewhat normal for new artistic directors, but it’s partly because of an intense change in style: “For some of the veteran dancers leaving the Atlanta Ballet, the switch from former director John McFall’s contemporary style to Bolshoi-trained [Gennadi] Nedvigin’s traditional style was a major adjustment.”
Thanks not only to the two “Magic Mike” movies starring Channing Tatum but also to “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its sequels, business is booming for the several dance teams who also sometimes sing and always strip. The movies and books “have prompted women in more conservative areas … to more openly enjoy watching guys gyrate onstage.”
“What exactly is Doggie Hamlet? The 70-minute production, which unfolds at dusk, includes five performers, three herding dogs, a dog handler, a dog trainer and a flock of sheep.” A rough, heavily-edited three-minute video of sections of the piece was picked up by a conservative website and posted under the headline, “Taxpayers Foot Bill for ‘Doggie Hamlet’.” Gia Kourlas investigates, and, as a dance critic, comes to Carlson’s defense.
The Times‘s Daily 360 team pays visits to the free community auditions that the School of American Ballet offers six- to ten-year-olds in five neighborhoods around New York. (video)
“Multiple sources within the company told ArtsATL that the departures are the culmination of a culture clash between the open and modernistic atmosphere fostered by previous artistic director John McFall that was embraced by the dancers, and the classical ballet ethos favored by Gennadi Nedvigin, the new Bolshoi-trained artistic director.”
“Seven years ago, the Colorado Ballet appeared to be at a financial death’s door, but Saturday’s bustle and a 2017 season finishing with record attendance and box-office receipts show the company is very much alive.”