The Dance Stars Of Social Media

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“American Ballet Theater icon Misty Copeland has over 402,000 followers on Instagram. To compare, athletes like Venus and Serena Williams have 89,500 and 992,000 followers, respectively. Michael Phelps has 462,000. Danica Patrick has 26,900.”

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You May Think You Can’t Dance But Nepalis Will Make You Try

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“Peer pressure is integral to Nepali dance. There’s even a word for this: nachaune, ‘to make dance.’ … It’s an elaborate group flirtation. Coyly insist you can’t, and then once you’re begged, bust out all the moves. No matter how much you might rather drop dead on the spot than dance in front of a huge crowd of people, it’s useless to resist, especially if you’re a foreigner.”

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Troubled Flanders Ballet Gets A New Director

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“The internationally prominent choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui will be the new artistic director of the Royal Ballet of Flanders, the company announced Wednesday in Antwerp, Belgium. Tamas Moricz , a former dancer with William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt, will be the associate artistic director.”

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Professional Dance Critic Defends Super Bowl’s “Bad Left Shark”

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“The breakout stars of last night’s Super Bowl halftime show were, needless to say, the sharks. Flanking Katy Perry, they mutely waved their fins and flapped their jaws to the words of ‘Teenage Dream.’ … But Left Shark, (who, for what it’s worth, was actually ‘stage right shark’), visibly struggling with the choreography, promptly became the butt of the internet’s jokes.” But we should cut him some slack. (includes video)

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Flex Dance Is Traveling Far And Away From East New York

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“Flex is said to have originated in the 1990s in Jamaica with a dancer who called himself Bruck Up. It developed in Brooklyn, mainly in dance battles and tournaments, both informal and organized. Although the form has found exposure through television competitions and an ocean of online music and dance videos, the attention from the likes of Mr. Sellars is recent.”

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So, How Do We Fix Ballet’s Diversity Problem?

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“Every dancer has her head positioned at the same angle, all in perfect rows, symmetrical, identical. Some productions include uniform wigs for all of their dancers. This aesthetic can still be seen on full display with the Russian companies today, and is one of their signature artistic strengths. Is racism therefore subconsciously built into the very structure of classical ballet?”

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How To Think About Dance And Movement? Start With An Idea

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“I am convinced that choreography is not only the best [art] form to buy a ticket for, it is also an orchestration of encounters, the setting up of encounters between different minds,” she said. “I hope we give audiences the possibility to enter the choreography themselves, but also to intellectually stimulate the publics we encounter, more than just satisfy them and try to do it very gently, not aggressively.”

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Justin Peck Watches Himself Making A Ballet

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Says the choreographer about Ballet 422, Jody Lee Lipes’s new documentary about the creation of Peck’s first dance for his colleagues at New York City Ballet, “I was actually a little bit surprised by how young I look in it. I felt like I was watching this kid stand in front of the room and make a ballet.”

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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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