Dance

English National Ballet Announces An Ambitious New Home

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“English National Ballet (ENB) is to move to a new “state of the art” home in east London, its artistic director Tamara Rojo has announced. The company will share the building – on the new London City Island development, close to the Canning Town railway interchange – with the English National Ballet School.”

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Iconic Dance Teacher Maggie Black, 85

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“From the 1960s to the ’90s, Ms. Black’s classes were studded with star dancers and choreographers from American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, the Joffrey, Dance Theater of Harlem, the Paul Taylor Dance Company and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Among them were Twyla Tharp, Trisha Brown, Eliot Feld, William Forsythe, Gelsey Kirkland, Tina LeBlanc, Lar Lubovitch, Natalia Makarova, Kevin McKenzie, Ohad Naharin, Lawrence Rhodes and Martine Van Hamel.”

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Study Says Typical Kids’ Dance Classes Don’t Provide Enough Physical Activity

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“Only 8% of children and 6% of adolescents achieved the 30-minute recommendation for after-school moderate-to-vigorous exercise. In children, the type of dance really mattered. Hip-hop was the most active kind of dance, with 57% of class time being devoted to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Jazz took second place, followed by partnered class, tap, salsa and finally ballet, where 30% of class is spent in moderate-to-vigorous activity.”

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‘Turn To The Pigs For Inspiration': How I Became A Countryside Choreographer

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Ben Duke: “I am currently working on a solo version of Paradise Lost. I am playing God. I haven’t seen him around here any more than I did in London, but such a self-obsessed bit of casting is easier down here where there are far fewer people to tell me it is a stupid idea. If it doesn’t work out, I will turn to the pigs for inspiration.”

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Benjamin Millepied Talks About Running The Paris Opera Ballet

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“The idea behind [L.A. Dance Propject] was to create a home for the American modern dance repertory, but Paris is bringing me back to my career as a dancer. It’s a ballet company, first and foremost. Of course there are all the issues that go with the size – the bureaucracy, the French laws, the unions. There is stuff in the system that’s 150 years old, and there is so much talk about tradition!”

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Sylvie Guillem Has Been A Prima Ballerina For Decades, But Now She’s Stepping Away

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“What others found difficult, she found easy, coming top in every exam. She was, quite simply, built to dance, in perfect proportion, with strong, arched feet, long legs, flexible ligaments, and great strength. But she also began to see dance differently, to feel that she was capable of expressing steps in new ways by extending the technique she was being taught.”

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What Do American Dancers Get Out Of Training At The Bolshoi Ballet School?

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“Moscow is at least eight times zones away from any city in the contiguous United States. The Russian language has a different alphabet. The floors are raked. The tuition costs more than $20,000 a year. And, well, it’s cold in Moscow. But none of those obstacles stand in the way of American students hell-bent on getting pure Russian training.” Several of those students tell Wendy Perron why it’s all worth it.

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American Ballet Theatre At 75

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“In France, and later in Russia, ballet had to reinvent itself alongside political revolution. In America, ballet was reinvented again, and American Ballet Theatre is a main character in the story of ballet in this country.”

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How Oakland Ballet Rescued (And Made) Dance History

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“For decades, [company founder Ronn] Guidi had been fascinated by the repertoire of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. … He engaged the original choreographers, or their appointed emissaries, and he reproduced the decor and costuming of the original productions, some of which were originally signed by museum names – Picasso, Derain, Chanel, Bakst, Benois and Goncharova. Dances we despaired of ever seeing live arose from the pages of the history books on the Paramount stage.”

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The All-Male Black Gay Dance Team That’s Braving The Deep South

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“The Prancing Elites hail from Mobile, Alabama, and they’re a forceful reminder that in the era of ‘just do you,’ it can be a radical – even dangerous – proposition to do just that. Wherever they go, the Elites, as they often call themselves, arouse visceral reactions from local residents, of both disgust and admiration.” (includes video)

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Can You Really Make A Dance About Britain’s 1984-85 Miners’ Strike?

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“The strike was a defining political and social moment in recent British history; it changed the nation, and its repercussions are still being felt. But it is a complex and difficult subject to navigate in an abstract art form such as dance.” Even so, Rambert Dance Company artistic director Mark Baldwin gave it a go, and he writes here on how he went about it.

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How Does A 45-Year-Old Ballet Dancer Keep His Body In Shape For Strenuous Roles?

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Gary Avis of London’s Royal Ballet has a daily routine “as strenuous as [that of] any professional rugby player: three hours of training each morning, five or six hour rehearsals in the afternoons and a three hour performance in the evening. Yet with a physique that sportsmen half his age would envy, he shows no sign of winding down.”

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How Dance Lives In Iran Through YouTube

BBC   Culture   Desert Dancer  True story of the YouTube choreographers

“A new film set in Iran celebrates freedom of expression through rhythm. Desert Dancer tells the true story of a group of friends who studied YouTube videos for tips on technique in a country where dancing in public is banned.”

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The Chinese Art Of The Choreographed Crowd

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No country, not even North Korea, is better than China at staging precise movements by huge numbers of people. “Whether the subject is military parades or world-record attempts, mass exercises or enormous performances, the images are frequently remarkable. … (Note: a few of these images can create a dizzying effect when viewed while scrolling, which is fun, but could be surprising.)”

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The Remarkable Life Of Russia’s Greatest Ballerina

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Maya Plisetskaya retired formally as a soloist when she was 63, but she never left ballet. On her 70th birthday, she debuted in “Ave Maya,” choreographed for her by Maurice Béjart. She danced “Ave Maya” again for her 80th anniversary and at 82 Plisetskaya, still steady on her high heels, once more danced Béjart’s piece at the Cap Roig Gardens festival in Spain.

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New York City Ballet Usher Gets To Design New Production of “Sylphides”

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“For Ms. Tammany, an artist by day who moonlights as an usher, the job was a reunion of sorts. She designed La Sylphide when Mr. Martins first staged it 30 years ago for the Pennsylvania Ballet, in a production that was later broadcast on public television. But she said she was stunned when Mr. Martins approached her about doing it again at City Ballet.”

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A Golden Age For Tap

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“The dance historian Constance Valis Hill claims that tap dance is the most cutting-edge dance form currently to be seen in the United States. What makes tap stand out for Hill is the intense innovation going on in the form, coupled with an attention to emotional and political content.”

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Alessandra Ferri is Still Dancing Lead Roles At 52

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“Only a handful of ballerinas have danced into their 50s, and … Ferri said she hoped to blaze a trail for older dancers but suggested that the over-40s face age discrimination in the ballet world. Younger choreographers ‘are unable to see that you are unique and to enjoy that fact. Some of them hardly even look at you in the rehearsal studio.'”

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Dancers, Know What You’re Getting Into When You Join This Guy’s Company

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Says one member of Diavolo, Architecture in Motion about founder/artistic director Jacques Heim, “He often puts on a show. He lives to get a rise out of you. And by really nit-picking at what we don’t do so well, he knows he’s going to get something great out of us.” Says another, “On an artistic level, it’s an upstanding trait. But for the younger dancers, it’s a relationship that can potentially be tumultuous.” (video)

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