“Pretty Big Movement, seven big women who seamlessly blend African dance with hip hop, plan to stage a protest dance for Black Lives Matter this month. They’ll perform in front of a police precinct down the street from where they rehearse at the Harlem YMCA.”
“As part of a pilot program aimed at curbing illicit performances on the rails, the de Blasio administration is urging dancers to take their act above ground, setting aside outdoor space for performances that can allow dancers to earn tips legally.”
“What makes a company? It is, like a good performance, greater than the sum of its parts. It brings together a wealth of experiences and commitments that create a single foundation. Tacitly expressed in the dancing is a guarantee to the audience that whatever goes down, there’s no need for panic because onstage we have your back.”
“The idea of having a third stage that’s a digital platform was really to invite [non-dance] artists to come to the opera and get a sense that they can really create something here: work with the dancers, the music, the architecture, something. … It’ll be totally original content; so far we’ve had many people, from visual artists to directors. I want them to feel they have carte blanche.”
“[They] must contend with their own newly emerging public identities almost as readily as they practice their turnout. Last year, Valeriia Chaykina, a dancer from Russia, was cast in an ongoing series from Teen Vogue. In 2011, Colombian-born Joan Sebastián Zamora starred in the documentary First Position, which followed six young ballet dancers preparing for New York City’s Youth American Grand Prix, one of the world’s largest ballet competitions.”
Forty-two years after its founding, Cloud Gate Dance Theater “has become a roving, bounding symbol of this island. … If you travel on China Airlines, Taiwan’s flagship carrier, you may even fly on the Cloud Gate Liveried Aircraft, adorned with dancers’ likenesses. The airline unveiled it last year, saying the troupe represented the ‘pinnacle of Taiwan culture.'”
Ballet Ouest de Montréal has had to cancel almost half (so far) of its December Nutcracker performances for school groups – which make up a hefty part of its income – because teachers staging a work-to-rule action are refusing to supervise field trips and extracurricular groups.
Kyra Nichols, long one of Balanchine’s muses at New York City Ballet, and former ABT and City Ballet primcipal Charles Askegard (who is also Mr. Candace “Sex in the City” Bushnell), have joined the company as ballet masters.
Born in Nairobi in 1992 to an English father and a Kenyan mother (she won’t talk about her parents), Hayward came to Britain aged two and was brought up by her paternal grandparents, John and Diana, in Sussex. ‘They didn’t expect to have a child sprung on them and they couldn’t remember what to do, so they sat me down in front of a video of The Nutcracker,’ she says. ‘That was it.’
“As part of the relationship, which begins this month, Bard will have rights to rehearse and perform selections from Ms. Brown’s repertory. … Artists from the troupe will embed in the faculty, teaching classes and shaping the school’s course offerings to reflect … not so much Ms. Brown’s technique as her way of thinking.”
Evgenia Obraztsova: “Many people think that Giselle just dies and her ghost is a shell. I personally think it is a soul.” Anastasia Stashkevich: “I opened my eyes when the curtain closed and I just didn’t understand. I died with my heroine and couldn’t imagine how I could compose myself and perform the second act.” (video)
“In these showings, which I’m in the middle of now, I acquire new sets of eyes. I know what I think of the works, but having an audience gives me other points of view, some of which are radically different from my own. I have been doing this long enough to know that everyone comes with specific agendas and will probably leave with those same biases intact, and that not everyone loves me, though I wish they would.”
“Ten years ago Dana Fouras gave up a feted career dancing with her husband, the choreographer Russell Maliphant, to look after their young family. Now she’s back, and here they talk about being a couple both on stage and over the kitchen table.”
“It pumped water out at full strength for nearly 30 hours before it was detected. Hallways, offices, and important studio space were all under water. … The flood also attacked something far more difficult to fix – the ballet company’s history.”
“Whereas break-dancing is about getting down on the floor, litefeet is all jumps and fast floaty footwork performed to dance music and chants. Joyful to some commuters, irritating to others, it now gets performers arrested. But the creators have moved on.”
Producer Gabriella Tana: “What started out as a documentary and seeing where it went, has evolved, and changed and grown. It’s become much more about making something together (with Polunin) and more of a collaboration. And when David LaChapelle (who contributed several clips) got involved it became more exciting, and it wasn’t just about documenting a life, but about creating something.” (includes video clip)
At age 3, Philip Martin-Nielson couldn’t communicate in any way, make eye contact or concentrate on a task; doctors said he’d never be able to live on his own. Now, at age 21, he’s a full-time member of the Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo troupe – and a genuinely cheerful, chatty person.
“Obviously,” she said, “the dancers are at the heart of the whole matter.” But she also knows that they’re only human — and that 10 weeks on the road has its risks. “Every single one of these people has taken a pledge on a stack of Bibles: I am not going down, I am not going down, I will not go down,” Ms. Tharp said.
Watching dance online is now probably the primary way of watching dance. But if you’re interested in a historical record, New York Times critics suggest you look to DVDs…
“The last tour was a difficult one financially. Though the debt was reduced substantially due to the generosity of many of our creditors, the cuts that followed and the decision not to guarantee more than the current year of subsidy has made it impossible to continue.”
“The Queensland Ballet is probably experiencing one of the most noticeable periods of change in any arts company in the country. It is an ideal case study of how an organisation can embrace inevitable change and take calculated risks.”
“John McFall, who has led Atlanta Ballet into what many consider a “golden era” during his 20 years as the troupe’s artistic director, announced yesterday that he will retire at the end of the upcoming season.”
“Julie Kent, the star ballerina who retired as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theater in June, is taking on several new roles with the company, including as the artistic director of its summer intensive programs for young dancers.”
“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.
“The woman, called Dai Dali, first learned to pole dance at a gym four years ago and is now able to pull of moves that most people half her age couldn’t accomplish.”
“Festival founder and director Pedro Pablo Peña emphasizes the daunting nature of his enterprise. ‘Fulfilling my dream of bringing ballet from all over the world to Miami has been a task worthy of Don Quixote,’ he says in Spanish. ‘It’s taken quite a bit of inspired madness.'”
“Working for the ballet had been a good career move for Picasso, augmenting his income and introducing him to an audience of rich, cultured patrons. It had also pleased Olga who, while retiring from the stage, remained deeply attached to her old profession.”
“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.”