“At the same time as she was becoming more difficult, she was also becoming more accessible. Part of Judson Dance Theatre’s deglamourization program was a refusal, by most of the choreographers, most of the time, to use conventional music, sets, or costumes. But Brown eventually put music back in, and while she often said that she did so because she got tired of hearing the audience cough, it cannot have escaped her notice that most spectators prefer dances set to music.”
Bridget Kuhns of the Houston Ballet isn’t one of the ballet dancers who uses the pre-show ritual of “‘brush your shoulder, touch your toe,’ she says, laughing as she mimicked those movements. But Kuhns does have a thing about fresh breath onstage, she explained. She always brushes her teeth and then chews on a piece of gum until the stage manager delivers the two-minute warning call.”
Unless one considers the relationships among the criminally insane and their terrible “care”-givers a traditional ballet subject, a new ballet inspired by Frederick Wiseman’s 1967 long-censored documentary “The Titicut Follies” will likely be a bit of a surprise. “Adapting the film’s troubling message has been a challenge for every artist involved in the new ballet.”
“Repeated injuries – and a longing to finally join her boyfriend of several years, New York City Ballet resident choreographer and dancer Justin Peck – mean that Delgado is retiring from the company.”
The London critics were not fond of David Dawson’s The Human Seasons, onstage at Covent Garden as part of a triple bill. In the comment section for one particularly harsh review, Dawson’s assistant choreographer, Tim Couchman, left a rant blaming the poor quality of the performance on the dancers, insulting their professionalism, skill, work ethic, attitude and egos. The Royal Ballet is not happy.
The company’s board recently announced that they’ve asked longtime artistic directors Ron Cunningham and Carinne Binda to step down after next season. The pair don’t want to go, and the dancers are fighting for them. Last week, the dancers unanimously petitioned to join AGMA.
“Dance tends to be marginalized in our culture. For many people, it’s not as much a part of everyday life as movies, TV, music or books. I have friends who are incredibly knowledgeable about art and literature, but when I mention major dance figures like Isadora Duncan or Merce Cunningham, they don’t know who they are. For dance writing to be more viable, dance needs to be more centralized somehow, so it’s not seen as esoteric and inaccessible, or, on the flip side, as purely fun and entertaining — though it can be all of those things.”
“Her treatise on ‘pure movement’ in the 1970s wiped the slate clean and reset modern dance in a search for movement itself. … She caused a revolution by simply, sweetly, turning to [performance] spaces that other dance-makers don’t … But she also caused a revolution in the space that is the human body.” Wendy Perron, who danced in Brown’s company in the 1970s, gives an extensive overview of Brown’s career.
Mikhail Baryshnikov, Laurie Anderson, Stephen Petronio, Elizabeth Streb, And Terry Winter share memories of working with Brown.
“A new series is giving us hope that it is possible to make ballet content that is both entertaining and true to what the dance world is actually like.” Lauren Wingenroth introduces us to Off Kilter. (includes video clips)
“Few dance inventors have so combined the cerebral and sensuous sides of dance as Ms. Brown did, and few have been as influential. Her choreography, showcased primarily in New York, helped shape generations of modern dance creators into the 21st century.”
Diana Vishneva: “Maybe now children are happier. There is not so much shouting and demands. … When I was at school, I was taught not to spare myself, to give everything I had.”
Gloria Govrin was 5’10”, and Balanchine tried to discourage her at first – before realizing he could build solos around her.
Ashley Bouder is spearheading a project to create programs choreographed by women to music by woman composers. She explains to Chloe Angyal (who made her cry) why this is so important.
Whipped Cream, a Richard Strauss ballet from 1924, really is a sugar-fueled fantasy: the story is about a boy who runs amok in a pasrty shop and starts hallucinating about an enormous dancing mass of whipped cream (and more) after a few sweets too many. (He’s saved by Princess Praline and Prince Coffee.) Alexei Ratmansky is reviving Whipped Cream for ABT, and pop-surrealist painter Mark Ryden is creating the sets and costumes. Angelica Frey has a look at what Ryden is cooking up.
A Q&A with Jean-Pierre Frohlich, one of two ballet masters from New York City Ballet who traveled to Moscow to teach the Bolshoi dancers Robbins’s The Cage.
Ahmad Joudeh grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, where his father beat him and ultimately threw him out of the house for continuing to dance ballet. He supported his mother by giving dance lessons, but fled when the Syrian army tried to draft him into the civil war. Renate van der Zee recounts how Joudeh made the semifinals of Beirut’s version of So You Think You Can Dance and ended up with the Dutch National Ballet.
Says Dance/USA executive director Amy Fitterer, “I’m feeling every encouraged in the past two years because the conversation has gone from trying to convince people that there is a problem, (to) now we’re finding the directors are really on board.” (includes video)
The audiences have to be the “archive” of the dance project. “Audience-watching, art-watching and dance-watching form equal parts of the intimate experience. The dancers morph into living, breathing sculpture — at once molding, and being molded, by an environment devoted to the collection and display of objects.”
Possibly. It’s called the “Protein Jive Sutra” and, as you may be able to tell from the name, was created and filmed in 1971, at Stanford. Watch the entire 13-minute film for a lot – a *lot* – more info about the way RNA works (or for the bright leotards and balloons of the 200 volunteers).
“We equipped the socks with pressure sensors and vibration motors to monitor and guide the feet movement of the pair dancers. These are controlled by a master application running on an Android phone. The steps are indicated by vibration signals at specific positions of the foot, at the heel for a forward step, etc. When a user makes a mistake or gets out of sync, negative feedback is provided. It is possible to dance in the socks for several minutes without making a mistake.”
“Despite an order threatening ‘disciplinary action’ for any ballet employees who speak to the media, four company dancers blasted the board via email over their opting not to renew the contracts of co-directors Ron Cunningham and Carinne Binda beyond the 2017-18 season … The dancers also accused the board of mismanaging the company, questioning its ability to decide what’s best for the ballet.”
“Cousins remembers one of his teachers saying: ‘If you can incorporate some emotion into what you do, there’ll be no stopping you.’ But at that point he wasn’t sure how.” As he tells Judith Mackrell, he had a revelation while being mentored by Matthew Bourne: “I was making a solo and Matt suggested that I played with the focus of the dancer’s eyes …”
Principal dancer Shannon Glover takes a photographer backstage at Johannesburg Ballet.
“She’s one of nine women around the globe, from Toronto to Paris and Memphis to Miami, who head dance companies with annual budgets of $2.5 million or more.”
“Though the Pennsylvania Ballet has long been considered a Balanchine company, it will perform fewer of his works than usual. [Artistic director Ángel] Corella has maintained that he is not a choreographer, but he is creating three new [story] ballets.”
“Dance to Health is capable of generating better outcomes and being associated with lower overall costs of managing falls compared to the primary prevention programme or no intervention,” the report finds. It describes the classes as faithful to their healthcare objectives and an “enjoyable challenge” for the dancers.
Bobbi Jene Smith of Batsheva spends the entire length of Naharin’s Last Work trotting away on a treadmill upstage. Here she tells Jen Peters how she manages to do it.
A dancer from the Cairo Opera Ballet travels 150 miles south every weekend to teach students (some boys as well as girls) who come from up to an hour away to the Alwanat Centre in Minya.