The Bolshoi and several other ballet Instagram accounts give some insight into the world of Russian ballet (gnarly feet, fashion shoots and more included).
“‘It was interesting to be on a shoot and to not have the freedom to just create like I normally do with my body,’ she says. ‘Trying to re-create what Degas did was really difficult. It was amazing just to notice all of the small details but also how he still allows you to feel like there’s movement.'”
Sebastian Smee: “It always makes me deeply uneasy to see [people] take to Edgar Degas’s ballet pictures as if they were some sort of grand affirmation of their art. They’re really not. … These poor girls were commonly known as ‘les petits rats,’ the little rats, and Degas, who also called them his ‘little monkey girls,’ was precisely interested in this sordid aspect.”
Cabin in the Sky is getting revived this summer by New York’s influential Encores! series for the sake of its score by Vernon Duke. With no record of the original choreography (partly) by Balanchine, how is Camille A. Brown making dances for the show? By looking to the work of the original co-star and co-choreographer, the pioneering Katherine Dunham.
“To face the cultural and economic issues of our time, we need new kinds of organizations, and I’ve realized that it’s too hard to turn this one into what I think is most relevant for ballet today. It’s two and a half years that I’ve worked on this, and I know it’s a short time, but it is long enough to realize this is not something I want to do. They need someone better suited to run this company.”
At the end of a two-hour event unveiling the coming season, “[general director Stéphane] Lissner declared the floor open for questions. But, he added: ‘I ask that your questions be about the 2016-17 season, and only about the season. We won’t answer anything else.’ There was a brief silence, then Mr. Lissner rose to his feet. ‘No questions? Well, thank you.'”
“Being forced to step off stage gave me time to learn more about the profession. I watched so many performances, rehearsals, classes as well as taught a number of classes myself. This gave me a moment to genuinely slow down and take everything back to basics.”
“Before Pilobolus, before Momix, before Mummenschantz, there was Alwin Nikolais, … [who] created shape-shifting, otherworldly visual wonders through original experiments with bodies, space, light and sound, and his work was hugely popular and influential from the 1950s until the 1990s. Today, however, it’s not well known to general audiences.”
The choreographer explains his inspiration for his new ballet Strapless, about a young New Orleans woman who became a sort of Belle Epoque Paris supermodel – until she was ruined by a scandalous portrait painted by John Singer Sargent.
Sarah Kaufman: “It’s difficult to imagine a new director matching Webre’s magnetism, room-brightening cheer and go-go output. But a new hire doesn’t need to. … With a strong financial position, the Washington Ballet has an opportunity to shoot for the top. It should focus on the very highest quality, not just the short-term buzz of exhilaration. Why shouldn’t it be the nation’s premier chamber-size ballet company?”
“Viewing the creation of The Most Incredible Thing on Mr. Peck’s and Mr. Dzama’s Instagram feeds offers a new way of engaging with dance and contemporary art. I began to wonder how much more they and the dancers are asked to account for themselves and their work in fixed forms. Documenting ballet has always been a tricky proposition. By translating dance into writings, interviews, recordings, and critical essays, you understand how ephemeral the medium is.”
“Not even its organizers had completely believed this particular dance would take place, and disaster was still quite possible. Forbidding American college students to dance rarely seems like a tenable position, but up to the very day it was scheduled, administrators at the university felt they had not only public opinion but also the law on their side in blocking it. These students didn’t merely want to dance.”
“He has decided to spend more time in the studio, making new ballets and working with dancers, he said. ‘Over the last few years, many of my works have been performed outside the Washington Ballet, and I’ve been turning down projects,’ he said.”
Sara Baras: “It takes courage, but flamenco artists often have longer careers than other kinds of dancers. They learn to adapt themselves to a type of exercise that develops extra agility and vigour. Older flamenco dancers can perform with a strength that you will not find in other dance genres.”
Aurélie Dupont has spent her entire education and career at the company and its school; she retired from the stage last summer at the top rank of étoile.
Adolphe Binder, currently artistic director of the dance company at the Gothenburg Opera in Sweden, “will be the fourth person to run the Tanztheater Wuppertal since Bausch’s sudden death in 2009. “Unlike Dominique Mercy and Robert Sturm, who ran the company just after Ms. Bausch’s death, and Lutz Förster, who succeeded them in 2013, Ms. Binder has no direct relationship with Wuppertal.”
“‘I want to regain my freedom and I want to create,’ he said. ‘I’ve been honored to be given the opportunity to work at the Opera and with the dancers, but this job, as it exists today, is not something I want.’ Mr. Millepied declined to speak about other factors that might have contributed to his decision, but his discontent with various aspects of his role has been well documented over the past few months.”
“Benjamin Millepied — who is married to Hollywood star Natalie Portman — took over France’s most prestigious ballet company little more than a year ago, bringing a dash of glamour to one of the capital’s most venerable institutions. He had been due to unveil his new season next week, but it was clear that all was not well after he lambasted the ballet’s hierarchical structure in a French television documentary.”
At minimum, ballet fitness classes are turning out pupils with respect for the professionals.
Eight principal dancers – including Daria Klimentová, Steven McRae, Cynthia Harvey, James Whiteside, and Vito Mazzeo – from some of the world’s top companies talk about coping with the damage their profession inflicts on their bodies.
“Colin Connor, a former soloist with Limón Dance Company who went on to a career in choreography and education, … [and will be] the first male director since Limón himself, is to take the helm of the 70-year-old modern dance company on July 1, succeeding Carla Maxwell, who has held the position since 1978.”
“In Uropa – An asylum-seekers’ ballet, six migrants tell their stories with the help of dancers from the Royal Danish Ballet, hoping to change perceptions of refugees in a country that has recently rolled out some of Europe’s strictest asylum rules.” But some of those six could yet see their own applications rejected – the original lineup numbered ten.
In dancer and choreographer Dada Masilo’s version, “her Odette is married off to Siegfried, who is in love with Odile. The catch: Odile is a man, although Ms. Masilo has him dance on point and, like all the swans, wear a tutu. The three principal characters are victims of social convention. As in the original ballet, it doesn’t end happily.”
The Most Incredible Thing, based on a Hans Christian Andersen tale, has a new score by Bryce Dessner and a cast of 56.
“His manner was the same whether he was working with one dancer or dozens. By slightly lowering or raising his voice, he could shift seamlessly from giving a dancer a subtle note to rearranging major traffic patterns. He seemed aware of everything, and when the dancers took five, he did not, his mind whirring almost visibly.”
“‘We found that in the learning process, our brain function makes an inverted ‘U’ learning pattern from a slow pace at the start, accelerating to a peak at the midpoint, before returning to the original pace, once we have mastered the task,’ says DeSouza.”
“It’s very important, especially in Denmark, where a lot of people are afraid of asylum seekers and refugees. I think it’s very important to see that they are human beings and they have all kind of skills and qualifications.”
Tap dance today is as marginal to popular culture in America as it was in 1960. Why has so delightful and exhilarating a dance style as tap been so resistant to revival?
“Yvonne Chouteau, one of the ‘Five Moons,’ as they were anointed, died this past Sunday at the age of 86. Along with Moscelyne Larkin (Shawnee, 1925–2012), Rosella Hightower (Choctaw, 1920–2008), Marjorie Tallchief (Osage, b. 1926), and, most famously, Maria Tallchief (Osage, 1925–2013), she rose in the ranks of dance when ballet was still not widely appreciated in this country.”
“A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that Sound Transit may pay fair-market value for a ballet school in the route of the planned East Link light rail in Bellevue and not the higher replacement value the school sought.”