ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Young Dancers Thrilled To Be At A Ballet Competition Again (It’s Been That Kind Of Year)

"When asked to describe the energy at this month's Youth America Grand Prix Finals, judge Sascha Radetsky had one word: 'Stratospheric.' More than 800 dancers from around the United States … competed onstage at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa … from May 9 to 16. And after months of cramped kitchen-counter barres and delayed Zoom connections, for many serious ballet students, the opportunity to perform onstage had never felt quite so sweet." - Dance Magazine

Finding The Balance Between Dance Body And Mind

Dancers can spend their whole careers seeking out a rich mind–body connection. Achieving that sense of integration can be incredibly satisfying, leading to better physical and mental health, and a more holistic performance quality. But what happens when that connection goes too far, leading to anxiety or obsession instead of artistic fulfillment? - Dance Magazine

Instagram Is Full Of Perfect Ballet Bodies, But TikTok Offers More Fun And A Wider Range

Dancer Jennifer McCloskey first realized her medium was TikTok in 2020, during the shutdown. "On her feed, McCloskey seamlessly blends comedy, criticism of ballet culture, and how-to videos. Her mission is to whittle away at toxic ballet culture one TikTok at a time — all while having a little fun, of course." - Elite Daily

Meet The Grand Old Man Of Kathakali

Kalamandalam Gopi, who's about to turn 84, has been studying and performing the dance-drama form from the Indian state of Kerala for 70 years, taught generations of performers, and set new standards in the genre's stage makeup, gestures, and use of facial expressions. To celebrate his 80th birthday, he chose to perform one of the most demanding roles in the entire Kathakali repertoire. - The Hindu (India)

Gavin Larsen: The Everyday Ballerina

"I danced some fabulous ballets and fabulous roles. And yet there’s hundreds more like me — thousands maybe. We might be exceptional in one way: You reached the top level of your career, and you have these pinnacle moments onstage. But at the end of the day, we’re all a gang. We’re all a crew, we’re all a posse of ballerinas." - The New York Times

Chloé Lopes Gomes, Fired From And Reinstated At Berlin State Ballet, Talks About The Effects Of Her Case

"I've realized that my case isn't just about calling out racism; it's about confronting all forms of injustice in the dance world. … It's also been really great to receive messages from dancers of color, and to feel like we're calling out stereotypes — that our bodies, feet and work ethics aren't suited for ballet." - Pointe Magazine

A Sci-Fi ‘Rite Of Spring’ Set In The Arctic

Choreographer Andrea Schermoly, who created this wintry take on Stravinsky's modernist classic for Louisville Ballet's online "Season of Illumination": "I'd seen a short film … about a stray albino penguin that ad been ousted by its tribe. I remember thinking it was such a strange parallel to Rite, and I liked the starkness of the terrain. … The music is so eerie, huge and violent, and I felt like the tribal sense could still be captured in that icy environment." - Pointe Magazine

What James Whiteside Has Been Doing With (Or To?) Dance Through The Lockdown

"As theaters went dark during the pandemic, the New York-based Whiteside" — best known as a prinmcipal at ABT — "began putting out a flood of original content on Instagram and YouTube: going behind the scenes of his workouts and rehearsals, offering live dance classes, creating comedic skits, and debuting inventive music videos … bombastic online alter egos, such as a singer named JbDubs, drag artist Ühu Betch, and a turkey-baster-wielding journalist called Shannon Bobannon (who 'fires news like a cannon')." - Fast Company05.14.21

The New Joys Of Experiencing Performance Three Different Ways

If you could see a dance performance inside the theatre (with other masked, socially distanced audience members), outside (same, but less distance), or via your Wi-Fi at home, which would you choose? And how would they stack up? (Hint: The outdoors might be the way to go, at least in the summer.) - The New York Times

A Dancer Who Connects A History Of Dance Through Her Body

"To watch her dance, especially to jazz music, is to watch historical distance collapse. Steps and attitudes separated by eras flow through her improvising body not as some premeditated fusion but as a single language she appears to have always known and yet is creating on the spot. The links are self-evident, unforced, authentic without a hint of the antiquarian. They’re active, present, a live circuit. The revelatory shock can make you laugh out loud." - The New York Times

Dancer StuartHodes @96 – How To Dance Through Life

"I think anything that you do with every particle of yourself can be wonderful, and it can make you forget the world. It’s magic. How the heck am I supposed to describe it? Something happens. It takes everything you have got. And, for that — for those brief moments that you’re dancing, you’re transported." - The News Hour (PBS)

Ex-English National Ballet Principal Convicted Of Sexually Assaulting Students

"Yat-Sen Chang attacked girls and women at the English National Ballet and Young Dancers Academy in London between December 2009 and March 2016. The 49-year-old was convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault and one count of assault by penetration. He was cleared of one offence." - BBC

Dance With Prosthetic Limbs Is Getting More And More Creative

"Consider Belgian hip-hop artist Angelina Bruno. A star of the European dance circuit whose right arm was amputated at the forearm as a teenager, Bruno dances to The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights" with a 3-D–printed arm in the video game Just Dance 2021. The arm (designed in collaboration with Anouk Wipprecht) is a gorgeously faceted spire that glows iridescently within a cyber-futuristic, TRON-like virtual environment." - Dance Magazine

I Have A Prosthetic Leg. Dancing Has Transformed My Relationship With It.

Mickaella Dantas: "It took me a while to consider working with my prosthesis, since it has a limited range of flexibility. I struggled with resistance and balance, and was frustrated by the way the leg could fall off when I sweat. It causes daily soreness. I didn't have the self-discipline at first to develop dance movement with it. But when I met the Portuguese choreographer Clara Andermatt in 2012, I knew that I no longer could make these excuses." - Dance Magazine

World Dance? Seriously?

Typically, it's an intermediary—a manager, a producer, a critic—who labels something as "world dance." The term denotes exoticness, authenticity—and it sells. It's also problematic and limiting. - Dance Magazine

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