“In 2015, [the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance] opened its studios to its inaugural class, now poised to graduate. Their accomplishments are a testament to (and test of) Kaufman’s unique approach: Grads will have studied a vast array of styles, spearheaded interdisciplinary projects, and completed a rigorous liberal arts education.” And getting in isn’t much easier than it is at Harvard, either.
Brittany Pollack, Amar Ramasar, and choreographer Justin Peck are all members of New York City Ballet; Craig Salstein is a recent retiree from ABT. The four talk to Gia Kourlas about what they like about Broadway and what they find hard. (“Just the repetition of doing the same thing on my body — you have no recovery time. … I land on the same knee every night.”)
“For most dancers, the costumes act as the finishing touch. At MOMIX, however, the costumes are just the starting point. … We spoke with Pendleton and MOMIX dance captain Sarah Nachbauer to learn all of the details of how they get their concepts from the studio to the stage — and all of the costume mishaps in between.”
Programs cut include bachelor’s degrees in art history, French, geography, math and physics, along with master’s degrees in history, physics, sociology and Spanish. The university said it based its decision on program enrollment and number of degrees conferred in recent years, as well as any “duplication” of well supported programs at other, nearby institutions. Just five percent of students are admitted to the affected programs, the university said. No elimination of full-time faculty or staff is planned. The university also said it was investing in areas of strength identified in the review, such as polymers, dance, cybersecurity and nursing.
“Eleven years after the fatal collapse of the choreographer, which many assumed would also be the collapse of his company, Smuin finally has its home, in a 1949 warehouse next to the old freight line on Potrero Hill.” Says one company exec, “For the first time ever, we will control the schedule, which will allow us to rehearse for as long as we need.”
“A new commission [from ABT] is a risk best handled by the choreographers who can produce works that offer seasoned polish and dependability. … And although, in the history of large commissions, there inevitably exists a freedom of creative impulse, that freedom must not reach too deep, for the fall off the cliff is steep and far. There is simply too much at stake: time, money, reputation. I have always wondered, Where then do choreographers get the freedom to potentially fail?”
Harold Washington College announced that it has partnered with the Joffrey Ballet to offer an Associate in Arts in Dance from City Colleges of Chicago’s Loop campus.
AMA has been shared by various Facebook pages worldwide, and often with vague titles like “Dancing Underwater !!” and “Wooowww Amazing Dance.” Perhaps the most shared iteration was posted by Feel Desain, an online magazine, which, according to its page is “updated daily with the latest and coolest news.” That particular post has garnered more than 19 million views and upwards of 372,000 shares. As if only the “coolest” parts matter, Feel Desain’s version is truncated, cutting off the first two minutes before Gautier is fully immersed in the pool.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Pose, of course, but there’s more – bucking, “a tight-knit community of black, gay men who’ve transformed a dance of thrusting body movements popularized in Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ video into a second family.”
This camp is where 98-year-old Norma Miller, Queen of Swing and an original Lindy Hop dancer – and an African American woman – can thank white Swedish people for keeping the dance alive. “The camp started as a weeklong summer event for 25 Swedish Lindy Hop lovers in 1982 and has evolved into a five-week dance camp known as the Lindy Hop Mecca. This summer, the camp drew some 5,000 dancers and 100 instructors from more than 60 countries. Ms. Miller described the camp as a place where students ‘come to inherit the soul of black dancing.'”
Sarah Kaufman: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that one of the dorkiest things a dad can do is dance, especially in public. … Therein lies the coolness of the real-life dancing dad. He’s the opposite of embarrassing! … Through his dance, he forges a spontaneous, healing bond with his youngster whose power can be felt by millions of onlookers.”
Product design graduate Hadar Neeman saw the feet of a ballerina friend and thought there had to be a way to make a pointe shoe that offers more protection. So she designed one. Custom-printed out of elastomeric polymer and synthetic satin to match a scan of the dancer’s foot, Neeman’s shoes reportedly last three times as long as traditional handmade pointe shoes.
“Even when they waltz, [the dancers] don’t have the lifted posture and arching polish of the best ballroom performers; they’re more ornery than that. … The men arch back — rapturous, trusting — in their women’s arms. Whereupon the women promptly drop them — splat! — to the floor.” (Face down, no less.) (includes video clips)
“The center, 5,500 square feet of performance spaces and buildings along the Hudson River in upstate New York, had a soft opening this summer but is to officially open on Sept. 1 with [Alan] Cumming and [Savion] Glover, who will be joined by the jazz drummer Marcus Gilmore.” The highlight of the fall will be a new piece by Lucinda Childs, set to a score by Pulitzer winner David Lang.
Journalist Gia Kourlas talks to Netta Yerushalmy about her Paramodernities, in which she
puts in the blender deconstructs Vaslav Nijinsky’s Rite of Spring, Martha Graham’s Night Journey, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, George Balanchine’s Agon, Bob Fosse’s dances for the musical Sweet Charity, and three Merce Cunningham pieces (Merce probably wouldn’t have much minded which ones).
The show that launched the modern reality-TV dance competition genre has not featured a single same-sex pair in its 15 seasons on the air. And, despite calls from the public, previous contestants, and even some of the show’s own judges, there will be none this coming season, either.
“You need so many factors, and some of these are out of your hands,” says the founder of Youth America Grand Prix. “The process of becoming a professional is different than being a professional,” points out the director of NUVO Dance Convention. Here are half a dozen problems and pitfalls involved in that transition – and suggestions for getting through them.
Yes, it should be done respectfully and sensitively, writes the longtime ABT principal, now director of The Washington Ballet, but it’s far better than stringing a dancer along and letting him or her stagnate and get frustrated.
“A modern-dance choreographer sometimes needs a vocabulary as inventive as her steps.”
“The institutions’ collaborative engagements will be staged each spring through 2022. [American Ballet Theatre] first appeared at the Auditorium in 1969. … The ABT partnership follows the Joffrey Ballet’s announced move from the Auditorium to [Lyric Opera of Chicago], a shift slated for 2020.”
“It’s a testament to the sophistication of mobile devices that the strengths and weaknesses of the films have little to do with technical issues. Several of the movies look amateurish or are just plain bad, but none because of image quality or outdated effects. The flaws are artistic.” Brian Seibert reports from the first Mobile Dance Film Festival.
“Unfortunately, it’s difficult to explain to non-dancers how corporal movement is a means of thinking and engaging with complex ideas. That’s why it’s so important that dancers can talk or write about their work, translating the corporal knowledge into language.” Alice Blumenfeld offers some suggestions for how to go about it.
When the ensuing police investigation ended in 2016 with no charges, they sued. Today more than 60 former RWB dancers, now adult women, have joined a class-action lawsuit that was certified in July and is seeking $75 million in damages from photographer Bruce Monk and the ballet company.
“The romantic part of it is that I want to leave something to the people I’ve worked with over so many years. I want people to have work for a little while longer after I’m gone. [And] it’s way more fun for me than rehearsing repertory.”
“Ossadnik was a principal dancer with the German National Theater from 1987 to 1991, after which he danced in France with the Ballet Theatre de Bordeaux from 1991 to 1995. Since moving to the United States in 1995, he has worked with various companies across the country and maintains a relationship with the Balanchine Trust.” For the last decade, he was ballet master at Ballet Idaho.
A recent internet trend is inspiring drivers all over the world to jump out of moving vehicles and dance in the street while a friend in the passenger seat films, and now transpiration officials and law enforcement are starting to speak out against the dangerous fad.
Assigned birth gender shouldn’t limit dancers to certain roles – “that was what the English National Ballet showed me,” says genderfluid dancer Chase Johnsey. “They saw me for how I danced.”
The resurrection of an art form nearly wiped out by the Khmer Rouge has spread from Phnom Penh to Northern California to South Philadelphia. Now a young Cambodian-American has returned to his parents’ homeland to teach other gay men in a genre traditionally danced only by women – and to choreograph new works in the style.
“This summer, the Petronio Residency Center at Crow’s Nest welcomes its first three artists in residence: Nora Chipaumire, Will Rawls and Kathy Westwater. The center, located in the Catskill Mountains, about two and a half hours north of New York City, is idyllic: The 2,500-square-foot studio has radiant floor-heat and a sprung floor, and the 6,500-square-foot house sleeps up to 10 people and has soaring views of the mountains. ‘As a creator, I understand the power of a residency,’ says Stephen Petronio. ‘I want the dancers to feel like they have gone to heaven when they pull up to the gate.'”