Here, white administrators can experience what it feels like to be one of a few, to stick out, to not know if you are authentically welcome or just being tolerated. I had conversations with some who were uncertain if their voices would be welcomed. Welcome to the African American experience.
“I’d like to see politicians dancing. I’d like to see the world practicing art. Because the introspection from true art practice can’t lie.” (video)
Copeland said that ABT and ballet in general are naturally moving in a direction that favors gender equality and more diversity on stage, but key to ballet’s survival is the diversification of its patrons, too. “Bringing diversity into the theater is going to keep ballet thriving and relevant and alive. To me, that’s so critical and so important,” she said.
“The internet sank its teeth into a now-defunct Winter Olympics event this week: ski ballet. And it makes sense. When you see footage of actual ski ballet competitions from years past it’s hard to deny the novelty of it all, while simultaneously taking in the raw athleticism and artistry of the event. There’s also an extremely ‘What the hell am I watching?’ quality to ski ballet. … But really, no words can truly do it justice.” (includes video)
Gia Kourlas: “To me, no team, gold medal or not, matches the artistry of Ms. Papadakis and Mr. Cizeron. … Suddenly, a competition is a conduit for more than skating. It’s a window into another space and time: eerie, quiet, floating.”
“Dance for PD is a program developed by [Mark Morris Dance Group] that gives people with Parkinson’s an opportunity to experience the joy of dance while creatively addressing symptoms of the degenerative neurological disorder that affects one in 100 people over the age 60.” Reporter Jane Fries sits in on a class taught by MMDG members David Leventhal and Lesley Garrison.
“Anderson may be a familiar face to Boise dance devotees, having performed in the past with the Trey McIntyre Project and local dance nonprofit LED. In addition … [he has] chaired the Dance Department at New Mexico School for the Arts and has danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet Chicago and the Belgium-based Royal Ballet of Flanders, among others. He will take up the post of artistic director in July.”
“Eventually, around the beginning of the 19th century, ballet class took the form and structure of what professional ballet dancers now do every day, beginning at the barre with pliés and ending in the center with allégro. … Yet today’s ballet dancers need to be much more versatile.” Emma Sandall talks with dancers, artistic directors, pedagogues, and researchers about what in ballet training could change for the better.
Lauren Lovette, whose “Not Our Fate” for New York City Ballet featured a pas de deux for two men, says she’s proud to be a part of this ballet-world conversation. “A lot of times, we talk about things but we don’t actually do them. … We’ll post on social media, but when you actually make art that represents what you’re trying to say, you’re a part of the action.”
With input from three choreographer-dance scholars, fine art journalist Natalie Cenci answers the questions “What is contemporary dance?” (and how does it differ between the U.S. and Europe), “How does contemporary dance differ from performance art?”, and how a beginner should approach watching the genre.
inquiry, done by attorneys hired by the company and its school, into
allegations of sexual harassment, bullying, and physical abuse that led the longtime chief of City Ballet
to retire reportedly found no verification for the accusations. However, several former dancers, including some interviewed by the attorneys,
argue that the entire exercise was meant more to “whitewash” the case than to find the truth.
“How does someone go from a New York City Ballet corps member to training Hollywood A-listers like Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara and Jennifer Lawrence? By getting injured, says Kurt Froman.”
Why have even senior City Ballet dancers been deprived for so long of interpretive wisdom about this (and many other) Balanchine ballets? When Peter Martins was ballet master in chief (1983-2018), Ms. McBride was among the many creators of Balanchine roles who — as if in exile — were seldom if ever invited to coach their roles at City Ballet. Mr. Martins retired under pressure on Jan. 1 after allegations of physical and sexual harassment. Over the decades, no single feature of his artistic policy has caused more grievance than this disinclination to bring in Balanchine alumni.
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar: “Space is the hardest part about being an artist today. There are times when we’re in a different space every day and that’s hard on the creative process. Apply for those residencies – they’ve become modern dance gold.” (video)
“Akram Khan’s much talked-about reworking of Giselle, created for English National Ballet in 2016, will come to the United States next year, the company’s first trip across the Atlantic in 30 years. The Harris Theater in Chicago will present English National Ballet in four performances of Mr. Khan’s work, Feb. 28 to March 2, 2019.”
“Rumours of bad human relations and plummeting morale had been circulating for years, seemingly validated by a staggeringly high turnover of staff year after year. … Fifteen dancers left the company last summer alone. And yet the Times report was the first time allegations of unacceptable managerial conduct in the company came out into the open. … Why have people with compelling stories to tell not spoken out before? Or sought redress in-house? We talked to twelve ENB dancers past and present, as well as support staff, and had sight of relevant documents. And the answer we consistently got was ‘fear.'”
As Michael Cooper reports, City Ballet has “no intention of editing him out of the company’s history, the way Kevin Spacey was cut out of the film All the Money in the World after he was accused of misconduct. The Martins ballets remain important to the ticket sales and continuing the company’s fortunes.” Even so, there are occasional moments in his choreography that now look, well, problematic …
Graham Spicer talks to Bocca about why he’s leaving and what he achieved, and to Igor Yebra, the incoming director, and Franceco Ventriglia (who recently
departed the Royal New Zealand Ballet), the new adjunct artistic director.
Maybe fashion videos pay more than dance? In the video (which replaced the traditional runway show), you’ll see “eight members of American Ballet Theatre, three Hiplet dancers, three members of Bullettrun Parkour and YouTube dance star Kandi Reign.”
Choreographer and dancer Alexandra Pirici created her performance piece for the New Museum for five dancers, and a hologram. “‘The biological body wants toilet breaks,’ she said, ‘it gets tired, it decays.’ A hologram, though, makes no demands.”
Evelyn Lamb explains the issues of mass, inertia, vertical velocity, and angular momentum – and she talks to an applied physiology professor who figured out how tiny changes in arm position could make the difference between triple jumps and quads.
“It doesn’t matter what Isaac Hernández’s skill set is, he will be the dancer that got to where he is because his girlfriend is also his boss. Ms. Rojo is the AD who gave prominent roles to her boyfriend and the management at [English National Ballet] are the ones who left a publicly funded dance company open to litigation from dozens of dancers claiming discrimination or constructive dismissal because the boss is sleeping with one her dancers. Should their relationship go south, which of course never happens, …”
After a well-received performance at the Kennedy Center, the performers stayed away from the annual gala after-party. “On Instagram, the dancers are directing followers to a new account called Artists of Ailey, which references their union. They have been in contract negotiations since December. … AGMA, the dancers’ union, said in a statement … that the artists boycotted the gala ‘based on management’s failure to adequately address the group’s substandard wages and benefits.'”
“Dance and devotion have a long, rich relationship in Judaism. And dance continues to be used by some groups, including the Hasidim, as a form of ecstatic spiritual expression. For the members of Ka’et, all of whom identify as dati leumi, or religious Zionists (akin to modern Orthodox in America), dance also offered a way into prayer. As Rabbi Schwartz said, ‘I can’t fully express myself spiritually without connecting to my body.’ But putting that body on a theatrical stage, in front of an audience, was a bold and unusual move.”
“‘Our main goal is really to help dancers,’ says David Makhateli, a former principal with The Royal Ballet who launched the Grand Audition with his wife, dancer Daria Makhateli. With 10 artistic directors from a wide range of countries present, a dancer who might not fit one company’s requirements has many more opportunities to be noticed. … Most [participating] companies are based in Europe, but American directors have also taken part in past editions.”
So pronounces no less an authority than Dance Magazine about the two New York Giants players about the commercial in which they recreated the famous duet from Dirty Dancing. “And yes,” writes Courtney Escoyne, “they did The Lift.”
Siobhan Burke: “I’ve often wanted to make a map tracing who mentored and influenced and studied with whom, to make some sense of the present — not to impose order on dance history, but to do justice to its sprawl. Where do generations begin and end? What little-known links connect them? How does one movement become another? Maybe the map would illuminate stories we hadn’t seen.
One of Balanchine’s most famous maxims, for better or worse, was “ballet is woman.” Yet at City Ballet, he produced a number of extraordinary male dancers, including Jacques d’Amboise and Arthur Mitchell, both 83, and Edward Villella, 81 — American treasures who overcame stereotypes about men and ballet and, on Mr. Mitchell’s part, racism, to devote themselves to the art form and to Balanchine.
Algeria has no dance studios or companies, so when an Algerian French choreographer wanted to hold auditions, he started looking in other directions. “There are groups of men who train themselves by imitating YouTube videos and each other in the arts of hip-hop and the Brazilian martial-arts-cum-dance-form capoeira. … Much like the early hip-hop crews in the Bronx in the seventies, these men (only men) would gather on the beach to dance for each other, for the pleasure of it.”
“The man behind these moves is Roberto Campanella. A former National Ballet of Canada soloist and current artistic director of the contemporary ballet troupe ProArteDanza, he’s no stranger to film sets. For the last 13 years, he’s contributed movement coordination and choreography to a variety of projects, such as the Silent Hill horror movie franchise, Hallmark’s A Nutcracker Christmas (with Sascha Radetsky) and [Shape of Water director Guillermo] del Toro’s vampire show on FX, The Strain. We spoke with Campanella about his latest collaboration.”