“We’re right to view Copeland’s rise with awe, gratitude, and hope, but it’s also interesting to note that two of the the ceilings she’s breaking (by being a ballerina with breasts and muscles) have only recently been installed. It reminds me how quickly a newly introduced expectation can feel timeless; how strongly it can ossify into something that seems inevitable; how easily we accept that what we see in front of us is universal.”
“I watched, fascinated, as it got picked up and spread by Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Perez Hilton: 50 million views, 200 million, 300 million views on each site. Then it started getting posted by less famous sources, and I noticed my name was no longer on it, but advertisements were. I was soon contacted by a licensing company.”
“What had been a well-schooled but bland troupe in its last years under aging founder Mary Day woke up when Webre took over. … The Washington Ballet’s audience grew so much that the company regularly filled the Eisenhower Theater. Webre was developing a vigorous, outgoing style that drew attention from arts enthusiasts of all kinds.” Yet perhaps his greatest legacy, says Sarah Kaufman, got started in a wet basement.
The company and the choreographer have “an agreement to add one work each year, as well as performing the four ballets already in the company repertory. The first acquisition is Mr. Forsythe’s full-length Artifact, which will be performed [next winter].”
“Dancer and choreographer Savion Glover and Judith Jamison, Artistic Director Emerita of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, talk about upcoming performances and about race, dance and the connection to African American communities.” (audio)
The dancer-choreographer-MacArthur ‘Genius’ talks with Leonard Lopate about renovating the genre and the world premiere of her piece ETM: Double Down. (audio)
While his contract to lead the company was not renewed, Sergei Filin was appointed to direct the Bolshoi’s new workshop for young choreographers. Yet, he says, he doesn’t feel safe there.
Rachel Zar offers a five-point plan.
“The troupe at Span may have started out as a group of fun loving impromptu dancers in the boroughs of Lagos but they have grown to become award-winning internationally recognized artists.”
And she’s ready for that to stop: “In the ballet world, in too many cases, the status of dancers is similar to that of actors in medieval theatre – subservient.”
“Pop quiz: The New York City Ballet principal Robert Fairchild is dancing to the sounds of Gershwin, in choreography by Christopher Wheeldon. The title of the work contains the word ‘American.’ Where are we?”
“These are pieces that have entered the collective unconscious. The act of combining something that you’ve already experienced with something you haven’t yet seen is something I like to use as one of the tensions available to a work. There’s a sort of distortion between the stage and the audience that is dependent on the memories of each individual.” (One thing Lock did not do is leave the music as is.)
Madame Tussaud’s in Tokyo has opened a new attraction. “Visitors can waltz and disco with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Marilyn Monroe, or pirouette in a “Swan Lake” ballet with Olympics figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu.”
“The new generation just doesn’t support large dance clubs. They spend money on special events I do, like my RuPaul’s Drag Race, Pride and Halloween events. But the days of the weekly dance party are over, at least for now.”
“Within hours of the [Inquirer] article being published, it spread like wildfire among dancers on social media. Many were outraged. Others expressed sympathy for the company members who were let go. But I’ve also seen comments from Philadelphians who are very happy with Angel’s vision and welcome the changes. It’s a big change, and one I’d say many expected.” Which makes it no easier for the now-out-of-work dancers.
The conflict over Johan Kobborg’s job as artistic director of the Bucharest National Opera’s ballet company has spun out of control. Craig Turp traces the seeds of the trouble to a right-wing nationalist website, and he gives a solid recap and analysis in English of how the mess has unfolded so far.
Patrick Harrison is currently executive director of the Cambridge Arts Theatre. Prior to which he was director of commercial operations at the National Theatre.
“Vlad Alexandrescu announced that he would be stepping down in a posting on his Facebook page Wednesday, after he failed to solve a conflict at the Bucharest National Opera that has seen three shows canceled so far.”
Founder Lin Hwai-min talks about the birth, the growth, and the aesthetic of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
“In a letter dated April 25 that was sent to the Bucharest National Opera’s security department, Cojocaru, Kobborg” – who is supposed to have been reinstated as artistic director of the house’s ballet company – “and seven others can only enter if they are permanently supervised by security.”
“Of 43 dancers, 12 were let go and five are leaving on their own. Others, dancers say, are thinking of leaving. … Dancers say six others were paid to leave last year” – the first under artistic director Ángel Corella.
“Grouping young ballet dancers by their developmental rather than chronological age could help lower their risk of injury, a study has suggested. The technique, known as bio-banding, is growing in prominence for other sports, including football and rugby.”
“Part of Ms. Hay’s mandate as a choreographer is to change learned behavior in dancers — to challenge them to relinquish their habits by posing questions that shift the tone and texture of a performance.”
“‘Her name was Carmen,’ choreographed by Russian Andrei Kuznetsov-Vecheslov, is set in a camp ‘on the fringes of Europe.’ It will be premiered by Kolesnikova and the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre at the London Coliseum in August before taking on a world tour. Part of the proceeds from London ticket sales will go to help Oxfam’s work.”
“The company caught the public imagination from the outset, selling out its first two performances in a 3,000 seat venue. ‘There was a hunger for dance and we connected with people by doing our own thing. This wasn’t Swan Lake. Whether we drew on folk tales or history or calligraphy, it was all recognisably part of our audience’s lives.'”
Today, the great success of “Billboards” remains a cautionary tale. A ballet company needs to approach a radical new direction with care, and a view to the future. But what also remains is the generosity and inspiration of a singular musical artist, who saw new possibilities for classical ballet. Prince knew that ballet could tell a lot of stories, and he helped spin them in new directions.
“I just don’t believe in neutral. I want to use this form to show that people are still carrying these subconscious judgments and ideas about how we should behave in relation to each other, how we should look and move, and what’s possible and what’s allowed.”
“Over the next three years, the Leverhulme Choreography Fellowship will support three professional dancers in making the transition from dancing to full-time choreography. The fellows will each spend a year with Rambert as part of the programme, which will run alongside the company’s existing music fellowship and choreographic development programme.”
Following a firestorm at the Bucharest National Opera that culminated in the near-collapse of the ballet season and the intervention of the prime minister, the culture minister has reinstated Kobborg as the ballet’s artistic director and brought back, for a three-month interim period, the general manager whose departure (due to corruption charges) precipitated the entire mess.
(in Romanian; Google Translate version here)
“Thanks to social media, short videos of these dances – sometimes incidentally – spread quickly and inspire a rash of copycats. At once silly and profound, these dance phenomena demonstrate the speed at which something can unexpectedly go from being an inside joke among friends (often teen-agers in cities) to a universal dog whistle for joy.” (video)