“But today the ones in this room are tired. This is no surprise as last week was a hard one finishing the entire show, which is nearly 90 minutes of dancing. I always push the first week of a rehearsal period so that we can all see what we actually have.”
Giving up some artistic control to an audience untrained in choreography does pose unique problems, but “some of the challenges are the same that we face as dancers working with professional choreographers.”
Dance is finding an audience among visual artists, who are completely comfortable with abstraction and don’t need to annoy choreographers with the dreaded, “What was that about? question.
“If there is such a thing as the wrong side of the tracks, that’s where Misty Copeland grew up. She, her divorced mother and five siblings moved around like nomads. Down on their luck, they ended up here at this motel on a busy street in Gardena, California — the whole family piled into two rooms. She hadn’t been back in almost two decades until she returned with us.” (script plus video extras)
“Veteran film and music video director Sanaa Hamri (Something New, Just Wright) has been tapped to direct MGM’s Taking Flight, an adaptation of the book Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina by Michaela DePrince and her mother, Elaine DePrince.”
“‘Programs fight to get boys to come to their programs and offer them incredible financial packages, just to come to their summer workshops,’ Madonia says. ‘They might get full tuition. In many places, they get housing. Sometimes they even provide transportation, a stipend, a living expense.'”
“You’ve heard of farm-to-table, surely. Vermont is now one step ahead, with Farm to Ballet, a series of performances across the state this month. It’s the brainchild of Natch Pregger, a professional dancer who has performed with the Boston, Washington, D.C. and Houston ballets. As a native Vermonter, he wanted to create a performance piece around the state’s bucolic rhythms.”
“[The company] on Thursday announced the resignation of its executive director, Courtney Mauro Barker, and the departure of its artistic director, Gabriel Zertuche. … A spokeswoman for the ballet said the organization would have no further comment beyond its announcement, which gives no reasons for the departures.”
“To understand what it takes to become a professional ballerina, I wanted to find out how much the required ballet training really costs. There are many factors that go into the cost of training, and when I totaled the core expenses, I found that a pre-professional ballet education for girls can easily amount to a total of more than a hundred thousand dollars.”
“Ballet is, in many ways, a superhuman art form, but it’s important to remember that dancers are still human. … With Instagram, dancers have found a way to break through the tulle and tiaras by presenting backstage life on their terms.”
Richmond Ballet member Kirk Henning gave his company colleague and bride, Valerie Tellmann-Henning, a big, wonderful surprise – a surprise that’s been viewed more than 165,000 times. (includes video)
“This day has been in the planning for two years and we want it to run with no surprises, please. Like an athlete in training, you want to be ready, but not overtrain, leaving your race at the gate. The cosmetics are about showing control – at least to myself.”
“Today there are only two full-time dance critics in the country … For a medium that can be difficult to understand, generalist coverage remains vital to the accessibility of the dance scene. As Deborah Jowitt, the former Village Voice critic, put it: ‘If art is valuable as a reflection – of a time, of a place, of a creation – then dance is just as important as literature or film, even though the audience for it is smaller.”
“Next to the vivacity of hip-hop or jazz, ballet may seem an odd choice to back as dance that could represent the country well.”
“Just as gardening is not just a means to fresh air and purposeful exercise (but also produces the delights of a garden), so ballet for old people is no merely useful in strengthening muscles or regaining suppleness. It adds a new character to its practitioners’ hundred other accomplishments. Forget the tutus and pumps; ballet begins inside.”
Neither the company nor Pennefather gave any reason for the departure. He had danced with the company for 16 years and was named a principal in 2008.
“The footballers were enjoying a match on the village green at Rattlesden, near Stowmarket, using a ball with a bell in it so they could keep up with play. … A player kicked the ball off the pitch towards the Brewers Arms, and then mistook the morris dancers’ uniform bells for the one in the ball. He promptly kicked one of the dancers in the shin” – and so it began. – Hugh Dunnett?
“The spirit of danças da rua (street dances) – whose fusion of hip-hop, samba and the Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira are most at home in gritty neighbourhoods – led to the formation of Balé de Rua, which now dazzles audiences in 13 countries.”
“Argentina’s political and financial troubles over the last four decades have inevitably left their mark on cultural institutions. The ballet season has shrunk from about 15 ballets per season in the 1960s to just five now. At times directors have come and gone at a disquieting pace.”
It’s an interesting reflection on something – either an overwhelming trend in Toronto’s contemporary dance scene or dance-curator Amelia Ehrhardt’s taste – that the choreography (so far) has been so sparse on actual “dance.” I use the term a bit loosely; I don’t mean to imply that text and pedestrian movement can’t fall under dance’s domain. But it’s surprising to see that so many young choreographers are more interested in breaking down barriers between forms than they are in finding innovations that exploit the singularity of their own.
Just as she was turning 30, Stella Abrera damaged her back and sciatic nerve; recovery took 18 months and a relearning of her technique. Six years later, she’s been made a principal dancer. “It’s got to be unprecedented by someone at my age, at this point in the game to be promoted.”
“If you think it’s strange that an Emmy-winning veteran of Breaking Bad has moved on to a show about ballet, then clearly you haven’t seen what can happen to feet crammed inside toe shoes all day.” (video)
“The phrase heebie-jeebies was, as far as we can tell, coined in 1923 by cartoonist Billy DeBeck in his popular comic strip Barney Google. Before long, the phrase was popping up all over … [it] implied eccentric movement and vague associations with mental disturbance, which made it the perfect name for a dance that aimed to satisfy the mid-1920s fascination with cutting loose and stepping out of convention for a couple of happy minutes.”
Who but Matthew Neenan, co-founder of Philadelphia’s BalletX and resident choreographer of the Pennsylvania Ballet, could pull off a classical dance work about a key event in the history of airmail?
At the hip-hop dancing world championships, U.S. crews weren’t completely shut out, but their moves have been, as the tournament’s spokesman put it, “exported and perfected elsewhere.”
“Jonathan Ollivier, 38, was killed as he rode his motorbike through Clerkenwell in central London on Sunday, Scotland Yard said.”
“I was just theorizing that the only way performing will ever make sense is if I dance until I die. If I get a little done every year, at some point I’m going to be four generations older than the children dancing. Then, I think there will be a connection.”
South Africa’s “largest ballet company said investigations have been carried out and have kicked up concerns about poor corporate governance, financial management and general oversight of the company.”
“$3.1 million in box office sales, the highest ticket revenue for the company in at least two decades (as far back as the company’s records go). … Total season attendance approached 72,000.”
It was a decade that saw the loss of major dance figures. But it was also a decade in which dance renewed and reinvented itself…