“Sure, it’s fun to play around with the punctuation marks on your keyboard. But invented punctuation doesn’t guarantee inventive choreography. It’s just punctuation run amok.”
“The first African-American woman to be named a principal in the 75-year history of American Ballet Theater provided a jolt to On the Town during her first week in the musical. The show, which is closing on Sunday, immediately went from a laggard to a leader: It grossed $914,434 in the week that ended Sunday, up from $395,379 the week before.”
The choreographer originally created Available Light, now seen as a Minimalist milestone in both dance and music, as a site-specific piece for Gehry’s Temporary Contemporary at Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art. This past spring at MASS MoCA, she and Gehry revised Available Light for a proscenium stage; the work was just presented in Berlin and (finally!) makes its East Coast premiere this week at the Philly Fringe Festival.
“While I may be impressed by the calibre of these performances, being ‘impressed’ has little to do with what I expect or want from dance. Imagine if critical engagement with literature centred on its ability to impress, rather than its ability to provoke thought and feeling, to trouble and inspire, to mitigate the disjuncture between our conscious and unconscious minds. The demotion in richness, in complexity of experience, would be self-evident.”
The Kaufman school, which started classes this week, is unusual in embedding a conservatory-style bachelor of fine arts program within a private research university of some academic rigor. It’s also distinctive in curricular focus; its motto — “the New Movement” — connotes revolution, and Jody Gates speaks of “reimagining dance education for the 21st century.”
“If there is such a thing as the wrong side of the tracks, that’s where Misty Copeland grew up. She, her divorced mother and five siblings moved around like nomads. Down on their luck, they ended up here at this motel on a busy street in Gardena, California — the whole family piled into two rooms. She hadn’t been back in almost two decades until she returned with us.” (script plus video extras)
“You’ve heard of farm-to-table, surely. Vermont is now one step ahead, with Farm to Ballet, a series of performances across the state this month. It’s the brainchild of Natch Pregger, a professional dancer who has performed with the Boston, Washington, D.C. and Houston ballets. As a native Vermonter, he wanted to create a performance piece around the state’s bucolic rhythms.”
“[The company] on Thursday announced the resignation of its executive director, Courtney Mauro Barker, and the departure of its artistic director, Gabriel Zertuche. … A spokeswoman for the ballet said the organization would have no further comment beyond its announcement, which gives no reasons for the departures.”
“To understand what it takes to become a professional ballerina, I wanted to find out how much the required ballet training really costs. There are many factors that go into the cost of training, and when I totaled the core expenses, I found that a pre-professional ballet education for girls can easily amount to a total of more than a hundred thousand dollars.”
“Today there are only two full-time dance critics in the country … For a medium that can be difficult to understand, generalist coverage remains vital to the accessibility of the dance scene. As Deborah Jowitt, the former Village Voice critic, put it: ‘If art is valuable as a reflection – of a time, of a place, of a creation – then dance is just as important as literature or film, even though the audience for it is smaller.”
“Just as gardening is not just a means to fresh air and purposeful exercise (but also produces the delights of a garden), so ballet for old people is no merely useful in strengthening muscles or regaining suppleness. It adds a new character to its practitioners’ hundred other accomplishments. Forget the tutus and pumps; ballet begins inside.”
“The footballers were enjoying a match on the village green at Rattlesden, near Stowmarket, using a ball with a bell in it so they could keep up with play. … A player kicked the ball off the pitch towards the Brewers Arms, and then mistook the morris dancers’ uniform bells for the one in the ball. He promptly kicked one of the dancers in the shin” – and so it began. – Hugh Dunnett?
It’s an interesting reflection on something – either an overwhelming trend in Toronto’s contemporary dance scene or dance-curator Amelia Ehrhardt’s taste – that the choreography (so far) has been so sparse on actual “dance.” I use the term a bit loosely; I don’t mean to imply that text and pedestrian movement can’t fall under dance’s domain. But it’s surprising to see that so many young choreographers are more interested in breaking down barriers between forms than they are in finding innovations that exploit the singularity of their own.