The Senior Ballet Pros Going Back To The Barre

Betsy Gregory in rehearsal for Elixir festival

“They all admit to varying degrees of trepidation. There’s no disguising that, collectively, they are a wrinklier, baggier version of their past selves, and there’s much searching for reading glasses whenever they need to consult their rehearsal notes.”

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World Ballet Day: Behind The Scenes With Five Major Companies In One Day

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“Starting at the beginning of the dancers’ day, each of the five ballet companies – Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet – will take the lead for a four-hour period streaming live from their headquarters starting with the Australian Ballet in Melbourne. The live link then passes across time zones and cultures from Melbourne to Moscow to London to Toronto to San Francisco.”

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How To Become America’s Favorite Dancer

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“Produced by TV geniuses who are also perhaps sadists, the rigorous celebration of dance might be the most demanding talent competition out there, requiring its contestants to leap, pirouette, cha-cha-cha, and toss their dance partners in the air with unrelenting frequency over the course of its summer run each year.”

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Frederick Wiseman Is Moving From Ballet Documentaries To Creating An Actual Ballet

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As part of his residency at NYU’s new Center for Ballet and the Arts, Wiseman and choreographer James Sewell are collaborating on a stage work based on – no, not his dance documentaries, but his 1967 fim Titicut Follies, about the Bridgewater State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Massachusetts.

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Jennifer Homans To Lead New NYU Center On Study Of Dance

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“Her new organization, the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, where she is a scholar in residence, will open this month with the help of a $2 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Ms. Homans said that its goals include establishing ballet as a serious subject of academic inquiry; drawing new voices into a discussion of its past, present and future; and expanding the conversation beyond the confines of the dance world.”

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Dancing With The (Public Radio) Stars

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Ira Glass has included dancers in the occasional live performances of This American Life. Now the dancers have returned the favor, building a new stage work with him – and the collaboration has had surprising benefits for everyone involved.

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Daniel Ezralow Launches New Dance Company

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“With this new company of 9 dancers, I want to build a creative home for the huge amount of repertory I’ve developed around the world. Being an eclectic artist means that I’ve been lucky enough to jump from film to TV to stage, but there’s been no way until now to collect everything into a single body of work.” Ezralow Dance debuts this month at the Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

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An Aboriginal Dance Company Explores Australia’s Cultural History

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Bangarra Dance Theatre is Australia’s most famous indigenous performing arts group, popular at home and overseas. Supporters argue that it gives today’s indigenous Australians an important way to retell and process their own history – not to mention providing all-too-scarce employment for aboriginal performers. “[But] some critics have described Bangarra’s liberal use of traditional indigenous dance spiced up with modern moves as a Disneyfication of aboriginal culture.”

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Joffrey Ballet Creates Employee Training Videos For Marriott Hotels

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“Starting Saturday, employees throughout the luxury hotel chain’s properties will get tips from Joffrey dancers as well as its artistic director on the importance of warming up, proper breathing, flow of movement and connecting with the audience, delivered through a series of four short videos. The aim is to improve guests’ experience.”

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You Dare To Arrive Late? We’re Dancing Here!

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“The curtain rose five minutes ago, the corps de ballet is building the atmosphere, the ballerina is about to enter, the audience is collecting itself in mounting excitement when — — “Excuse me, I’m so sorry.” Upheaval follows. Sometimes eight people have to rise or adjust themselves as the patrons claiming the ninth and 10th seats make their way past.”

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Bloodbath At Pennsylvania Ballet

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“With a single swing of the ax, the new leadership of Pennsylvania Ballet has cleared out the longtime artistic pillars of the company” – the ballet master and mistress, both of whom were there for nearly 40 years; the director of the company’s school; and the assistant to the artistic director. Angel Corella was named the new artistic director last month.

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ABT’s Not Just Wringing Its Hands About Lack Of Diversity In Ballet, It’s Going Out To Develop More Dancers

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“Classical ballet in the United States has an image problem, as dancers at the top companies are almost entirely white. … In an attempt to make ballet more diverse, the American Ballet Theatre has launched a new programme to search for talents from the excluded communities. Al Jazeera’s Daniel Lak reports from New York.” (video)

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Dancers Are Taking Over Beijing

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There are “thousands of so-called square dancing troupes of Chinese seniors that have sprung up in the last few years, descending on public plazas, parks and other urban open spaces across the country daily for nostalgia-infused light cardio workouts. The phenomenon has grown so widespread that it’s causing social friction, with multiple groups battling for pavement space and sonic supremacy in many parks, much to the annoyance of often younger nearby residents.”

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Girls From Brazil’s Favelas Find Escape In Ballet

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“Growing up amid drug dealers and addicts, … girls from a rough neighborhood known as a ‘cracolandia,’ or crackland, are learning the graceful art courtesy of a local church group that also offers them food, counseling and Bible studies.”

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St. Paul Ballet Makes A Go Of It As A Dancer-Run Company

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“A little more than a year ago, the company and school faced debt and considered cutting back on performances and even closing its doors. It reorganized as an artist-led organization, with dancers taking on administrative roles. Heading into the 2014-15 season, it looks like the dancers’ dedication has paid off.”

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One Thousand Choreographed Robots (Or, Flo Ziegfeld Meets The Roombas)

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“There’s something unsettling about watching 1,000 robots execute a perfectly choreographed routine. … And yet, these machines – tiny $20 robots that take five minutes each to assemble, for a total of 83 hours – are actually completely banal. In fact, according to the researchers, their capabilities are pretty abysmal.” (video)

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At The World Hip Hop Dance Championships

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“Hip-hop dance is not going global – it’s been global for years … The global reach was evident not only in the winners of the major world dance crew competitions” – groups fro Japan, Canada and the Philippines – “but also by the fact that a dominant team, New Zealand’s the Royal Family, was so popular that it had a special performance Saturday night.” (includes video)

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Some Of The Country’s Best Dance Takes Place On The Subway

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“This choreography of grit and grace perseveres, despite an increase of arrests by the New York Police Department, as a delicate wonder, glued together by exacting precision and indelible stamina. Plus, there’s the joy of watching a dance where dancing is not allowed: It’s a subversive performance. It’s also a surprise.”

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