In August, Joburg Ballet chief executive Dirk Badenhorst was suspended by the company’s board following allegations that he had misappropriated R890,000 ($63,000). Last week, Badenhorst resigned just as a disciplinary hearing was about to start; now he and Joburg Ballet have each announced civil suits.
“Ms. Pite isn’t anxious, though, to define her work as part of one world or another. Her goal, she wrote in an email, is to make dance ‘that is detailed and beautiful but also brave and brutal.'”
“Underwood – a male model as well as a ballet dancer – will say he is hopeful things are ‘evolving’, with ballet ‘feeling more relevant to people who are into pop culture’ now than ever before.”
“[Paul] Taylor’s use of everyday steps like skipping and hopping in his choreography is not so very different — though the venues surely are — from James Brown being inspired by the audiences dancing in the aisles at his electrifying concerts. Brown incorporated their moves into his act and took them on tour, serving as ‘the Johnny Appleseed of dance,’ in one biographer’s words.”
Beset by financial problems a few years back, OBT started to rebuild and now finds itself expanding and charting its course toward better days.
“Both in and outside Athens, pop-up milongas, like tango dance studios, have gained a popularity that have taken aficionados aback.
“Forget the funky chicken – the blue-capped cordon bleu prefers a tap dance to attract mates, a new study says. … What’s more, the cordon bleus, these Fred Astaires of the bird world, seem to be unique: ‘No other species we know of has this tap dancing behavior.'”
“The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago are to hold an extensive two-city exhibition, ‘Merce Cunningham: Common Time,’ opening in February 2017.” There will be Cunningham sets by the likes of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, film and video installations by Charles Atlas and Nam June Paik, Cunningham music by John Cage and Morton Feldman – and, of course, dance, performed by both international companies and a group of former dancers with Merce’s own company.
With acclaimed music video choreographer — and “SYTYCD” alum — Brian Friedman as its mentor and Vine star Liza Koshy as its host, the series pits 10 choreographers against each other in themed challenges and hopes to do for that industry what “Project Runway” did for fashion designers.
“Ultimately we go on with no mention of this obscene parallel reality abroad. But our pre-curtain announcement, ‘Turn off cellphones as a courtesy to your fellow audience members,’ seems poignant to me as I think about courtesy, as I think about gatherings, and as I realize that performance cannot take place without the right to assemble.”
Herwig Radnetter of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna talks about dressage as an art, discipline and training, relating to his quadraped partners, and white gloves.
“A typical classical ballet is based on fantasy or fairy tales, … Flesh and Bone is a contemporary twist on these familiar tropes. The princess escapes the tower of her imprisonment and flees straight into another evil lord’s hands, and must struggle to free herself from him while battling the dragon of her past as well and severing its final chains. Along the way, she encounters several would-be knights … and dodges the rival fading queen/ballerina who wants to see her destroyed.”
“Before she became the Queen of Swing, Miller was just a poor black girl in Harlem who loved to dance. Even as she watched her mother struggle to make rent by cleaning houses, Miller dreamed of another path.”
The 42-year-old dancer, who is heading back to Cuba to run a dance school there: “Allow yourself to make mistakes. There is no such thing as failure because life is a learning process. … Be curious and enjoy, enjoy enjoy because one day you will blink and realise that 70 years have gone by.”
“Yes, I’m Dracula, they’re the soil and the dance is the coffin. … In a way it’s not a bad analogy because what I do is, you know — can I dance? Sort of. Am I in condition to do much of anything right now? Absolutely not. I don’t obviously have the instrument now to evolve really demanding physical movement. For that I need — hello — younger bodies.”
“The biggest challenge that prevents us from seeing the value of a dancer beyond his or her performance career is the tendency to derive a person’s worth from the product that person produces – in our case, the dance.”
“By the time Robert Joffrey’s production of The Nutcracker was ready for its world premiere in December, 1987, there was as much (if not more) drama going on behind the scenes as there was innovation on stage.”
Choreographer and dancer Akram Khan is to create his first full classical ballet with a new version of Giselle, which will open in Manchester in 2016. … After Manchester, Giselle will move to the Bristol Hippodrome and Mayflower Theatre in Southampton before being staged at Sadler’s Wells in London next November.”
The appointment of Nikolai Tsiskaridze to the directorship of the Vaganova Academy (after the Bolshoi Ballet’s management declined to renew his contract) “was controversial at the time, and many high ranking dancers and administrators spoke out against the Bolshoi dancer being given the top job at the Mariinsky school, a school that he hadn’t come through himself. However, after two years the consensus seems to be that he is doing a good job and is popular both inside and outside the revered Academy’s walls.”
“That’s 22 changes each night. You wouldn’t be able to put the feathers on by yourself during a quick change so we have an army of 25 dressers. We don’t dance in the nude: we’re always completely covered with jewels, feathers, bra and pants. It’s very classy, very elegant.”
“The connective fibers of our town are missing. That is what we started to realize with Sasha (Anawalt) starting to do the Dance Map. We suddenly realized how many dance circles there are in Los Angeles. The circles aren’t connected, so you don’t realize we’re the leading social dance town or that with Latin Dance we’re huge.”
“You don’t need real-life love to make great art, but what it’s invaluable for is publicity. … Knowing that the dancers on stage also share a bed may add a frisson for the audience, but that’s all about projection rather than the performances themselves. … You didn’t get more electric than the most famous onstage couple, Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, but he was gay and she was 20 years his senior. There have been suggestions they were lovers – but that seems more like fan fiction than fact.”
“Some critics have embraced the show, but what I wanted to know is what professional dancers thought of its depiction of their world. So we talked to three dancers who aren’t involved with the production. Here’s what they had to say about Flesh and Bone‘s first episode.”
“It’s really not a documentary. That said, there are elements of truth. Ethan has said before, which I’ll steal, there are these personalities in the dance world, and on this show they’re kind of all in one room (laughs). And as long as there was some dance shown, that’s one way to reassure ourselves that we’re engaging in a worthwhile endeavor.”
Also, it keeps your brain sharp: “‘If you can’t take classes or go out dancing four times a week, then dance as much as you can,’ recommends Stanford researcher Richard Power. ‘It’s essential to start building your cognitive reserve now. Someday you’ll need as many of those stepping stones across the creek as possible.'”
The two stars, “who have electrified the dance world both on-stage and off thanks to a series of scandals, have announced they are to perform together for the first time in the UK, as they make a surprise move into contemporary dance.”
Moira Walley-Beckett: “They [the young dancers in the cast] called me Mama Moira. It was a huge priority for me. Because I’ve been there, and I know what it’s like, and I know that they’re all secretly imploding. For most of them, it was the first time they’d been under these kinds of pressures. … It was really important to me to try to keep them safe in every way that I could.”
“For years, the ballet has been dogged by cash-flow problems and a revolving door of leaders – six in the past six years. [Now-former interim executive director] Cundiff took up the top job in March.” Chief fundraiser Julie Gillespie, who started with the company in July, was also let go. The schedule of annual Nutcracker performances, expanded in September, has been reduced, and the board is considering canceling its contract with the Orlando Philharmonic.
“‘I am not nice,’ [she] said. Seated in her dressing room … Ms. Guillem burst out laughing. ‘That has gotten me into a lot of trouble.'”
“In the first of a new series exploring dancers’ lives, Xander Parish of the Mariinsky Ballet gets into the role of Romeo, explains how to be the perfect partner and considers his hectic schedule.”