ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Wheelchair Aerial Dance — With Barbed Wire (Oh, Yes, There’s Such A Thing)

Alice Sheppard of the disability dance company Kinetic Light: "It kind of made sense. If you're making a work about barbed wire, of course it would be aerial." (Er, of course.) She and her colleagues had never studied aerial dance, so they figured it all out from scratch. - Chicago Tribune

Scottish Ballet Develops A New Therapy Program For MS Patients

"The Orkney Islands has the highest prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the world – with one in 170 Orcadian women living with MS – and on Monday Scottish Ballet Health, along with its partners, launched a dance project to help people with the condition." - Yahoo! (Press Association UK)

How Sasha Waltz Choreographed A Semi-Improvised Analog To Terry Riley’s Semi-Improvised “In C”

Riley's landmark Minimalist score consists of 53 short phrases for an unspecified number of musicians, each of whom decides how long to repeat a phrase and when to proceed from one to another. So Waltz created 53 "movement figures" for dancers to use the same way. - The New York Times

“Decolonizing Flamenco”: Black Artists Illuminate The African Roots Of The Quintessentially Spanish Dance Form

"All have trained in Spain with esteemed maestras. Launching their unique international careers, they utilize flamenco as the basis for traditional and experimental work. Like the impasse facing Black ballerinas, they are on a path posted with 'no trespassing' signs. Yet, they persist." - Dance Magazine

The UK Dance Company Working To Create Opportunities For Dancers Of Color

Bourne’s 2017 research found that across four major British ballet companies — the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Northern Ballet, the Royal Ballet and the English National Ballet Company — 2.2 percent of employed dancers were Black. - The New York Times

Who Gets Credit For Choreography?

The accepted definition of “choreographer” is the person who composes the physical steps—not necessarily completely on their own, but the majority of the movement creation stems from that individual. So when the process is more of an exchange, other terms could help. - Dance Magazine

Egyptian Woman Gets Three Years In Prison For Tiktok Dance Videos

"Haneen Hossam, a social media influencer, was arrested in 2020. ... Prosecutors had accused her of promoting human trafficking by allegedly exploiting minor girls to gain material benefits with dance videos. It wasn't clear how the videos were related to human trafficking." - AP

Allegations Of Toxic Culture Behind Giant LA Dance Competition

Behind the bright lights and pulsing music, some dancers say they were sexually assaulted, harassed and manipulated by the company’s powerful founder and famous teachers and choreographers, according to a joint investigation by The Associated Press and the Toronto Star. - Seattle Times (AP)

Australian Ballet Goes All In

“To be the nation’s ballet company, to be one of the leading arts organisations in the country, we have to not only do a complete arc of work that encapsulates dance in general – and not just classical ballet – but we also have a responsibility to set the bar." - The Age (Melbourne)

A Nonbinary, Male-Born Dancer Could Be Headed Toward A Career Performing On Pointe (And Not Just With The Trocks)

Ashton Edwards, a 19-year-old apprentice at Pacific Northwest Ballet, has been dancing on pointe in class as a matter of course, performs both male and female roles, and will be in the corps of swans in the company's upcoming run of Swan Lake. - The New York Times

Ballet Companies All Do “Swan Lake”. What Makes One Version Different From Another?

"The story is old, the steps are old, and that's all part of Swan Lake's endurance – it's a classical ballet. So how does a ballet company make their Swan Lake different from the Swan Lake next door?" Here's how four prominent choreographers have differentiated their versions. - New York Observer

Ballerinas Are Athletes

And so experts are helping them, along with athletes from other arenas entirely, learn to avoid injury. Aside from the art, the biggest difference: "There's no other athlete who spends as many hours training." - ABC (Australia)

The International Dance Community Has Mobilized To Help Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has hit the tightknit ballet world hard, and dancers have responded with an unprecedented storm of activism. - Washington Post

“We’re Going Back To The Cold War”: Russian Ballet Is Getting Cut Off From The World

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine has upended ballet, as prominent artists shun Russia's storied dance companies; theaters in the West cancel performances by the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky; and dance in Russia, which had opened up to the world ..., seems to be turning inward again." - The New York Times

How Intimacy Directors Work In Ballet

"Intimacy work for screen and theater doesn't entirely translate to dance. In those fields, intimacy directors choreograph sexually charged scenes by setting the performers' moves in advance, but for existing dance works, the choreography mostly can't be altered, which limits their potential input." - The New York Times

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