Dance

Torvill and Dean: How We Made ‘Boléro’

Dean and Torvill perform their dance at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo,

The legendary ice dancers recount how they created the program that won then the gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics – and that remains, 30 years later, one of the most storied performances in the history of the discipline. (Surprise: the Ravel piece was considered a radical choice back then.)

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Kyle Abraham, Modern Dance’s It Boy

Kyle Abraham

“In the last two years, it seems, the 36-year-old dancer and choreographer has suddenly landed in the spotlight. Abraham’s strong social messages and hybrid style have made him the darling of the dance world establishment … Now, everyone is asking: What will Kyle Abraham do next?”

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The Battle For Ballet At The Bolshoi Rages On (And On)

Bolshoi

“Why does the Bolshoi matter outside Moscow? Many seasoned balletgoers ultimately prefer the styles of certain Western companies or that of the Mariinsky Ballet of St. Petersburg. Yet your knowledge of ballet is incomplete until you’ve witnessed how the Bolshoi can seem the most red-blooded, exuberant and viscerally stirring of ballet companies.”

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Survey: Most Dancers Have Been Criticized For How Their Bodies Look

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A group of 74 female dancers, training primarily in ballet and from six vocational dance training colleges across the UK, were asked if they could recall someone ever making a “critical comment” that their body “should be a certain shape, weight, or that there was a need to diet to lose weight or increase food […]

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The Science Behind The Beats That Make You Wanna Dance

dance

“The results revealed that beat preference, when graphed, looks like an upside-down U on the scale of rhythmic intricacy. Overly simplistic beats are boring, it seems; overly complicated ones are befuddling. A mix of both, however, makes a sound that’s just off-kilter enough to be exciting.”

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Ballet’s Most Difficult Moves, Dissected

ballet dissected

“What can pass in just a few musical beats during a performance – the corkscrew jumps, the ballerina who seems to fly apart in the air only to land with perfect poise – is dissected here for the speed, timing and calibrated force that audience members might miss if they blinked.” (video)

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Studying Ballet In Iraq

ballet iraq

“In American and European cultures, ballet is typically viewed as a respectable art form, and you wouldn’t think twice about teenage girls taking lessons.” In Iraq, ballet lessons might get a girl killed. (includes video clip)

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In Defense Of Aerial Dance

Fidget Feet aerial dance theatre

Lindsey Butcher, artistic director of Gravity & Levity: “Audiences don’t quite know what it is. Circus aficionados tend to think it waters down aerial skills and feel excluded because it is contemporary dance, but equally I’ve had dance buffs tell me I’m ‘selling out’ to circus. The truth is that aerial dance borrows from both […]

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Choreography From The Dancer’s Viewpoint

New York Philharmonic

“It’s not always discussed, but dancers are as integral to the creative process as choreographers. That notion gives Sara Mearns, the fearless and ravishing principal at New York City Ballet, reason to pause: ‘I think I’ve had maybe two questions before about my point of view.’”

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The Penguin Dance Is Sweeping Saudi Arabia

penguin dance

“In a land where a strict interpretation of Islamic law means movie theaters and many other diversions are banned, nightclubs are unthinkable and the weight of tribal custom is heavy, Saudis in large numbers are discovering the thrill of a little sidekick-sidekick bunny-hop.”

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Going Backstage With Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor

“On days that Paul was not in the studio, … the camera could get right up close to the dancers. For visual continuity, the dancers agreed to wear the previous day’s sweaty dance clothes all over again.”

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Stephen Petronio Company Celebrates 30 Years

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“When I hit 50 I stopped dancing for a while because the memory of how I used to dance was too painful for me. But there are things I can do now that I couldn’t then. When you’re young it’s all about how fierce it feels. Now it’s about how deep it feels, and I’m […]

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Why Trey McIntyre Went To, And Stayed In, Boise

Trey McIntyre

“When I first came here they said you’ll disappear off the dance map. The opposite was true – we got a lot of attention. It just requires more creativity. … Being surrounded by other artists and companies [in a big city] is more of a challenge than being away.”

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Bolshoi Ballet Director Talks About Recovery From Acid Attack

Sergei Filin

Sergei Filin can now see (just) well enough to judge a competition (which he’s doing this week). Of healing at the troubled Bolshoi, he says, “It’s primarily myself who has to heal, because I bore the main blow myself. … I think it’s those people who were creating this atmosphere for all these months which […]

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‘It Sounds Like A Stupid Fairytale’: Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Wishes Come True With Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo

LAC (After Swan Lake), Coliseum, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo

When Princess Caroline invited Maillot to lead Monaco’s ballet company, he says, “I wanted to show the world that this company wasn’t the toy of a princess. I wanted a company that would have its own identity. And I wanted Monaco, so small and so specific, to experience the whole possibility of dance.”

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A Critic Revisits the Bolshoi After 30 Years

A Critic Revisits the Bolshoi After 30 Years

Alastair Macaulay: “The Russian nation and its capital city have greatly changed; Russia’s dealings with the West – and its presentation of its own history – have been transformed; and the Bolshoi Theater itself has been completely renovated and partly rebuilt … [and] visually, in its auditorium and its public spaces, [it] may well now […]

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Savion Glover: Why I Tap

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“I don’t tap dance for the sake of applause. I don’t tap dance for the sake of spectacle. I tap dance for equality, I tap dance for the recognition of the man in this country, what we had to go through as a people in order to claim existence in this country.”

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Where Dance and Boxing Meet

Full swing … Mourad Merzouki's Boxe Boxe.

In choreograher Mourad Merzouki’s Boxe Boxe, “as the protagonists come into the ring (complete with stripe-shirted umpire), boxing mitts turn into glove puppets, a dancer’s body curves in a feline swoop only to be caught in a firm headlock, and limbs jab, swipe and kick while a string quartet roams the stage.”

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