Dance

Museums Move Even Deeper Into Contemporary Dance

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“While art museums have dabbled in live performance since the 1960s, ‘the real estate has changed,’ said the choreographer Ralph Lemon … ‘Museums are now offering performance spaces beyond just the gardens and basements and unannounced hallways.’ The trend is proving a sure way to drive up traffic.”

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‘This Is Not Just A Show About Fat Happy Dancing People’

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“Kate Champion, artistic director of Force Majeure, and Kelli Jean Drinkwater, associate artist and fat activist, talk about the company’s new show featuring big-bodied performers. Nothing to Lose is ‘driven by dance’, says Champion, but also draws on the dancers’ real-life experiences to challenge preconceptions and reclaim a performance space for large bodies.” (video)

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New Zealand’s Maori War Dance Looks Even Cooler On Ice

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Sports fans and viral video mavens have seen the haka, the traditional pre-battle dance that New Zealand’s national sports teams (most notably, rugby’s formidable All-Blacks) do on the field before a match. Now the clever Kiwis have figured out how to do the haka on skates. (video)

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Pakistan’s Cross-Dressing Dancers – “Safe” Gender Exploration In A Conservative Culture

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“Male and female roles are clearly defined in Pakistan, and transgender people often face harassment and abuse. One role where they are tolerated is as dancers at weddings and other celebrations at which men and women are strictly segregated. In between the dancing and showers of rupee notes, they must fend off groping from drunken guests.”

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A Debate Over The “Rightness” Of A Dance Performance

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“There’s been heated disagreement over the past week about what’s right and wrong. Is the rocket-propelled ex-Bolshoi enfant terrible Ivan Vasiliev ‘right’ for Swan Lake? Is English National Ballet right to accept such huge thighs in this of all classics, when the sizeist cohorts of the Russian establishment always said nyet to the sturdy, forceful Belarussian?”

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Wendy Whelan Is Ready To Dance For Herself

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“Being 47 years old, what can I still do, and feel potent and active and alive and challenged?” says the recently retired NY City Ballet principal. “There’s plenty out there, it’s just a matter of making it happen.”

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The Avant-Garde 1935 Ballet That Freaked The Soviets Right Out

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The Bolt,” choreographed in 1931 by Fyodor Lopukhov to a score by Shostakovich, with designs by Tatiana Bruni, has a strange history. Despite an unimpeachable narrative – an idle saboteur plans to throw a bolt into factory machinery but is prevented from doing so by worthy workers – the ballet was banned after one performance.”

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The Making Of A Male Ballet Virtuoso

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“Men’s ballet technique, unlike women’s, finds its expression in short bursts of extreme but controlled athleticism. … There are so many things to think about at once: the position of the feet, the torque of the turns, the composure of the upper body, the shifting gaze, the placement of the arms.” Marina Harss watches one master, Ethan Stiefel, pass on secrets to ABT up-and-comer Calvin Royal.

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Choreographer Alonzo King, Making It As An African-American In A White Ballet World

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“If you’re inferring that there is racism in America, it’s not just a black problem, it’s everybody’s problem. For me it’s important that a company looks like the world, or at least reflects its community. Which you don’t see. I hire people based on their talent, and in 30 years this company has looked like everything.”

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You Know About Indian Classical Dance – How About Sri Lankan?

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The Kandyan and Ruhunu forms of the genre do have similarities with India’s Bharata Natyam: “The body is held squarely upright in a vertical axis, holding a tight bend in the lifted elbows and knees, the foundation for intricate footwork patterns and expressive, flowering hand gestures. Repetition and sharpness of movement is a central feature of this ritualistic style.” (includes video)

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Ballet On The Beach In Paradise

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“‘There are many people who have come with their wives who wouldn’t go to the (Sydney) Opera House or the State Theatre in Melbourne,’ says Artistic Director David McAllister. ‘Interestingly this is something that can change people’s minds, and it’s a great relationship-building exercise”

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The Ballerina Who Started Her Life As A War Orphan [VIDEO]

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Michaela DePrince saw an image of a ballerina in a glossy magazine in the orphanage. “I didn’t know what she was, but I thought that this beautiful creature was something I’d never seen before. She looked happy, and I wanted to be happy.”

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Disabled Dancers And The Art Form, 20 Years After Arlene Croce’s “Victim Art” Essay

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David Jays: “Two decades on, Croce appears stranded on the wrong side of history. Artists bringing personal histories to the table are now mainstream. You see ‘victim art’ in reality TV and verbatim theatre; in the work of oversharing visual artists like Tracey Emin and Ryan Trecartin; and, increasingly, you see it in dance, where an immaculate body and blank-slate persona are no longer the invariable starting point.”

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Val Caniparoli On 42 Years Of Dancing With San Francisco Ballet

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“Q; Have dancers changed over these 42 years in the way they learn and the way they dance? A: The work ethic is different. They’re required to do so much now, in such a short time. We don’t have the luxury of work weeks. … I find them burning out a little more often than it should be happening. But I leave, and I come back, and I’m amazed how good this company is from top to bottom.”

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Helgi Tomasson (And The Rest Of Us) Celebrate His 30 Years With San Francisco Ballet

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“What Tomasson has done here over these three decades is to transform a respected regional American ballet company into an international-caliber organization that commands worldwide respect for the depth of its repertoire and its superb technical standards. In fact, the S.F. Ballet’s history of the past 30 years has rendered the term ‘American regional company’ rather outdated.”

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Merce Cunningham Trust Makes Cash Grants For First (And Maybe Last) Time

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“The Merce Cunningham Trust, established in 1990 to further the choreographer’s legacy, has announced an award of $250,000 to the Baryshnikov Arts Center and of $375,000 to the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. … [A trustee] said that this was the first time the trust had awarded cash grants, and that it was unlikely to happen again.”

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