“DMP recognises body movement as an implicit and expressive instrument of communication and expression. DMP is a relational process in which client and therapist engage in an empathic creative process using body movement and dance to assist integration of emotional, cognitive, physical, social and spiritual aspects of self.”
Kent says that the adjustment from being a dancer in New York to being an artistic director in D.C. is a challenge, but that it’s good for her two young children to see their parents taking on new work. “My service to the art form is now creating opportunities for other people. … My focus is on them.”
“In 14 months of affiliation with the company – only two as its artistic director – [Hope Muir] has hired an astonishing array of new choreographers, rehired all but two members of the first company, endeared herself to donors from Charlotte to Chautauqua, N.Y., begun to investigate national and international tours, created a choreographic lab to inspire new dancemakers, put together a collaboration for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s Classical series in April, said goodbye to resident choreographer Dwight Rhoden and instituted family matinees for mainstage works beyond the inevitable Nutcracker.”
“‘Many older techniques have a strong inner logic,’ says [Countertechnique creator Anouk] van Dijk, who now directs Melbourne-based Chunky Move. ‘But I found they didn’t prepare the body for when the dancer has to be highly versatile.’ Countertechnique equips dancers with a range of skills and teaches them to apply them within familiar movements. This gives dancers more agency, which van Dijk believes can reduce anxiety in performance and even help dancers prevent and recover from injury.”
“Isabella Boylston doesn’t remember the time, years ago, when she and Gemma Bond tried to choreograph a ballet together. Ms. Bond does, though. ‘I got so bossy,’ Ms. Bond recalled. ‘I was like, ‘Isabella, this isn’t going to work.” But now they’ve found a way to be creative together – and circumstances in which they both can act a little bossy.”
Gia Kourlas offers a step-by-step analysis (with plenty of GIFs) of Lil uck’s revamp of The Dying Swan: “This eloquent combination of jookin’ – a Memphis-born style that relies heavily on footwork and comes from the Gangsta Walk – and Camille Saint-Saëns’s wistful strings gives the sensation that Buck is levitating.”
The American National Ballet, its founders say, is a “start-up,” and they have plans for a company rooted in Charleston and a touring company. But then “there’a for-profit dance conservatory that enrolls talented young dancers from across the country, a for-profit marketing and media company called Jete Digital, a for-profit dancewear company and a performing arts foundation that can lend financial might to the enterprise.”
“The prize – which comes with $50,000, access to the [Baryshnikov Arts Center’s] John Cage and Merce Cunningham Studio for eight weeks and administrative support to create a new work – goes to an artist who reflects the innovative spirits of Cage and Cunningham, life partners and collaborators who were titans of 20th-century music and dance.”
Just a week into his term as artistic director of the Hong Kong Ballet, Webre says he’s impressed with the dancers’ technical standards and classical rep, and wants to inject “a higher level of sophistication into the [new] work made for the company.” He wants to create dances reflecting the city’s culture, and says he’s being inspired by Hong Kong films and Cantonese opera.
“The choreographer has long believed in ‘colliding different sorts of intelligence in one place’. Increasingly, academic research suggests that creative imagination is impossible without collaboration: such findings are being embraced by organisations such as Second Home, which offers cross-disciplinary co-working opportunities in London and Lisbon (and claims its businesses grow ten times faster as a result) or Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, whose international residency programme provides free space to creators across the arts, science and technology.”
But presenters need to consider accessibility. “Disability is the mother of invention. We have been cattle truck lifted onto an outdoor stage. In Siberia, we had to charge my wheelchair batteries by driving them around in a Fiat and swapping them out daily. Feral dogs chased us on the tarmac in Moscow because we could not be driven to the plane like others. In Germany, we changed in a broom closet with a skeleton”
Salon Los Angeles has seen Frida Kahlo dance with Leon Trotsky, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro with dance hall regulars and revolutionaries, and a lot more. And so, “Miguel Nieto, whose grandfather opened Salon Los Angeles 80 years ago this week, refuses to quit, even as his gray-haired regulars dwindle, even as developers dream about turning the nightclub into condominiums like the concrete apartment tower going up across the street.”
Theresa Ruth Howard: “How can you truly comment on what you are seeing when you have no technical knowledge of a specific genre like African or hip hop? Critics who stand on the outside of a culture cannot write about what they do not know. … The black body on stage is never neutral, and the effects of its inherent politicization as it relates to the subconscious cultural ignorance and biases held by critics is seldom addressed.”
“The voguing balls of Harlem, the hoochie koochie dances of rural America, the elaborate, prancing gait of runway models – these aren’t influences that routinely feature in contemporary dance. Yet for the American choreographer Trajal Harrell they’ve proved extraordinarily fertile. … His pieces might feature a man posing semi-naked in a pair of Hermès scarves, a woman encased in a small black cube meticulously removing her swimsuit, or a man in a gaudy oriental skirt, gravely shaking his booty.”
While Instagram has become a go-to forum for dancers recording themselves in class and rehearsal, Marlee Grace has managed to stand out, though it’s hard to pinpoint why. Maybe it’s her musical selections, which range from Justin Bieber to wind and waves; her playful, impulsive choices as a mover and iPhone videographer; or the sense that she’s not working toward anything in particular, just dancing for herself and anyone who happens to cross her virtual path.
“The same drive to succeed that make so many ballet students great may also predispose them to depression. And yet, as a dance writer, when I call up so many of the great training institutions in this country to ask for an interview with the psychologist they refer their dancers to, they can’t produce one.”
Isaac Hernández, now a principal at English National Ballet after stints with ABT II, San Francisco Ballet, and Dutch National Ballet, grew up taking classes from his father with his 10 siblings in a studio in their house in Guadalajara. Now, in between his company work in London and on tour, he flies home to Mexico and organizes both professional ballet performances and a pair of dance schools in poor barrios.
“The ballet world took notice on Monday when Estée Lauder announced that the public face of one of its fragrances would be Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theater star. … [And] just last week Tiffany & Co. announced that it would feature another Ballet Theater star, David Hallberg, in its fall advertising campaign.”
“The Brooklyn Academy of Music, in what it says is its first formal relationship with a residency partner, will join forces with the budding Lumberyard Contemporary Performing Arts organization in upstate New York to commission and nurture three new dance works.”
“At the time, it was the case in the Royal Ballet that there was a mindset of leaving dancers to develop, like a good wine or something, to gain strength in their own time. Whereas, in Russia, they have an idea of taking raw talent, maybe not ready for the big roles, and working on it until it’s ready to be set before the audience.”
The festival will highlight commonalities, as well as differences, across geographically or politically separated Indigenous cultures. National borders are of scant relevance to the peoples whose ancestors inhabited Turtle Island long before Europeans “discovered” North America. Santee Smith emphasizes that today’s Indigenous artists are highly individual. “We’re all rooted in our world views — societal, spiritual, philosophical — and share a belief that art and performance are an integral part our daily lives, but we’re far from being homogenous.”