The company’s board recently announced that they’ve asked longtime artistic directors Ron Cunningham and Carinne Binda to step down after next season. The pair don’t want to go, and the dancers are fighting for them. Last week, the dancers unanimously petitioned to join AGMA.
“Dance tends to be marginalized in our culture. For many people, it’s not as much a part of everyday life as movies, TV, music or books. I have friends who are incredibly knowledgeable about art and literature, but when I mention major dance figures like Isadora Duncan or Merce Cunningham, they don’t know who they are. For dance writing to be more viable, dance needs to be more centralized somehow, so it’s not seen as esoteric and inaccessible, or, on the flip side, as purely fun and entertaining — though it can be all of those things.”
“Her treatise on ‘pure movement’ in the 1970s wiped the slate clean and reset modern dance in a search for movement itself. … She caused a revolution by simply, sweetly, turning to [performance] spaces that other dance-makers don’t … But she also caused a revolution in the space that is the human body.” Wendy Perron, who danced in Brown’s company in the 1970s, gives an extensive overview of Brown’s career.
Mikhail Baryshnikov, Laurie Anderson, Stephen Petronio, Elizabeth Streb, And Terry Winter share memories of working with Brown.
“A new series is giving us hope that it is possible to make ballet content that is both entertaining and true to what the dance world is actually like.” Lauren Wingenroth introduces us to Off Kilter. (includes video clips)
“Few dance inventors have so combined the cerebral and sensuous sides of dance as Ms. Brown did, and few have been as influential. Her choreography, showcased primarily in New York, helped shape generations of modern dance creators into the 21st century.”
Diana Vishneva: “Maybe now children are happier. There is not so much shouting and demands. … When I was at school, I was taught not to spare myself, to give everything I had.”
Gloria Govrin was 5’10”, and Balanchine tried to discourage her at first – before realizing he could build solos around her.
Ashley Bouder is spearheading a project to create programs choreographed by women to music by woman composers. She explains to Chloe Angyal (who made her cry) why this is so important.
Whipped Cream, a Richard Strauss ballet from 1924, really is a sugar-fueled fantasy: the story is about a boy who runs amok in a pasrty shop and starts hallucinating about an enormous dancing mass of whipped cream (and more) after a few sweets too many. (He’s saved by Princess Praline and Prince Coffee.) Alexei Ratmansky is reviving Whipped Cream for ABT, and pop-surrealist painter Mark Ryden is creating the sets and costumes. Angelica Frey has a look at what Ryden is cooking up.
A Q&A with Jean-Pierre Frohlich, one of two ballet masters from New York City Ballet who traveled to Moscow to teach the Bolshoi dancers Robbins’s The Cage.
Ahmad Joudeh grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, where his father beat him and ultimately threw him out of the house for continuing to dance ballet. He supported his mother by giving dance lessons, but fled when the Syrian army tried to draft him into the civil war. Renate van der Zee recounts how Joudeh made the semifinals of Beirut’s version of So You Think You Can Dance and ended up with the Dutch National Ballet.
Says Dance/USA executive director Amy Fitterer, “I’m feeling every encouraged in the past two years because the conversation has gone from trying to convince people that there is a problem, (to) now we’re finding the directors are really on board.” (includes video)
The audiences have to be the “archive” of the dance project. “Audience-watching, art-watching and dance-watching form equal parts of the intimate experience. The dancers morph into living, breathing sculpture — at once molding, and being molded, by an environment devoted to the collection and display of objects.”
Possibly. It’s called the “Protein Jive Sutra” and, as you may be able to tell from the name, was created and filmed in 1971, at Stanford. Watch the entire 13-minute film for a lot – a *lot* – more info about the way RNA works (or for the bright leotards and balloons of the 200 volunteers).
“We equipped the socks with pressure sensors and vibration motors to monitor and guide the feet movement of the pair dancers. These are controlled by a master application running on an Android phone. The steps are indicated by vibration signals at specific positions of the foot, at the heel for a forward step, etc. When a user makes a mistake or gets out of sync, negative feedback is provided. It is possible to dance in the socks for several minutes without making a mistake.”
“Despite an order threatening ‘disciplinary action’ for any ballet employees who speak to the media, four company dancers blasted the board via email over their opting not to renew the contracts of co-directors Ron Cunningham and Carinne Binda beyond the 2017-18 season … The dancers also accused the board of mismanaging the company, questioning its ability to decide what’s best for the ballet.”
“Cousins remembers one of his teachers saying: ‘If you can incorporate some emotion into what you do, there’ll be no stopping you.’ But at that point he wasn’t sure how.” As he tells Judith Mackrell, he had a revelation while being mentored by Matthew Bourne: “I was making a solo and Matt suggested that I played with the focus of the dancer’s eyes …”
Principal dancer Shannon Glover takes a photographer backstage at Johannesburg Ballet.
“She’s one of nine women around the globe, from Toronto to Paris and Memphis to Miami, who head dance companies with annual budgets of $2.5 million or more.”
“Though the Pennsylvania Ballet has long been considered a Balanchine company, it will perform fewer of his works than usual. [Artistic director Ángel] Corella has maintained that he is not a choreographer, but he is creating three new [story] ballets.”
“Dance to Health is capable of generating better outcomes and being associated with lower overall costs of managing falls compared to the primary prevention programme or no intervention,” the report finds. It describes the classes as faithful to their healthcare objectives and an “enjoyable challenge” for the dancers.
Bobbi Jene Smith of Batsheva spends the entire length of Naharin’s Last Work trotting away on a treadmill upstage. Here she tells Jen Peters how she manages to do it.
A dancer from the Cairo Opera Ballet travels 150 miles south every weekend to teach students (some boys as well as girls) who come from up to an hour away to the Alwanat Centre in Minya.
“We can all do all the parts. We don’t do lifts. The traditional duet always has the woman reliant on the man, him leading and her going along with it. Even with Merce, partnering was traditionally gendered. Sexual but “pure”. I’m sick of it. I’m trying to be human, to make something that is ourselves. It’s about stripping away mannerisms and affect. So you just see the person, moving.”
Brooke Lockett was 15 when the Australian Ballet in Melbourne called her up. “It was really intense. And some of my teachers back home were skeptical. Thing is, you only get one shot at being a great ballet dancer and it needs a young body. … That window is incredibly small.”
The 26-year-old company’s dancers voted to join the American Guild of Musical Artists. Negotiations for a contract begin in two weeks.
“One expects change when a new artistic director takes over, as Kent did half a year ago. But in Thursday’s opening-night performance at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater, marking the start of the company’s spring season, it was clear that Kent’s touch is a subtle and sensitive one, apparent in such artistic intangibles as musicality, an apt quality of airiness and an overall attention to detail.”
“Ballet Sun Valley, a three-day event with performances Aug. 22 and 24 at the Sun Valley Pavilion, … will feature dancers from major companies, including Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, the Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and the Mariinsky Ballet.”