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Indian-American Calls For Paris Opera Ballet To Cancel ‘La Bayadère’

Rajan Zed, an advocate and the founder of the Reno-based Universal Society of Hinduism, has previously called on other companies, including Houston Ballet, the Royal Ballet in London, and, just this month, the Korean National Ballet and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, to remove "this deeply problematic ballet … blatant belittling of a rich civilization" from their repertoires. In his latest statement, he says that "we are well into the 21st century now, and outdated La Bayadère, which was first presented in St. Petersburg in 1877, is long overdue for permanent retirement from the world stage, including from Opéra National de Paris." - Gramilano (Milan)

Former English National Ballet Principal On Trial For Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Students

"Yat-Sen Chang, 49, has been charged with 12 counts of sexual assault and two counts of assault by penetration against a female aged 16 or over. The alleged offences are said to have taken place at the English National Ballet and Young Dancers Academy in London between December 2009 and March 2016. Chang, who lives in the German port city of Kiel, has denied all the charges." - The Guardian

New California Bill Could Save LA’s 99-Seat Theatres

Enter SB 805, which is up for a hearing by the California Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee on April 26. If passed, the bill would greenlight low-cost payroll and paymaster services for small nonprofit performing arts organizations that make $1.4 million a year or less. It would also create a fund to award grants so that these theaters could hire and pay employees at least the minimum wage. - Variety

Choreographer Creates Company To Copyright Dance Moves

The JaQuel Knight's company Knight Choreography & Music Publishing will see to the rights to Knights dance moves while operating as a music publisher as the company will broker licensing deals and protect IP. - Geo

American Ballet Theatre Dancers Spend A Month In A Bubble In Southern California

It was both arduous and oddly pleasant for the dancers, used to touring - and to playing for packed houses; only 10 percent of the theatre can be sold in this case (but the ballets are available to stream online). "Jose Sebastian, one of the eight dancers performing Lovette’s 'La Follia Variations,' said the experience of living and rehearsing in the bubble has had its upsides. Typically performers fly into a new city for a show and rehearse on the stage for one day, he said. Having so much more time to get comfortable with the stage, lights and theater 'has been such a gift,' he said," and the dancers have truly bonded as well. - Orange County Register

Dancer Who Sued Berlin State Ballet For Racial Discrimination Gets Settlement, New Contract

"Chloé Lopes Gomes filed a lawsuit in 2020 against the expiration of her temporary contract. She discriminated against because of the color of her skin. Now the State Ballet and the dancer have agreed to a court settlement: The ballerina will stay with the State Ballet for another year and receive a compensation payment of €16,000 ($19,240)." - Deutsche Welle

Choreographer Cathy Marston, Making New Story Ballets Cool Again

The 46-year-old Briton, who has continued to work remotely even as her big U.S. premieres planned for last year (Of Mice and Men at the Joffrey, Mrs. Robinson at San Francisco ballet) have been postponed, talks to Zachary Whittenburg about what she looks for in a story to tell, the unlikely novel she really wants to stage, and what reviews not to read. - Dance Magazine

Ballet In America Is Having A COVID-Induced Baby Boom

"A career in ballet lasts only as long as a dancer's body does. If they're lucky, dancers can perform into their 30s — or in rare cases, into their 40s. When every season counts, taking time off to get pregnant, give birth, and recover is daunting. … they were already losing valuable career time to COVID-19. Why not have a baby now and avoid another major career disruption?" - Glamour

Here’s A Landmark For A Growing Company: Indianapolis Ballet Hires Its First Executive Director

"More than three years after its 2018 debut, the professional company … announced April 6 that longtime Indianapolis arts leader Don Steffy will take the helm and manage the administrative, funding, facility and human resource functions." - Indianapolis Star

On What It Takes To Be A Ballerina

“We dancers bonk up against the insanity of pining after someone else’s pair of legs day after day, but with age and maturity and years of fixating on our bodies – our instruments – we come to grips with what we have and what we can do with it. … I scrutinize my physique in the same way a painter stands back to examine her canvas. It’s my creation, made for a purpose.” - Oregon Arts Watch

Choreographer Liam Scarlett, 35

He was a star British choreographer who staged a prodigious number of works and was assured a major international career. But "after allegations of sexual misconduct at the Royal Ballet and Royal Ballet School, the company severed ties with him; an independent investigation found there were 'no matters to pursue' in relation to students." - The Guardian

What Do The Vaccines Mean For Ballet?

Let an infectious-disease doctor explain why dancers need to get vaccinated. It's not just for themselves: "A significant part of the patronage of many ballet companies are those over the age of 60 and, therefore, at highest risk of death and complications if infected with COVID. Though a dancer may not get ill from COVID, if they are carrying the virus and expose their patrons to the illness, it is a losing situation for all involved. In addition, the dancers work side by side with choreographers, ballet mistresses, company directors, costume departments and the like, most of whom are older and, therefore, at risk for complications from COVID as well. The more people that are vaccinated, the less likely it is anyone becomes ill." - Pointe Magazine

Where Dance Is Online

Somehow, despite the continued strain and strife, many dance companies have successfully adapted to the evolving digital stage — reimagining Nutcracker seasons, digitizing never-before-seen archival videos and launching their own streaming services. - Washington Post

‘Navy Twerking’: Why All Australia Is Arguing About A Dance Clip

"A video of dancers twerking in hotpants at … went viral when it emerged on Wednesday. But the music video-style choreography — featuring thumps, thrusts and butt shakes — also came under attack. Conservative lawmakers led the chorus of those calling it 'inappropriate'. Tabloids splashed headlines slamming military standards. But others found offence elsewhere — projecting shame onto the dancers, and labelling their routine as too 'sexualised'. That in turn sparked backlash over the policing of women's bodies." (And that's not even all of it.) "So how exactly did this 'navy twerking' saga unfold?" Here's a step-by-step (ahem) timeline. - BBC

A Dance Critic On How The Pandemic Has Changed Her Work

Deborah Jowitt: "Inevitable distractions occur when filming (or viewing) dances in this climate. Dog walkers may intrude. A pet cat may decide on a star appearance. Are those two dancers barefoot on gravel? Was getting wet necessary or an artistic choice? Watching performers dancing in their apartments encourages thoughts we should probably suppress. Wow, a really tiny space (wonder how much it rents for). Nice wood floor. Check that stove. Wait a second, what was that picture on the wall? Yet their artistic choices have delighted me, as well." - Dance Magazine

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