ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


How The Breakdancing Competition At The 2024 Olympics Will Work

"Sixteen b-boys and 16 b-girls will compete in Paris, chosen through qualifying events organized by WDSF on five continents. There will be no numbered scoring. Instead, the competition will be structured in battle format, true to b-boy/b-girl culture: tournament-style, one-versus-one. The winner of one battle moves on to face the next challenger, and the winner of that battle moves on to the next. The last dancers standing will be the Olympic champions." - Dance Magazine

Men Dancing En Pointe: Why Should Only The Women Get To Do It?

Dancing on the tips of the toes has always been part of the ballerina mystique; traditionally, men have done it only for comedy. Now there's a crop of male ballet dancers who are taking pointe work seriously, and they want the rest of us to take it seriously, too. - The Guardian

What Has An Entire Year Lost To The Pandemic Done To Top Ballet Pros?

"In ballet when you lose a year, you lose a lot. It takes years of sacrifice and training to become a professional, and the performing life of a dancer is short. For elite ballet dancers, a solid career lasts around 15 years — and that comes after roughly a decade of schooling. Could this pause alter the evolution of dance generations?" Gia Kourlas talks with New York City Ballet principal Ashley Bouder. City Ballet apprentice Savannah Durham, and ABT principal James Whiteside. - The New York Times

Dance Among The Irradiated Ruins Of Fukushima

Eiko’s performative gestures are captured in opulent compositional detail as she defiantly inserts her body amidst crumbled buildings, vine-encrusted train tracks, large bags of radioactive trash, upended cars, tender memorial altars, washed-away fields, crushed fishing ports, and abandoned beaches. Over the course of the collaborator’s five trips, nature’s resiliency is revealed as Eiko inhabits regenerating (while still contaminated) gardens, fields and forests in her traditional kimonos, red silks, and futons now tattered and torn. - VTDigger

Milwaukee’s Danceworks Changes Collective Leadership Model Amid Protests

A recent leadership change at Danceworks has led to the longtime artistic director's resignation and a letter from a co-founder criticizing the board of directors for "disempowering" the dancers who make up much of the staff.  - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet To Cease Performing

"The 25-year-old will eliminate its centerpiece: the professional performing arm of the company. The ballet schools and youth Folklórico programs in Santa Fe and Aspen, Colo., will continue to operate, but Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will shift its post-pandemic focus to creating and producing, as well as consulting other companies on their strategies for successful touring." - Santa Fe New Mexican

Lauren Lovette, Only 29, Will Retire From New York City Ballet

"I spent a lot of last year feeling like I didn't make a difference. were saying some sweet things to me about different ways that I impacted their lives and how I could never leave. I sat there and I felt so embraced and comforted by everything that I was hearing, and loved — really, genuinely loved. … I woke up the next day, and I sent my letter of resignation. That was it." - The New York Times

What’s Wrong With Just Stopping During The Pandemic?

"We are living through a collective trauma, a once-in-a-lifetime historical moment, and taking "time off" is not a symptom of laziness. In fact, I see this time as a gift. I am thrilled to see folks develop other interests and skills that support their income. I am inspired to see artists explore other parts of their creative practice. I am encouraged by those cultivating systems that foundationally sustain making our art. I am affirmed in caring for the people who facilitate our dancemaking, including dancers, musicians, company managers and even our families. I am heartened to see investment in the communities for which we dance." - Dance Magazine

Ballerina Dances On Frozen Bay To Raise Awareness Of Endangered Swans

This is Ilmira Bagrautinova's way of objecting against the construction of a port in Batareinaya Bay, a popular beach about 100 km west of St Petersburg, Russia's second largest city. - BBC

COVID Is Back At La Scala Ballet

The opera house's regular testing regimen revealed that 35 dancers and three administrative staffers at the ballet company had the novel coronavirus. Performances, rehearsals, and classes have been suspended. (On the opera side, there are currently no cases among the orchestra or chorus.) - Gramilano (Milan)

What Exactly Constitutes A Good Female Body For Ballet?

Gia Kourlas: "For Lovette, a member of New York City Ballet since 2010, this pause from performance has brought some clarity. 'I'm not going to be dancing at 94 pounds anymore,” she said. 'That's not going to be me.' Since the pandemic began nearly a year ago, similar questions have been spinning in my mind: How can body image, a fraught topic for any female dancer, no matter her size, be a source of strength rather than agony? Could this pause in live performance be an opening for the aesthetic requirements of ballet — especially extreme thinness — to change?" - The New York Times

Dance Through The Mailbox

Audience members sit on stools in separated cubicles surrounding the stage, each with its own door and letter-drop slots through which they can watch the dancers. - Reuters

Has COVID Shutdown Made Dancers More Adaptable?

"I am hopeful that we will see a generation that has built a confidence and competence of cognitive flexibility. That is the ability to shift how one thinks about things, and use their own internal and external resources to figure out a solution to an otherwise difficult problem." - Dance Magazine

Texas Ballet Theatre Loses Its Headquarters To Winter Storm

The snow and frigid temperatures that struck Texas in late February caused "a massive water pipe break" at the company's office/studio complex in Fort Worth. "It is impossible to overstate the damage to the Fort Worth facility," said management in an email to patrons. "The building will remain inoperable for the near future." For the time being, TBT has moved operations to its satellite site in Dallas. - CultureMap (Texas)

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

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