ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Back In The Dance Bubble

At the beginning of the pandemic and its ballet shutdown, choreographer Alexei Ratmansky had big plans. Then reality hit, and he's spent hours organizing his photos and posting to Instagram. Hurray for the return to a dance bubble. - The New York Times

What It Was Like Being A Freelance Dancer During The First Year Of COVID-19

Maria Kochitkova left the San Francisco Ballet in 2018 to go freelance. Her career was going well; she had bookings out for many months. Then came March 2020. Everything - everything - was canceled. She and her ballet dancer partner "changed our living room into a studio space and bought a special floor and a ballet barre. I am a very disciplined dancer and, as hard as it was, I just kept working. I took Zoom ballet classes. ... I knew that I was not the only one who was struggling." - Pointe Magazine

London School Of Contemporary Dance Overhauls Everything To Become More Diverse

"The drive to create a more diverse dance curriculum and the aim to harness digital capabilities to prepare graduates for a post-Covid world means the way we teach dance needs to radically change, in order to better prepare graduates for the cultural landscape in which contemporary independent dance artists forge their career and which many of them go on to shape," said Clare Connor, the Place’s chief executive. - The Stage

Lessons From The Explosion Of Online Dance During The Pandemic

"With audiences and funders generally letting dancers decide what (and how much) to produce while distancing requirements are in place, the incentive to go virtual appears almost wholly self-imposed. … More than anything else, peer pressure is what led so many companies to produce so much content so early — setting a pace difficult to sustain as the pandemic wore on." - Dance Magazine

16-Year-Old Dance Student Becomes First To Reach 100 Million TikTok Followers

Charli D’Amelio, the 16 year-old dance student and TikTok sensation was awarded $100,000 from TikTok when she reached 100 million followers in November of 2020. She donated her gift to the American Dance Movement with the guidelines to award 10 national dance centers $10,000 each.  - Group Upstate

Silas Farley, 26, Will Be Dean Of Dance At Colburn School In L.A.

Farley raised eyebrows last June when he retired from New York City Ballet at such a young age, but he had already been choreographing and teaching for for more than a decade and wanted to do more of it. Now he will — and his associate dean, running the business side of things will be Darleen Callaghan, who was his very first dance teacher. - Los Angeles Times

How To Increase Equity For Blacks In Dance? ‘Ask Different Questions’

Choreographer Robert Moses: "The notion of change is sophomoric. The idea is to give people honest opportunity to be part of whatever they're intending to be a part of. … Should we have more representation? No, we should have more influence. More actual ability to exercise that influence and power. All those things will be happening for the better of everyone." - San Francisco Classical Voice

Star Soccer Star Touts Ballet Training For Performance

The images shared by the ballet company had soccer fans’ heads turning when they emerged. Such a sports star dabbling in ballet may have seemed unheard of, but it wasn’t a new trend. - Irish Times

Why Joffrey Ballet Is Only Now Making Work To Stream

Staging a full-length performance digitally "would break the bank," says artistic director Ashley Wheater, who doesn't really like streamed dance much. "I'm embracing it because there's nothing else, but it wouldn't be my choice. … if it's the right content, it can be really powerful." - Chicago Magazine

Australia’s Restless Dance Company Faces A Funding Crisis

When the Australia Council announced its latest four-year funding winners in 2020, Restless was a shock omission, as were La Mama Theatre in Melbourne and The Blue Room in Western Australia. It means a $1.2 million shortfall over three years — a nightmare scenario at any time for an arts company, let alone during a pandemic. - ABC News (Australia)

Black Ballerinas In Utah Are Helping Change Ballet Culture

In the wake of George Floyd's killing and the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the country, Ballet West's Black dancers were asked by their artistic director what needed to change. They weren't shy about the list. "When performances resume after the coronavirus shutdown of live events, Ballet West will no longer use makeup to lighten dancers’ skin or make them appear to be an ethnicity other than their own. Dancers will wear tights and toe shoes that match their skin color." - Salt Lake Tribune

ABT Alum Takes Reins At Uruguay’s National Ballet

In 2012, a different ABT alum, Julio Bocca, was named director of the Ballet Nacional del Sodre in Montevideo with the remit to raise the company's level. One of the first things he did was recruit his colleague, ABT soloist Maria Riccetto, to come back to her hometown and join the company; so she did, and she became a major celebrity in Uruguay, nearly as big as soccer stars. She retired from dancing at the end of 2019 at age 39, and as of the beginning of 2021, she is the BNS's artistic director. Here's a Q&A between Riccetto and Marina Harss. - Pointe Magazine

(Un)Daunted: Crystal Pite On Choreographing For The Paris Opera Ballet

"You feel the weight of the famous Palais Garnier opera house itself, and the history and legacy of the legendary dancers who have performed there. And then there's the pressure of expectations, but after about eight minutes in a room full of dancers, I felt okay. They were all so welcoming, and you could sense how hungry they were for something new. There was real passion during the rehearsal process. It's true that you can feel exhausted by the institution itself. The company has 154 dancers. It's huge, but just being there as a guest meant I didn't have to play politics." - Ludwig Van

How The Bay Area’s Hip-Hop Dance Crews Have Kept On Through COVID

"When the first COVID-19 lockdown rippled across the Bay Area last March, the dance community reeled. … But as the pandemic unfolded, the crews adapted: leveraging technology to rehearse remotely, dancing outdoors and performing via YouTube or Instagram as live events disappeared. Over the last year, they've found ways to keep dancing together, strengthening their community and confronting social justice issues in the process." - San Francisco Chronicle

Black Dancers And Dance Companies Worry They Won’t Be Able To Survive Pandemic

Broadway dancer NaTonia Monét says that, even when theaters finally start up again, "you have your few Black shows that come along, but other than that, you're fighting for the one or two token roles in the cast." And (with the sole exception of Ailey) Black dance troupes, from small regional companies right up to Dance Theater of Harlem, have been so underfunded for so long that some may, as it were, never recover from COVID. - The Washington Post

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