ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Paris Opera Ballet Says It Will Get Rid Of Racial Stereotypes, And Conservatives Flip Out

Talking to Le Monde about diversity, racial equity, and blackface/yellowface in the ballet company, the world's oldest, new Paris Opera chief Alexander Neef said, "Some works will no doubt disappear from the repertoire." Critics on the political and cultural right in France immediately attacked the arrival of North American-style "cancel culture": Marine Le Pen tweeted about "anti-racism gone mad," and Le Monde's editor in chief groused that France is "slowly going down the American road, consisting of the runaway self-censorship of artists and programmers in order to avoid trouble." - Yahoo! (AFP)

Loose Lips Sink Ships: Nina Ananiashvili Loses New Job One Week After She Announced It

Last week the former prima ballerina of the Bolshoi, ABT, and the Houston Ballet told the Georgian-language service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that she had accepted the directorship of the ballet company at the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theater in Russia's third-largest city. However, she wasn't even scheduled to meet the dancers until late January, and telling the press about the job before telling her new colleagues did not go down well. Her contract has been terminated. - Georgia Today

Meet Someone Who Has Worked At ABT For 50 Years

" Jones was first hired by ABT co-founder Lucia Chase when the company needed a short woman for the corps. She spent eight years as a dancer, … and began transitioning to the artistic staff in 1976 while assisting Twyla Tharp in Push Comes to Shove. … Maybe more than anything, Jones has been a trusted right hand for three artistic directors, guiding and coaching multiple generations of corps dancers at the company. As she celebrates her 50-year milestone, Dance Magazine decided to pick her brain about what she's seen as the key elements of success." - Dance Magazine

Kansas City Ballet Took A Long Time, But Finally Canceled The Rest Of The 2020-2021 Season

The ballet joins Kansas City's other major performing arts organizations, which will certainly have an economic impact on KC's central performing arts center. - Kansas City Star

Thieves Made Off With Most Of San Jose Dance Theater’s Handmade Costumes

The carefully designed and handmade costumes are priceless for the ballet company, but not useful for almost anyone else, says costume director Renee Forbes. "They can only be used in something like ballets and dance performances. It is not something everyday people need or use. ... These costumes are like my children." - KTVU (San Jose)

What Dallas Black Dance Theatre Learned About Virtual Performance And Charging For It

Dallas Black Dance Theatre envisions and is now developing a full complement of virtual activities. These include conservatory-level dance training at the same professional level as in-studio classes, student matinee/field trips, lecture/demonstrations, in-school dance residency programs, community outreach, and touring programs made available to presenters, as well as a home-school education program for those looking to incorporate dance into their curriculum. - Wallace Foundation

Nina Ananiashvili Sent To Siberia (For Her New Job)

Once one of the biggest stars at both the Bolshoi and ABT, she returned to her native Georgia in 2004 (at President Saakashvili's personal invitation) to take charge of the national ballet company. On the condition that she can remain in that job as well, Ananiashvili has now accepted the dance directorship at the opera and ballet theater in Novosibirsk, Russia's third-largest city. -

The Dance Of Everyday Life

“The way we move has changed in the past year, indoor spaces seeming claustrophobic and our outdoor spaces not vast enough, backyards and gardens reinvented into havens. We’ve become resourceful and grateful for the places we occupy and with whom.” - The New York Times

The Ballet World In Degas’s Paintings Was A Mean, Sordid Place

"In Paris, its success was almost entirely predicated on lecherous social contracts. Sex work was a part of a ballerina's reality, and the city's grand opera house, the Palais Garnier, was designed with this in mind. A luxuriously appointed room located behind the stage, called the foyer de la danse, was a place where the dancers would warm up before performances. But it also served as a kind of men's club, where abonnés — wealthy male subscribers to the opera — could conduct business, socialize and proposition the ballerinas." - CNN

After 40 Years Leading San Francisco Ballet, Helgi Tomasson To Step Down

Since being named to the position in 1985, Tomasson, 78, has been hailed for his success at combining excellence in the classical ballet repertoire with a spirit of artistic innovation and the development of new work. Tomasson alone has created more than 50 dances for the company, as well as commissioning work from a wide range of contemporary masters and developing artists. - San Francisco Chronicle

Why Doesn’t The Entertainment Biz Give Proper Credit To Its Choreographers?

The Emmys and Tonys give their Best Choreography trophies without the TV cameras running; the Oscars don't even have a category for dancemakers, and the credits for music videos these days often don't bother to mention them. With popular TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance making some choreographers famous, it's time for the rest of the industry to follow suit. - Dance Magazine

He’s The King, The Grandfather And The Godfather Of Roller Disco

At the height of the disco craze in the late 1970s, Empire Rollerdrome, a rink in Brooklyn across the street from where the Brooklyn Dodgers once played baseball, was ground zero for what would become a major fad: dancing to glitzy pop music on eight wheels on a maplewood floor. At the center of it was Bill Butler, about whom New York magazine wrote, "He would do all these things that just looked impossible — spins and dips, and changing direction on a dime. It was like watching a whirling dervish. - The New York Times

25 Dancers, Choreographers And Companies To Watch In 2021

Want to know where dance is going in 2021 as the world (hopefully) comes out of COVID lockdown? Here are 25 bright lights to follow. - Dance Magazine

Dancers Have To Learn New Tricks And Stretch New ‘Muscles’ During The Pandemic

That is, their business muscles. They became bakers, started resource centers, trained non-dancers, and gotten into fashion - among many, many other second, third, fourth, and fifth jobs in 2020. - Dance Magazine

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