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Archive for October, 2012

Seán Curran Collaborates with Darrah Carr Dance in Irish-Infused ModERIN


Darrah Carr Dance; photo courtesy Darrah Carr

2012 Bessie Award nominee Darrah Carr Dance and celebrated guest choreographer Seán Curran return to New York City’s Irish Arts Center this November to premiere new work in the company’s signature style of ModERIN: a unique blend of traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance.

Set to the haunting music of Irish traditional musician Seamus Eagan, Curran’s Sé Caoineadh explores the emotion of lament and reveals the lyrical depths of sadness, longing, and regret. Curran, artistic director of the Seán Curran Company, danced with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and the original Off-Broadway cast of Stomp, and has choreographed for Trinity Irish Dance Company, ABT’s Studio Company, Denmark’s Upper Cut Company, Sweden’s Skänes Dance Theater, Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Ririe Woodbury Dance Theater, and Dance Alloy.

The program also includes displays of lightning-fast Irish dancing to live musical accompaniment by Liz Hanley, Niall O’Leary, and Christel Rice.

The Irish Arts Center is located at 553 West 51st Street, New York City. Performances are set for November 16 and 17 at 8pm; a special price family show on November 17 at 11am; and a matinee November 18 at 3pm (pre-show conversation at 2:30pm). Tickets are $25 general; $15 for the family show; and $20 for IAC members. To purchase, call 866.811.4111 or visit


Vendors Signing Up Now for Next Summer’s DanceLife Teacher Conference


Dance teachers and studio owners know the DanceLife Teacher Conference is about more than technique and studio talk—it’s also coming face-to-face with the business and service people who keep the dance studio industry rolling.

DLTC vendors representing a wide range of industry products are more than happy to answer questions and discuss options with attendees. Many, such as costume companies, bring along actual products for teachers to peruse or purchase, while others offer “conference specials” or provide free samples. Special “Meet the Vendor” seminars allow attendees to learn about new products or special services in informal, chatty sessions where everyone—vendors and teachers—get to know each other a bit better.

Vendors already lined up for next summer’s DLTC include: Art Stone/The Competitor, BA Star, Celebrity Dance Competitions, Cicci Dance Supplies, Contest of Champions, Costume Gallery,, Curtain Call, Dance Era, Dance the Magic, Dance the World, Dancers Inc., Dansco, Express Payroll, Four Seasons Tours/Rock The Boat Cruises, International Dance Challenge, Jackrabbit Dance, Jay Distributors, Magic Kingdom of Dance, M & I Dancewear, Markel Insurance, Not Just Great Dancing, Pacific Floor Company Inc., Revolution Dancewear, Stagedoor Connections, Stagestep, Statler Music, Theatricals Dance Footwear, Twinkle Star Dance, Weissman Costumes, and Yofi Cosmetics Inc.

The DLTC is set for August 1 to 4, 2013, at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. To register, visit To learn more about becoming a vendor, visit



New 3D Nutcracker Film One of Highlights of Mariinsky’s Special Season


The 2012/2013 season of the Mariinsky Theatre features an impressive schedule of tours, performances, recordings, and events, and will usher in a new era with the inauguration of the new Mariinsky Theatre (Mariinsky II).

Among the performance highlights of the season will be the Mariinsky Ballet’s celebration of the 120th anniversary of the premiere of Tchaikovsky’s and Petipa’s The Nutcracker at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1892. Commemorating this occasion, the Mariinsky has collaborated with EuroArts Music to create the film The Nutcracker in 3D, which will be shown in more than 400 theaters in the United States this December.

The Mariinsky Opera, Ballet, and Orchestra will visit more than 35 cities worldwide during 2012/13, including stops at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Shanghai Oriental Art Center in China, the Seoul Arts Center in Korea, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, and the Salzburg Festival in Austria.

Mariinsky II, the new opera house funded by the Russian government, will be among the largest in the world when it opens in May 2013. It will join the legendary Mariinsky Theatre and the Mariinsky Concert Hall to further the transformation of the Mariinsky’s complex into one of the world’s premier centers for classical music, opera, and ballet.

For more information, visit the Mariinsky Foundation of America at or the Mariinsky Theatre at


Look for Jazz Legend Luigi in December issue of Dance Studio Life


Luigi; Photo by Joseph Astor, courtesy Luigi’s Jazz Centre Facebook page

For half a decade, Luigi has been one of the reigning masters of jazz dance—holding court in his New York City classroom where jazz aficionados of all ages and abilities have benefitted from his in-depth knowledge and dedication to this very-American style of dance.

Dance Studio Life magazine pays tribute to this legend of dance in our December issue. If you love stylistic, savvy jazz dancing—and who doesn’t?—don’t miss this issue. To subscribe, visit



Financial Gains from Breaking Pointe Stem from Publicity, Not Payments


Ballet West demi-soloists Allison DeBona and Rex Tilton; photo By Jesse Coss

 How much has Ballet West made from Breaking Pointe?

A recent feature in the Salt Lake Tribune said Ballet West officials don’t have a dollar figure. Although the CW docu-reality show hasn’t been “a funnel of money,” says Johann Jacobs, executive director, it has generated a bonanza of press nationally and internationally and increased traffic to the company’s website. One effect of that exposure? More professional dancers are signing up for company auditions, Jacobs says.

Compensation for dancers featured in the show “was extremely low,” says artistic director Adam Sklute. “Payment to Ballet West barely covered the costs to do much of the work.”

The dancers’ union negotiated featured performer and performer fees, and Sklute received a comparable fee as a creative consultant/featured performer. Unions representing stagehands, orchestra and visiting artists also negotiated fees.

“From my fee, I paid Ballet West staff members who had to do extra work beyond their job description for this show,” Sklute says. “We certainly did not do this for the money, nor did we earn much in terms of cash. However, the exposure and institutional marketing is immeasurable.”

To read the full story, visit


Dedicated Japanese Students Find their Way to Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Intensive


Chie Kondo (center) of Japan at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School’s Intensive Summer Program; photo courtesy Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre currently has three Japanese-born members in its ranks, but the big story is in PBT’s school, where 20 Japanese students took part in the Intensive Summer Program and are often featured in leading roles in school performances.

The number of Japanese students at PBT’s intensive could be attributed to Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School co-director Dennis Marshall, who became a judge at the Japan Grand Prix Junior Ballet Competition, a premier event that boasts a panel from schools affiliated with companies such as The Royal Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, and Stuttgart Ballet. He has also been studying Japanese for nearly two years to help ease the language barrier with the international students.

“Even if I make mistakes, they know I am trying,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Marshall has been a longtime friend of JGP executive director Martin Fredmann, also the artistic director of the Kirov Ballet Academy in Washington, DC, and a recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, with Golden Rays and Rosette, one of the highest awards given by the Japanese emperor to non-royalty.

Fredmann has visited Japan nearly 100 times in 27 years and learned to teach classes completely in Japanese, including “ballet Japanese,” in which a plié is “pu de eh” and a relevé is “lu lu bay.”

He says some Japanese judges focus only on details, such as the way dancers hold their hands. “But ballet is an international art form, and our judges look for intrinsic talent, musicality, and the shape of the body.” Six hundred students took part this past year, showing ballet’s rising influence in the country.

Fredmann said the Japanese intensive students never lose sight of the reason they are in Pittsburgh. “Japanese ballet students work like demons. They are completely dedicated. It’s part of their heritage, their backgrounds, their schooling. They’re driven. They don’t do anything else. They want to be dancers.”

To read the full story, visit



Dance Theatre of Harlem’s DePrince Honored by American Skin Association


Michaela DePrince; photo courtesy First Position

The American Skin Association will honor Dance Theatre of Harlem dancer Michaela DePrince on October 30 at the organization’s 25th annual gala at the Plaza Grand Ballroom, New York City.

DePrince, a 17-year-old dancer with vitiligo—a skin condition in which there is a loss of brown color (pigment) from areas of skin, resulting in irregular white patches that feel like normal skin—will be recognized as a “Trailblazer.”

Born in Sierra Leone, DePrince was 4 and living in an orphanage (where she was called “the devil’s child” because of her skin condition) when she was adopted by an American family. She was named for an earlier child also adopted by the family, Michael, who had vitiligo and HIV, and who died at the age of 15.

DePrince’s subsequent struggles to achieve a career in ballet were featured in the documentary First Position, and she has been featured on CNN and the BBC, and in numerous publications, including Teen Vogue, Pointe Magazine, and the New York Post. A statement from the American Skin Association said that since becoming a professional ballerina, DePrince often dances in costumes that expose her heavily-spotted abdomen, and declines to “cover the depigmented areas on her arms, neck, chest and abdomen with makeup.”

For more information on the American Skin Association, visit


Extra! Newsies Twins a Broadway Rarity


Jacob (left) and David Guzman with celebrity blogger Perez Hilton after a performance; photo by Timothy Eaker

The Gold School director Rennie Gold remembers his reaction when the Broadway production of Newsies made his dance students David and Jacob Guzman an offer—one role for only one twin. “I said, ‘Boys, you do realize you’re going to have to be separated at some point in your life,” he told Dance Studio Life.

So the Guzmans, dancing together since age 2 and heading into their senior year of high school in Brockton, Massachusetts, did the unthinkable: they told Broadway no. But Disney (parent company for Newsies) insists on happy endings, and since September 10 both have been donning newsboy caps and dancing eight shows a week.

Being a twin is an “awesome sell,” said Gold (a twin himself with Dance Studio Life publisher Rhee Gold), which so far has landed them in OK Magazine, Playbill, and the Huffington Post. An Associate Press article on the Guzmans said twins on Broadway is “so rare an event that no one in the theater community believes it has happened before in the modern era.” And while they’re sharing the spotlight now, Rennie Gold said separation is inevitable—David has his sights set on joining a contemporary dance company, while Jacob aspires to be a doctor.

To read the Associated Press story, visit



ABT Leaves Longtime Home to Join Paul Taylor, NYCB, at Lincoln Center


The American Ballet Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet; photo by Gene Schiavone

Another dance company is leaping over to Lincoln Center, reports the WQRX blog.

The American Ballet Theatre said on Thursday that it has signed a three-year contract to perform at the David H. Koch Theater, ending the company’s 15-year perch at New York City Center.

ABT’s contract with the Koch will start in October 2013 with a two-week season. The deal will not affect the company’s eight-week spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, or its Nutcracker performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in December.

Since the financially-strapped New York City Opera left the Koch Theater in 2011—which it shared with the New York City Ballet for more than 40 years—the theater’s management has been aggressively marketing the stage to major dance companies. Renovated in 2008–10, the theater touts its expanded off-stage wings and orchestra pit. The Paul Taylor Dance Company left City Center for the Koch this past spring.

ABT held regular performances at the venue, then the New York State Theater, from 1965 through 1976. The theater continues to be the headquarters of the New York City Ballet.

To see the original story plus a video of an ABT performance of Swan Lake, visit!/blogs/wqxr-blog/2012/oct/25/american-ballet-theater-return-lincoln-center/?utm_source=local&utm_media=treatment&utm_campaign=carousel&utm_content=item1



Performance Marks Homecoming for First American in Mariinsky Ballet


Keenan Kampa; photo courtesy Gene Schiavone

Dancer Keenan Kampa was well aware that her recent appearance at the Kennedy Center was not just any performance: it was a homecoming.

Raised in the nearby suburb of Reston, Virginia, Kampa grew up attending matinees and master classes here. But this time, she’s back as the first American member of the legendary Mariinsky Ballet (formally the Kirov Ballet).

During her senior year of high school, Kampa was invited to Russia by a Vaganova Ballet Academy instructor during a Lincoln Center master class. Kampa remembers her first year at the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg as “full of silence.” Unable to communicate with her Russian peers and away from her family for the first time, Kampa told NBC News, she struggled to adapt to a foreign culture and an unfamiliar style of ballet.

By her second year, Kampa had overcome the initial culture shock and language barrier, and went on to win leading roles in school productions like The Nutcracker, and ultimately became the first American student to graduate with a full Russian degree. Still, she was heartbroken when she didn’t hear back after auditioning for a spot with the Mariinsky, and signed a two-year contract with Boston Ballet. When an invitation from Russia finally came a year later, she said, “It was a complete shock.”

For Kampa, joining the historic ballet is more than a dream come true—it’s a chance to realize her artistic potential. “There’s something so special about the way the Russians dance,” she said. “It’s passionate, it’s soulful, and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”

To see the full story and watch a video, visit



Oregon Dancer’s Lyrical Dress Sketch Wins Revolution Dancewear Contest


Revolution’s winning design; photo courtesy Revolution Dancewear

Rachael Bonato, a 13-year-old Oregon dancer, has won the Design Your Dream competition sponsored by Revolution Dancewear of Niles, Illinois.

The winning design is manufactured by Revolution Dancewear and will be featured in the company’s 2014 Costume Collection. “When my mom told me to enter the contest, I was like ‘Seriously?’ I thought I could not possibly make a good enough design—but I did!” Bonato said.

Out of 47 initial design submissions, the Revolution Dancewear costume design team selected 10 semi-finalists based on aesthetics, creativity, and usability. Revolution’s nearly 16,000 Facebook fans were invited to vote for their favorite.

Bonato and the two other Design Your Dream finalists were treated to an all-expense paid trip to Chicago. Each of the three dancers collaborated with the Revolution’s costume design team, who brought the final sketches to life in garment form.

Revolution Dancewear will outfit Bonato’s class at her dance school, the Oregon Coast Dance Center in Tillamook, Oregon, in her Hunger Games-inspired winning design. For more information, visit


SF Ballet Pays Tribute to Original The Rite of Spring with World Premiere


San Francisco Ballet will mark the 100th anniversary of the revolutionary ballet The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps) with its own version staged by SF Ballet choreographer in residence Yuri Possokhov.

The Rite of Spring, which heralded the start of the modernist movement, was originally created for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and featured an original score by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky. On the night of its premiere in Paris in 1913, the ballet’s depiction and celebration of a human sacrifice, along with its dissonant score and provocative movement, sparked an audience riot.

Yet subsequent performances were well received, and in time, the score and the ballet were accepted as classics. Numerous revivals of The Rite of Spring have been staged over the years, by companies such as the Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet and by choreographers including Pina Bausch, Glen Tetley, and Maurice Bèjart, to name a few.

The Rite of Spring will be performed in Program 3 of San Francisco Ballet’s 2013 repertory season. “On the 100th anniversary of its premiere, we are thrilled to have Yuri’s staging of The Rite of Spring enter our repertory for the first time,” SF Ballet artistic director and principal choreographer Helgi Tomasson said. “We are especially honored to join our colleagues across the country and worldwide in paying tribute to the groundbreaking innovation and artistry of this masterpiece.”

In addition to The Rite of Spring, Program 3 (February 26–March 10) also features Mark Morris’s Beaux and Ashley Page’s Guide to Strange Places. Tickets to Program 3 are currently only available on subscription. Program 3 is a part of SF Ballet’s Principal 8 and Principal 3 packages as well as the “New Works” mini-package. To subscribe to SF Ballet’s 2013 Repertory Season, visit subscribe or call 415.865.2000.



Study Up On Ballet the Best Way with Master Teacher Roni Mahler


Roni Mahler; photo courtesy DLTC

Roni Mahler learned some of her first lessons in ballet from the renowned Madame Maria Yurieva Swoboda, then expanded her knowledge as a dancer with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, American Ballet Theatre, and National Ballet of Washington (DC).

Since then, Mahler has become known as a “teacher’s teacher,” displaying wit and warmth in master classes and workshops all over the globe as she gets into the nitty gritty of teaching ballet technique to young students.

Teachers looking to refresh their classroom strategies with some of Mahler’s creative and insightful methods can do so at a November 3 and 4 ballet technique intensive at the DanceLife Retreat Center, Norton, Massachusetts.

Topics to be addressed include: ballet technique for ages 6 to 9, 10 to 12, and 13 and older; pointe work (beginner through advanced); molding beautiful feet; crafting variations; stretching concepts; successful methods for improving turnout, strengthening relevés, and teaching perfect pirouettes; and more.

The weekend also includes business and motivational sessions with Rhee Gold, including Selling Ballet, Making Ballet a Prerequisite for all Students, Dress Code Makes a Difference, and others.

For more details, visit!fall-2012/vstc3=ballet or call 508.285.6650 to register.



SYTYCD and Curtain Call Team Up for 2012 Tour


For nine seasons, the So You Think You Can Dance live tours have brought stellar dancers and cutting-edge choreography to viewers’ hometowns, and now Curtain Call Costumes will be actively supporting those efforts as the exclusive Dancewear On-Screen Media Partner of the SYTYCD Tour 2012.

The 30-city Season 9 tour is now underway and will conclude on December 5 in Hollywood, Florida. Along the way, tour ticketholders will be treated to an on-screen video showcasing the latest in Curtain Call’s line of dance costumes. (To view the video, visit

“Curtain Call has dramatically expanded its range of styles for competition dancers, teams, and performance companies,” said John Misner, Curtain Call’s executive vice president. “We think the SYTYCD tour audience will love what they see in our Costumes in Motion video segment.”

Curtain Call is a division of Perform Group, LLC, a supplier of dance recital and competitive gymnastics apparel that has been seen at Olympic competitions, at Super Bowl half-time programs, on NCAA top gymnastic teams, in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and in major college bowl shows, and is also worn by the Kilgore College Rangerettes.


SF Ballet Center for Dance Education Partners with de Young Museum


Do I hear a waltz? Professional ballroom dancers will lead a 45-minute instructional class in ballroom basics on November 9 during Friday Nights at the de Young, a special series held at the de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco.

The 6:30pm class will be followed by a social hour of cocktails, conversation, and dancing. The program is hosted by the SF Ballet Center for Dance Education (CDE), and is free and open to the public.

SF Ballet’s CDE will also host Saturday morning family dance workshops at the de Young Museum over the next several months. Designed for children ages 5 to 14 and their parents or guardians, the workshops will explore the basics of ballet and creative movement. All workshops will take place in the Piazzoni Murals Room.

Pre-registration is required; cost is $3 for members and $5 for non-members. Workshops will take place from 10 to 11am on November 10, December 8, and January 12.

For more information on additional SF Ballet–related activities at the de Young, visit




Book Details How Helen Keller Could “See” Dance Through Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham


Helen Keller joins Martha Graham during a rehearsal studio in 1954; photo courtesy Perkins School for the Blind Archive

Craig Brown’s Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings details a daisy chain of encounters between famous literary, artistic, and historic figures. One such “moving meeting of great spirits” took place when Helen Keller, age 72, visited iconic choreographer Martha Graham and was able to learn from legendary dancer Merce Cunningham what “jumping” was all about.

The Brain Pickings blog reports that Brown writes:

“Graham is immediately taken by what she calls Helen’s ‘gracious embrace of life,’ and is impressed by what appears to be her photographic memory. They become friends. Before long, Helen starts paying regular visits to the dance studio. She seems to focus on the dancers’ feet, and can somehow tell the direction in which they are moving. Martha Graham is intrigued. ‘She could not see the dance but was able to allow its vibrations to leave the floor and enter her body.’

On one of her visits, Helen says, ‘Martha, what is jumping? I don’t understand.’

Graham is touched by this simple question. She asks a member of her company, Merce Cunningham, to stand at the barre. She approaches him from behind, says, ‘Merce, be very careful, I’m putting Helen’s hands on your body,’ and places Helen Keller’s hands on his waist.

Cunningham cannot see Keller, but feels her two hands around his waist, ‘like bird wings, so soft.’ Everyone in the studio stands quite still, focusing on what is happening. Cunningham jumps in the air while Keller’s hands rise up with his body. ‘Her hands rose and fell as Merce did,’ recalls Martha Graham, in extreme old age.

‘Her expression changed from curiosity to one of joy. You could see the enthusiasm rise in her face as she threw her arms in the air.’

Cunningham continues to perform small leaps, with very straight legs. He suddenly feels Keller’s fingers, still touching his waist, begin to move slightly, ‘as though fluttering.’ For the first time in her life, she is experiencing dance. ‘Oh, how wonderful! How like thought! How like the mind it is!’ she exclaims when he stops.”

To see photos and a video of Keller’s visit to the dance studio, visit


Theater Tall Tales and Tap Dancing Highlights of Tommy Tune’s NYC Solo Show


Tommy Tune; photo courtesy

Nine-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune will make his New York solo debut in Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, New York City, this November.

According to, Tune will take the stage for six shows on three nights: November 18, 25, and 26. Musical director Michael Biagi will accompany Tune on piano.

In his new show, Tune plans to sing, dance, and share stories of his 50 years in the Broadway industry. The famously tap-dancing triple threat has won a record-setting nine Tony Awards (the second most for any individual, after Hal Prince) for Best Actor in a Musical, Featured Actor in a Musical, Choreography, and Direction, as well as eight Drama Desk Awards, three Astaire Awards, and the Society of Directors and Choreographers’ George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Tune’s Broadway credits as an actor, director, and/or choreographer include My One and Only, Seesaw, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, Grand Hotel, The Will Rogers Follies, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Nine; his film credits include Hello, Dolly! and The Boy Friend. For the past three years, he has been touring the country in his musical memoir Steps In Time, A Broadway Biography in Song and Dance.

To see the original story, visit



The Rhee Gold Company Store is Open for Business 24/7


Inspired by the posters and T-shirts shown on the Dance Studio Life Facebook page? Visit the Rhee Gold Company online store on and bring some of that inspiration into your studio today.

Not only will you find the latest designs in inspirational T-shirts: from “I’m a dance teacher. I change the world.” to “Dance Mom: Proud no matter what the score,” but Gold’s line of four high-quality 18″ by 24″ posters featuring stunning dance shots and motivational prose are also available. There’s even a shirt for those loyal, supportive Dance Dads.

Follow the link to “classroom products” and peruse music offerings for class and recital from Statler Records, plus Cindy Hollingsworth’s 17 original children’s songs for preschool dance. And of course, there’s a link to PB & J Dancemates’ dance-inspired gifts such as encouragement stickers, books, and posters.

Don’t forget to visit often—new products are always in the works!



Business Advice Done Right: Misty Lown Writes for DSL, Presents at DLTC



Misty Lown; photo courtesy DLTC

Misty Lown has the optimism, enthusiasm, and imagination to handle 700 dance students, five kids, several businesses, and a side job as a writer—and do it all successfully and with a smile.

Lown, the owner and director of Misty’s Dance Unlimited, will be sharing some of her successful business ideas and advice at next August’s DanceLife Teacher Conference, August 1 to 4, at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Along with running her studio in Onalaska, Wisconsin, Lown is also the owner of a dancewear store and founder of the Chance to Dance Foundation, and tours as a dance teacher and business consultant with Dance Revolution.

For a taste of what Lown might talk about next summer, check out the December issue of Dance Studio Life magazine. Her Bright Business Ideas article discusses the advantage of providing benefits for employees, and explains ways to offer tuition reimbursements, health insurance, maternity leave—even retirement plans—for your valuable teachers and office staffers.

Check it all out on



Photographer Captures the Dance-able Moments of Everyday Life in New Book


Evan Ruggiero in an image entitled “Joy” from Dancers Among Us; photo by Jordan Matter

Jordan Matter is selling dreams in his book. And he’s channeled Jerome Robbins to do it.

It’s not just the high-kicking legs in heels that bring Broadway to mind in the photo book Dancers Among Us (Workman Publishing, $17.95), reports The Washington Post. It’s the sense of emotional release. In his shots of dancers in flight on sidewalks and city streets—excitable superheroes among us—Matter has produced a series of mini-musicals, frozen in time but full of energy.

Subtitled “A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday,” his book frames those moments in life when feelings are too intense for words. In a picture titled “Big Day,” a beaming bride-to-be in her underwear and veil vaults through a bridal shop as if she’d just flown out of the white satin gown her maid of honor is holding. You can almost hear Natalie Wood trilling “I Feel Pretty.”

In “Dinner for Two,” a couple marches hand-in-hand past a Seattle fish market like a pair of Rockettes, flinging legs to the sky. One of them clutches a red snapper by its tail, managing to give the dead fish a little romantic pizazz.

Before the idea of a book came to him, Matter, who began as a portrait photographer, had been shooting dancers for his website. Word travels fast in the dance world, and he soon had requests from performers around the country who wanted to work with him. Most of the pictures in the book were shot in New York, but not all. Chong Sun, a member of the Washington Ballet Studio Company, is shown rocketing through the air in front of the Capitol in Washington DC. He’s being yanked across the street by his mother, who’s striking a perfect pose of rigid determination.

The backstory is that Chong’s mother had just arrived from Beijing to watch her son perform in The Nutcracker. When the two showed up to meet Matter at Union Station—and both were wearing orange shirts—the photographer saw the makings of a family drama. A father of two young children, Matter wanted to capture the desperation a little boy might feel as his mother marches away in anger.

So when the traffic cleared, Chong began to jump. And jump.

“I had to jump, like, 100 times,” Chong said. “The photo is great, but it was painful. The ground was really hard, and it was winter, and I had to take off my coat, and every time I landed it was painful.”

“It was an almost impossible shot to do,” Matter acknowledges.

The book is available from online retailers beginning October 23. To visit Matter’s website, go to To read the story and see Matter’s photos and a “making of” video, visit



Bournonville Scholar, Teacher, Dinna Bjorn, To Lead Seminar at ABC in June


Dinna Bjorn; photo courtesy Dinna Bjorn

Dinna Bjorn, former artistic director of the Finnish National Ballet and Norwegian National Ballet and an authority on the Bournonville technique, will lead an intensive and active ballet seminar on enhancing teaching and coaching skills as part of the American Ballet Competition next June at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Natick, Massachusetts.

The seminar, running June 8 to 10, 2013, is open to dance teachers of all curriculum styles and systems as well as to dance directors, educators, historians, advanced students, and parents.

Bjorn began her dancing career in 1964 with the Royal Danish Ballet, was named soloist in 1966, and performed a wide range of major roles in Denmark and abroad as a guest artist. From 1985 to 1988, Bjorn taught at the Royal Danish Ballet School and choreographed many works for the Royal Danish Ballet and the Dinna Bjorn Dancers. In 1996 she was appointed artistic advisor to the Royal Danish Ballet.

Bjorn has taught and coached the works and technique of August Bournonville since 1975 and participated in Bournonville research and reconstructions internationally. She has given master classes and lectures at universities and theaters throughout Europe, North America, and the Far East, and written several articles on the Bournonville technique and legacy.

For an advance sample of the seminar schedule and registration form, email a request to or call 970.376.2607. For more information on the American Ballet Competition, visit


Master Modern Teacher Bill Evans to Share Dance Wisdom at DLTC


Bill Evans; photo by Kevin Colton

Every month in Dance Studio Life magazine, master modern teacher and esteemed educator Bill Evans shares his insights on dance, movement, and motivation in “2 Tips for Modern Teachers.”

Next summer, teachers and studio owners will be able to share his wisdom first-hand at the DanceLife Teacher Conference, August 1 to 4, at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. Evans, who has earned the Guggenheim Fellowship, numerous fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence and Achievement in the Arts, will be teaching technique classes and leading seminars at DLTC.

Evans has choreographed more than 200 works for professional dance companies and as a guest artist in almost every college department of dance in North America. He is artistic and executive director of the Bill Evans Dance Company (founded in 1975), the Bill Evans Summer Institute of Dance (founded in 1977), and the Bill Evans Rhythm Tap Ensemble (founded in 1992).

For more information on DLTC faculty, visit


Louisville Performances Launch Dance Theatre of Harlem Back on the Road


Ashley Murphy of Dance Theatre of Harlem; photo by Rachel Neville

After an eight-year hiatus, the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company is back on the road, and its first stop of a heavy itinerary was Louisville, Kentucky, this past weekend.

Founded in New York City in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell, Dance Theatre of Harlem was an internationally-acclaimed professional dance company committed to racial diversity in ballet when it suspended its company in 2004.

“The Dance Theatre of Harlem Company is being reborn,” artistic director Virginia Johnson told WFPL News. “We came into rehearsals in August of this year.”

Johnson believes the eight years Dance Theatre of Harlem stayed absent from the national dance scene had an impact across the country. When she toured the U.S. to hold auditions, she found fewer dancers of color performing at the level she needed for her company.

“I think that there is a generation of dancers that were missed because there was no Dance Theatre of Harlem for eight years,” she says. “There were dancers who may have aspired to be a ballerina or a premiere danseur, but who were not encouraged where they were training because there was no place that they thought, traditionally, they would be able to go.”

“So they might have gotten shunted off to modern dance or just shunted off to another career entirely,” Johnson adds. “The presence of Dance Theatre of Harlem on the scene actually created the idea in a generation of young people that yes, I can do this. Without us performing on the stages, I think we lost some people.”

The company’s 2012–2013 tour includes: November 8-9, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Davis, CA; November 11, William Saroyan Theater, Fresno, CA; November 15-17, Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA; January 31-February 3, Detroit Opera House, Detroit, MI; February 7, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY; February 22-23, Harvey Gantt Center for African American Arts & Culture, Charlotte, NC; April 8-14, Ross Theater, Lincoln Center, New York City; April 17, Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples, FL; April 19, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach, FL; April 21, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa, FL; April 30, Bergen County Community College, Paramus, NJ; May 2-3, Tilles Center, Greenvale, NY; May 12-13, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD; May 15-18, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA; May 22-June 3, tour of Greece, Turkey, and Israel; June 7-9, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC.

The full touring schedule found at To see the original story, visit



Bethesda Region Dance Companies and Choreographers Sought for Dance Concert


The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is accepting applications for the ninth annual Dance Bethesda Concert, according to The Gazette.

Selected dance companies will be invited to perform in the concert, March 9, 2013, at Round House Theatre, and will receive a $600 honorarium. Auditions will be viewed by the Dance Bethesda selection panel which consists of Dan Joyce of the School of Dance at George Mason University; Elizabeth Walton of the University of Maryland Baltimore County; and Septime Webre, artistic director of The Washington Ballet.

Dance companies and choreographers located in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, are eligible to submit an audition application. All dance genres are eligible. Dance companies must have been in existence for at least two years. Choreographers are not required to have an established dance company. Selected performers must perform the piece submitted on the audition tape.

Auditioning companies and choreographers can apply two ways; apply online at or mail in a completed application and DVD including one performance piece that is 8 to 10 minutes in length, a resume including past performances, and a nonrefundable entry fee of $15. Applications must be received by November 16.

For a complete application, visit or call 302.215.6660.

To see the original story, visit


Angelina Ballerina Comes to Life in Ballet Spartanburg Original Production


Angelina Ballerina’s Big Audition; photo by Alex C. Hicks Jr.

Ballet Spartanburg choreographer Lona Gomez enjoyed reading the Angelina Ballerina book series to each of her three girls when they were little, so she wrote a ballet that tells the story of Angelina Ballerina as she prepares to audition at the prestigious Camembert Academy.

Angelina Ballerina’s Big Audition will be performed October 19 at 4pm and October 20 at 11am and 2pm at David W. Reid Theatre, Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg, South Carolina, as the first ballet in a double feature. A production of The Elves and the Shoemaker, directed by Ballet Spartanburg artistic director Carlos Agudelo, also will be performed.

Gomez told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal that in her story, Angelina realizes the world is more than just ballet when she meets mouse friends who teach her about other dance styles. “I wanted to make it somewhat updated. I added things that kids might enjoy such as Irish and hip-hop dance styles,” she said.

While there is a touring Angelina Ballerina musical, Agudelo said Ballet Spartanburg is the only one in the country to have been given the rights to produce an Angelina Ballerina ballet.

To stay true to the look of the PBS series, colorful costumes were made by a professional seamstress in California. Masks were made by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Tickets are $15 and are available at or by calling 864.583.0339. To see the original story, visit



Dance Masters Chapter 8 Thrilled with Dance Studio Life Article


This week Rhee Gold received a personal letter from Marilyn Caccamise, secretary of Dance Masters of Western New York Chapter 8, expressing the excitement that she and her fellow club members felt after seeing their chapter featured in the October issue of Dance Studio Life.

Each month, DSL’s Strength in Numbers feature pays tribute to a dance teacher organization. Through pictures and illustrations, the feature explains why the group was founded and by whom, how it has grown over the years, and what sorts of services and education opportunities it affords members.

Some of the organizations featured recently include Michigan Dance Council, Colorado Dance Alliance, Canadian Dance Masters of America Chapter 38, Massachusetts Dance Educators Organization, and RI Dance Alliance. Any organization that would be like to be featured can contact associate editor Karen White at for more information.


92Y’s Night of Burlesque a Tribute to Survivors of Breast Cancer


Prevention . . . awareness . . . showgirls? The 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center in New York City is launching its new burlesque-themed dance series with Pink Light Burlesque, created by the New York School of Burlesque to celebrate the lives of women who have experienced breast cancer.

Created in memory of Jennie Lee, the founder of the Burlesque Hall of Fame who died from breast cancer in 1990, the evening will feature classes for breast cancer patients and survivors, live demonstrations, video, storytelling, and performances.

Producer David Bishop, who will present a total of four 92Y burlesque programs, became interested in the Pink Light Project because his mother is a breast cancer survivor and his godmother lost her battle with cancer. “I’m a fan of helping survivors learn to live in and love their bodies again,” he says.

“Burlesque celebrates the human drive to amuse, provoke, charm, and seduce,” says Jo Weldon, headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque and author of The Burlesque Handbook. “The Pink Light Burlesque project invites survivors to take classes to experience the joyous and body-loving fun so many burlesque students embrace.”

Pink Light Burlesque will be held October 27 at 8pm at the 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue. Other burlesque events are set for December 22 (Hunk: All-Male Burlesque Revue), January 12 (Hot Geeks: A Nerd-lesque Revue), and February 9 (Burlesque is LOVE!). For more information, visit



‘Jar of Hearts’ Dancer Peter Chu Joins Faculty of Brand New Dance Convention


Peter Chu; photo courtesy Peter Chu

Choreographer and dance teacher Peter Chu will participate in the 24 Seven Dance Convention, a tour of two-day workshops for aspiring dancers ages 5 to 19 that will visit 15 cities across the United States in 2012-13, culminating with a national dance competition in Las Vegas from July 14 to 19, 2013.

Launching next month, the brand new 24 Seven Dance Convention will present classes, choreographed routines, and an adjudicated competition over the course of a weekend, under the tutelage of a faculty that includes Sonya Tayeh, Danny Wallace, Lauren Adams, Brooke Pierotti, tWitch, Anthony Russo, Jess Hendricks, and Francisco Gella.

Chu, a 2002 graduate of The Juilliard School, has danced with Montreal’s BJM Danse Company, Crystal Pite’s company Kidd Pivot, Celine Dion’s Vegas spectacular A New Day, and was the lead character in Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts” music video. His choreography was featured on Season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance. His company, chuthis., will tour Nothing Sticks, inspired by the vaudevillian era, across the United States this spring.

The 24 Seven tour begins in Chicago on November 9 to 11 and will make stops in Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Orlando, and Washington, DC, among other cities. Visit for more information.


Artistry Online: Check out Dance Studio Life Magazine Covers


Ten times a year, Dance Studio Life magazine presents pages and pages of insightful, emotional, and advice-packed articles about the dance studio world. But our readers tell us that what’s on the cover is always a treat as well—from twirling toddlers to dance icons.

Did you know you can peruse each and every cover from July of 2007 to now on and It’s fun to scroll down and check out the energetic images. Do you have a favorite? How about the snarling “wild animal” all dressed up and ready for recital, or the little Hawaiian dancer looking lovely in her lei? Geo Hubela coming at ya, or William Wingfield’s statuesque pose? What’s up for next month—we’re not telling, but we can almost guarantee it will make you go “Ah!”


Choreographer Paul Taylor and Educator Alice Teirstein Honored at The Bessies


Paul Taylor received the 2012 Lifetime Achievement in Dance award and Alice Teirstein took home this year’s award for Service to the Field of Dance at The 2012 Bessies: New York Dance and Performance Awards, held October 15 at the Apollo Theater in New York City.

The Bessies saluted Taylor as a pioneer who helped reshape the landscape of American dance: “For his pioneering work as modern dance’s original maverick, helping to reimagine what was possible in dance; for creating a unique dance language that is both lyrical and muscular, dynamic and humane; for having the courage and commitment to follow his own compass, creating new works for six remarkable decades,” read the award.

Teirstein’s work with young dancers in New York City “has changed countless lives and given generations of young people the ability to express themselves through dance and choreography.”

The founding director of Young Dancemakers Company, Teirstein has been choreographing, performing, and teaching dance in New York since the early 1970s.

She designed, initiated and developed the dance curriculum for grades 7–12 at the Fieldston School, where she served on the faculty for over three decades, leading the dance program and directing its Touring Fieldston Dance Company. She initiated the dance program’s Dance Out Project, bringing her students into the city’s homeless shelters where they served as group leaders in dance workshops with homeless youngsters, and for three years was co-director of the 92nd St. Y’s Young Masters Repertory Ensemble. She has led workshops for dance teachers for the NYC Department of Education, the Dance Educators Lab, and many other organizations.

To see the full list of nominees and winners, visit



Baryshnikov Seeks to Captures the Motion, Emotion, of Dance in Photographs


Photo of traditional hula dancers by Mikhail Baryshnikov, 2009

To be a great dancer, flawless technique is not enough. For Mikhail Baryshnikov—the dancer, not the photographer—you have to go further than athleticism and use the technique to embody the music.

But for Mikhail Baryshnikov—the photographer, not the dancer—pushing past technique and control to embrace spontaneity is equally important.

“When I look through the lens, in a way, I’m trying to be a dancer, too,” he told The New York Times. “I sometimes don’t even notice when I press the button. Boom boom boom and then the piece is over.”

If you know dance and are also an accomplished photographer, with experience and a lot of practice it’s possible to capture what dance looks like. But Baryshnikov, one of the most renowned dancers of the 20th century, is seeking to find ways to visually express what it feels like to be dancing.

Though he says his technique isn’t flawless, by experimenting with long exposures and camera motion, he has managed to make images that sometimes capture the primal experience of merging a human body with music.

“I try to anticipate the next movement,” he said, “because if some dancer twists the body in one direction against a clock, I am moving and lowering the camera and stretching it the other way, I really feel that I am with them (though five rows back).”

Baryshnikov has been photographing for more than 20 years, mostly landscapes and portraits, but has been seriously shooting dance only since 2006. He has now made two books of dance images, Merce My Way (2008) and Dominican Moves (2009), both published by Baryshnikov Productions, and his most recent photographs are on view at the ABA gallery in Manhattan, by appointment only.

To read the full story and view a series of his photographs, visit


DSL Gets a ‘Gold’ for Competition-Themed News and Events


Ready, set, high gold! You’ve picked out the music and the moves for your competitive team, and now the Rhee Gold Company is ready with all the strategies, enthusiasm, and advice you need to make sure your competition season is a winning one.

First, Rhee Gold will head up a seminar all about the ins and outs (and ups and downs) of dance competitions on November 17 and 18 at his new DanceLife Retreat Center in Norton, Massachusetts. Specifically designed for owners and teachers, this one-of-a-kind seminar will tackle all the tough issues head-on: from keeping parents and kids positive and pumped, to writing effective policies, to creative choreography and more.

And then, in the December issue of Dance Studio Life, look for our annual Competitions and Conventions feature listings of more than a hundred companies, from familiar old favorites to snazzy newbies. Whether you’re looking for a hip-hop intensive, a star-studded convention, or a red-hot competition experience for your students, you won’t have to look any further than this comprehensive listing.

For more info on the seminar, go to  To subscribe to Dance Studio Life magazine, visit



San Fernando Valley Dancers Band Together in Support of National MS Society


Dancers from California’s San Fernando Valley have thrown their talent and enthusiasm behind Dance for a Cure, a night of entertainment and fun that raises funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, set for November 10 beginning at 6pm.

The event, entitled Dancing the Night Away, will feature dance performances by Dance in Motion, Canoga Park; Reflections in Dance, Woodland Hills; The Jacobellis Academy of Dance, Thousand Oaks; and Louisville High School’s Concert Dancers.

Other activities include a silent auction featuring concert tickets, guitar lessons, jewelry, gift baskets, and certificates for personal training sessions and restaurants; plus a bake sale featuring desserts from local bakeries Blackbird Pantry, Nicola’s Kitchen, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Susie Cakes. Seabirds Food Truck (as seen on The Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race) will also be on hand and will donate 10 percent of the evening’s sales to the National MS Society.

The event will be held at Louisville High School, 22300 Mulholland Drive, Woodland Hills. Admissions (by donation) and all other proceeds will benefit the National MS Society.

Kristen Angarano of Reflections in Dance studio founded Dance for a Cure in 2010 to bring awareness to and support research for MS. Her dancers, together with other area partners, have raised more than $10,000 since then for MS and other charitable foundations through Dance for a Cure and other activities. Dance for the Cure was recognized this spring by the global think-tank organization TEDx as a local charity making a difference in its community, and plans to partner with the United States Tournament of Dance in 2013.

For more information, visit or


Last Dancer Chosen by Ailey, Renee Robinson, Prepares for Final Performance


Renee Robinson; photo by Andrew Eccles

The last remaining Alvin Ailey Dance Company member selected by founder Alvin Ailey, Renee Robinson, will give her final performance in New York on December 9 at 7:30pm.

A revered Ailey dancer since 1981, Robinson is the female dancer with the longest tenure in the company’s history, and the only dancer to have performed under all three artistic directors.

Also, on Thursday evenings in November, Robinson will lead a special Revelations Master Class Series at The Ailey Extension featuring the fundamentals of the Horton technique, movements from Revelations, live accompanists, and original music.

Robinson began her training in classical ballet at the Jones-Haywood School. She was the recipient of two Ford Foundation scholarships to the School of American Ballet and was awarded full scholarships to the Dance Theatre of Harlem School and The Ailey School. She performed at the White House State Dinner in 2003 in honor of the President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki, and at the White House tribute to Judith Jamison in 2010.

For more information on the Revelations Master Class Series (November 1, 8, 15, and 29 from 7:30 to 9pm), visit For performance schedule and tickets, visit or


Gold Greets Fans and Friends During a Wild Weekend at UDMA in Chicago


Rhee Gold and a team of staff members spent a weekend chatting with friends and fellow dance lovers at the United Dance Merchants of America Dance Resource and Costume Show at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in the Chicago suburbs.

More than 50 dance industry companies representing all aspects of the business from costumes to software to music to travel presented their products to the many dance studio owners and teachers in attendance. Even torrential downpours and a brief “lockdown” (the hotel kept everyone indoors until warnings of potential tornados in the area were lifted) didn’t dampen the spirits of teachers and owners loaded down with catalogs and fun giveaways who laughed and shared success stories with Gold and Melissa Hoffman, a successful New Hampshire studio owner and regular DLTC presenter, at the Rhee Gold Company booth.

Gold fielded inquires about his plans for next summer’s DanceLife Teacher Conference, set for August 1 to 4, 2013, at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as upcoming seminars at his new DanceLife Retreat Center in Massachusetts.

Show attendees also snapped up Gold’s studio management system of handbooks for recitals, students and parents, intensive dancers, and faculty and staff; as well as his latest T-shirt designs. He and his crew will be off again this coming weekend when UDMA holds its last show of the season at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey.

Upcoming Retreat Center seminars include popular DLTC presenter Roni Mahler heading up a Teachers’ Ballet Intensive on November 3 and 4, with Gold leading a two-day discussion about competitions and intensive dancer programs on November 17 and 18. For more information, visit .


London Tour Sure to Be Highlight of Boston Ballet’s 50th Season


Boston Ballet has announced that it will kick off its 50th season with six performances, July 1 to 7, 2013, at the London Coliseum, reports the Boston Globe.

“I hope we make a royal impression and keep the bridge between London and Boston active,” artistic director Mikko Nissinen says.

The tour—Boston Ballet’s first to London in 30 years—comes on the heels of the company’s Finland tour this year and other trips to Spain, South Korea, and Canada in recent years. The company is looking to make a name for itself internationally.

“London is one of the performing arts capitals in the world, with a hungry dance audience and extremely well-educated and respected dance critics,” says executive director Barry Hughson. “As we think about telling this story of Boston Ballet as a global brand, London seemed the most appropriate to tell that story.”

Nissinen says he designed the programs to offer a representation of Boston Ballet and to be relevant everywhere. The first program features George Balanchine’s Serenade and Symphony in Three Movements, Vaslav Nijinsky’s Afternoon of a Faun, and Boston Ballet resident choreographer Jorma Elo’s Plan to B. The second program, which emphasizes contemporary works, includes Jirí Kylián’s Bella Figura, Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia, and William Forsythe’s The Second Detail.

To see the full story, visit



NYC Prestigious Literary Club Honors Paul Taylor with Medal of Merit


Paul Taylor; photo courtesy Paul Taylor Dance Company

Legendary choreographer Paul Taylor was feted at a state dinner at the iconic Lotos Club on October 3 where he received the Medal of Merit, the club’s highest honor given to leaders in the arts and cultural worlds.

The Lotos Club, one of the oldest literary clubs in the United States, was founded in 1870 by a group of young writers, journalists, and critics. Frequent guests then as well as now include top scholars, musicians, painters and sculptors, art collectors, historians, novelists, and college presidents.

Past recipients include Gilbert and Sullivan, Ulysses S. Grant, Samuel Clemens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Woodrow Wilson, Enrico Caruso, Fiorello LaGuardia, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Gloria Swanson, Harry Truman, Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco, Stephen Sondheim, Peter Martins, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Marilyn Horne, and Barbara Cook.

Lotos Club president Anne Russell read letters of praise from Baryshnikov, Ellsworth Kelly, and Alex Katz, all of whom have worked closely with Taylor. “Mr. Taylor embodies the tenets that the Lotos Club holds so dear: to promote and develop art, and encourage and inspire other artists and audiences alike,” Russell said. “It was a fitting tribute to such an accomplished and lovely man.”

Taylor has achieved countless accolades, including two of our nation’s highest artistic distinctions: the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts.


Tell-All Tome Uncovers ‘Dirty Little Secrets’ of Dance’s Perfect Ballerina


Ballerina; image courtesy Winnipeg Free Press

Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection is an impeccably researched history through centuries’ worth of ballet’s dirty little secrets concerning ballerinas, write CindyMarie Small, former soloist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, in a review in the Winnipeg Free Press.

As much as some people like to think of the art form as high-minded, author Deirdre Kelly, a well-known Toronto dance critic, makes it clear that its appeal has often been to the lower regions. “Almost from the beginning, professional ballerinas were sexualized,” Kelly writes.

Indeed, Kelly reports, sex was so linked to the Paris Opera of the 18th century that the “ballerina-as-concubine was an open secret in French society.”

No doubt there were many victims of this system, but Kelly provides intriguing examples of dancers who successfully manipulated the system for their own gain. Kelly argues that “ballerina-courtesans were among the first independent women . . . not passive victims of patriarchy, as some might want to think, but active participants in the shaping of their own destinies.”

Still, Kelly deftly explains the various aspects of ballet’s evolution from Paris in the Romantic era to Russia and the classical ballet, and then on to North America via Les Ballet Russes, Anna Pavlova, and the arrival of director-choreographer George Balanchine in the first half of the 20th century.

She also addresses the unrealistic physical ideal for which the ballerina is still expected to strive; the constant threat of injuries; low pay; and the psychological and mental anguish that so often is a part of a ballerina’s “early” retirement.

The 264 page book is available from Greystone Books for $30. To read the full review, visit



CHRP’s JUBA! First Full-Length Tap Concert in Kennedy Center Theater


Chicago Human Rhythm Project will perform JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance at the Eisenhower Theater at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in a rare, full-length performance of American concert tap dance.

According to CHRP, this performance will be the first full-length tap concert in any of the Kennedy Center’s three largest theaters since it opened in 1971. JUBA! features performances by foot drummers and percussive arts masters.

The show is set for December 7 at 8pm at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW Washington DC. Tickets are $19 to $50. To purchase, visit


Author of Apollo’s Angels Talks on Politics and Society of Dance


Jennifer Homans; photo courtesy The Salem News

Jennifer Homans, dance critic, historian, and author of Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet, will give a talk, “Why Art Matters,” October 14 at 3:30pm at Tedesco Country Club in Marblehead, Massachusetts, reports The Salem News.

“I’m interested in politics and society,” said Homans, who teaches at New York University. “In a way, the talk could be ‘When Art Matters.’ What I’m going to be talking about are those moments when an art form matters enormously to a society.”

The history of ballet begins in 1533, according to Homans’ book, when the Italian and French courts were brought together by royal marriage. The art form reached its most recent peak in New York City around 30 years ago, when George Balanchine was serving as ballet master of the New York City Ballet.

“There are moments when ballet really matters; it’s at the center, the core of everybody’s life,” she said. “There are other moments when it slips to the periphery and takes a back seat to other art forms, or other forms of popular culture.”

The talk is being sponsored by the North Shore Civic Ballet and the Marblehead School of Ballet. Tickets are $55 and available at 781.631.6262 or To read the full article, visit


The Bessies Ready to Honor the Best in NYC Dance at Monday Ceremony


Dance luminaries and dance lovers will be on hand when The New York Dance and Performance Awards—“The Bessies”—are presented at the Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street, New York City on October 15.

Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, The Bessie Awards seeks to honor outstanding work in the field of dance, and to advocate on the national and international stage for the extraordinary range of dance being performed in New York. Named in honor of treasured dancer and teacher Bessie Schonberg, the awards honor exceptional choreography, performance, music composition, visual design, and others areas of dance and performance.

Hosted by Elizabeth Streb, the event includes award presentations by Marina Abramovic, luciana achugar, Ron Brown, Brenda Bufalino, Archie Burnett, Stuart Hodes, Bebe Neuwirth, Kevin McKenzie, Charles Reinhart, Rokafella, David Thomson, and Wendy Whelan; with performances by Souleymane Badolo and Trisha Brown Company.

Doors open at 7pm; ceremony begins promptly at 8pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at or at the Apollo box office.

To see a full list of this year’s nominees, visit


Vote Now for Favorite Entry in Dance Your Ph.D Contest


How would you explain your Ph.D. research to someone with no scientific background? Let’s say for example, your thesis is: “Odd-Z Transactinide Compound Nucleus Reactions Including the Discovery of 260Bh.” Where would you even begin?

How about doing a hula-hoop dance while being pelted with glowing balls? That was the solution discovered by Sarah Wilk, the author of the above chemistry Ph.D. thesis at the University of California, Berkeley. Her entry is one of the 12 finalists in the 2012 Dance Your Ph.D. contest. The other dances include techniques such as break dancing and burlesque.

This is the fifth year of the contest, sponsored by Science and AAAS (Science’s publisher). The aim is to challenge scientists to explain their research through dance, the most jargon-free medium available.

The scientists who submitted the 36 dances in this year’s contest hail from across the globe, from North America to Australia. The contest’s previous winners scored the dances’ scientific and artistic creativity, determining the three best Ph.D. dances in each of the four broad categories: physics, chemistry, biology, and social sciences. Those 12 finalists will be scored this week by an independent panel of judges, including senior scientists, educators, and professional dancers.

The winners and the reader favorite will be announced October 15. To vote for your favorite, visit


NJ Tap Dance Ensemble Founder Deborah Mitchell Honored at Tapology Weekend


Deborah Mitchell; photo courtesy Tapology

Tapology’s annual Dance Festival for Youth, a three-day event featuring dance workshops for youth and adults, a tap competition, historical presentation, honorary luncheon, and concert, is set for October 25 to 28 at the Flint Institute of Music’s Cultural Center Campus, 1025 E. Kearsley Street, Flint, Michigan.

The weekend features classes for beginner, intermediate, advanced, and adult dancers. Deborah Mitchell, a Broadway and film dancer and founder and artistic director of the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble, will be the guest of honor at Saturday’s Honoree Luncheon. Saturday features a tap competition with $1,500 in prizes at 8:30pm in the MacArthur Auditorium, while Sunday features the Tapology Concert at 7pm at the Whiting.

The lineup for the concert includes performers and master teachers such as Chester Whitmore, Dianne Walker, Cartier Williams, Maurice Chestnut, and Jared Grimes; as well as former students who have gone on to professional careers, such as Quynn Johnson, Bianca Revels, Alexandria Bradley, and Frances Bradley; as well as the Tapology Youth Ensemble.

For more information, to register for workshops, or to purchase tickets, visit or call 810.787.0197.



Everyone Welcome to Attend Saturday’s Day of Dance at U of North Texas


Dance and the Child International USA and the University of North Texas Department of Dance and Theatre have teamed up to present a Day of Dance 2012 on October 13 from 9am to 4:15pm.

The day features classes for beginning to advanced dancers ages 8 and older from public schools, private studios, colleges, and neighborhoods, as well as teachers, parents, grandparents, and others, and includes the opportunity to perform and receive expert feedback on original choreography.

Registration begins at 8:30am in the front foyer of Stovall Hall, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. Cost is $10 for children ages 8 to 18 or $75 for adults ($10 for workshop and $65 for membership to daCi USA). Participants must bring their own lunch.

DaCi is a nonprofit organization that promotes the growth and development in dance for children internationally. For information or to register, contact Mary Lynn Babcock at (940.565.4057) or visit


Harvey Weinstein and Michael Flatley Team Up to Present the World Dance Awards


The Weinstein Company struck Oscar-winning gold with its film The Artist, but one of its biggest projects for 2013 will be a television event: the World Dance Awards, reports The Guardian.

Co-chairman Harvey Weinstein announced the project at the Mipcom conference in Cannes, alongside dancer and choreographer Michael Flatley, who came up with the idea.

Details were thin on the ground, other than that it will be a glitzy awards ceremony with six to eight categories, garlanding dancers from around the world. “It’s going to be a game changer for all the networks that buy the show,” he said. “This is going to be a ratings blockbuster that the people who buy it early will have year after year after year.”

Flatley preferred to focus on the potential viewers of the awards. “We owe this to the millions and millions of kids around the world who dance,” he said, while also citing inspiration from dancers like Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Michael Jackson.

“The sky’s the limit, we’ve got to reach all the little children,” said Flatley of the show, which Weinstein said had been “an easy sell” when pitched to him.

To read the full story, visit


Australian Ballet Welcomes First Aboriginal Dancer


Ella Havelka; photo by Darren England/Herald Sun

The Australian Ballet has welcomed its first Aboriginal dancer, Ella Havelka, who will join the company next month after four years with Australia’s top indigenous dance troupe Bangarra, reports the Herald Sun.

It brings the Dubbo-born dancer full circle. She graduated from the Australian Ballet School in 2007 and performed with the company’s regional touring arm. Havelka said she hoped to inspire others within the indigenous community to “pursue their own dreams and passions.”

Australian Ballet artistic director David McAllister said he was thrilled to have Havelka, who performed with the company in its collaborations with Bangarra, including in New York this year. “We’ve been watching Ella for many years and have witnessed her grow and develop into a beautiful artist,” he said.

Havelka’s farewell performances with Bangarra will be in Brisbane this week. Her first Melbourne performance with the Australian Ballet likely will be in Don Quixote in March.

To see the original story, visit


East Carolina University Seeks Part-Time Tap Teacher


East Carolina University, a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina located in Greenville, North Carolina, has posted a job opening for a part-time tap teacher in its School of Theatre and Dance.

East Carolina University is a doctoral institution with an enrollment of more than 27,000 students and approximately 4,500 faculty and staff. Candidate must have strong skills for teaching beginner tap foundations (traditional base steps and vocabulary/technique) through advanced-level, performance-oriented courses encompassing “rhythm tap” techniques, and other advanced-level foot work specializations.

The ideal instructor will be versatile in his/her teaching abilities and also possess choreographic skills suitable for creating performance pieces included in Main Stage season dance concerts.

A candidate with an MFA in dance or a related field from an appropriately accredited institution is preferred; a candidate with equivalent and substantial professional experience in the field will also be considered provided he/she has a minimum of five years teaching experience.

East Carolina University requires applicants to submit a candidate profile online, including a cover letter, a curriculum vitae/resume, and a list of three references with contact information.

This is a fixed-term faculty appointment with possibility for annual renewals. Salary is competitive. To register, visit


Boston International Ballet Competition Moves to NYC, Changes Name


The Boston International Ballet Competition, founded two years ago by former Bolshoi Ballet dancer Valentina Kozlova, has announced its move to New York City and renaming as the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition.

Headquartered in Manhattan under the umbrella of the Dance Conservatory Performance Project, the competition’s next edition is scheduled for June 2013.

More than 160 professional and pre-professional entrants, ranging in age from 13 to 25, from approximately 40 countries around the world, competed in the first two editions of the competition held in Boston. Prizes included contracts to Boston Ballet, Boston Ballet II, The Washington Ballet Studio Company, Columbia Classical Ballet, and Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida; invitations to international festivals in Riga, Moscow, and Paris; dozens of scholarships to prominent schools; and monetary awards.

The competition’s new website is


Nappytabs Returns to Choreographing with Baby Boy in Tow


Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo; photo courtesy Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo have choreographed for Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, and Christina Aguilera, but now the couple has embarked on a new collaboration: parenting.

“The first week we were so scared,” Tabitha tells People magazine of bringing home baby boy London Riley in mid-August. “You have this little person in front of you and you question everything you do.”

The American Idol and America’s Best Dance Crew choreographers are learning to trust their instincts as new parents despite their shaky start. Now feeling more confident, the proud parents have returned to work choreographing for the recent So You Think You Can Dance finale and have television show and music video shoots scheduled in the coming weeks.

“Every rehearsal, when we leave him, I tear up a bit in the car,” admits Tabitha, 39. The couple is also finding ways to bring 7-week-old London to work with them.

“We have little noise-canceling headphones that we put on him and they look really cool,” Napoleon says. “He doesn’t hear any of the noises and sleeps right through while we are choreographing.”

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New Documentary Gives an Inside Glimpse at International Dance Workshop


A new documentary will feature World Dance Movement events in Italy and Spain and include excerpts from dance classes, a star-studded performance gala, and faculty and student interviews.

World Dance Movement is an international dance workshop created to give dancers from around the world a forum through which they can learn from each other both artistically and culturally. The curriculum challenges dancers of all levels through a comprehensive study-vacation model, and serves as a conduit to the professional dance scene. More than 3,000 dancers from 26 countries have attended World Dance Movement events.

Among those highlighted include World Dance Movement faculty member Desmond Richardson (co-founder and artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet), French choreographer Bruno Collinet, Italian sensations Macia del Prete and Stefano de Martino, Shelly Masenoir-Hutchinson from So You Think You Can Dance Ukraine, and Broadway choreographer/director David Marquez, plus master teachers Igal Perry of Peridance Capezio Center, Joshua Pelatzky, Eva Sánchez Martz, and Michèle Assaf (co-founder of World Dance Movement).

The film also features a casting workshop and dance seminar that was held in Italy by Cirque du Soleil senior talent scout Rick Tjia in the summer of 2012.

Produced in conjunction with Pinguino Films, a trailer for the documentary is available at

World Dance Movement: The Documentary is expected to air on major cable networks internationally in the spring of 2013. Registration for 2013 World Dance Movement Spain, December 28 to January 6, 2013, is open now at Additional events throughout the world are also planned for summer of 2013, including World Dance Movement’s three-week signature event in Italy in July. Learn more at

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October 2012
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