The ruling from the Irish Dancing Commission—which came into force at the start of this month—forbids children under the age of 10 from wearing makeup and fake eyelashes during contests, but stops short of outlawing fake tan and wigs.
The Irish Examiner said that supporters of the blanket ban, which applies to youngsters taking part in solo or team competitions, have welcomed the move, with many saying it was long overdue.
Concern had been raised that the globalization of Irish dancing since Riverdance had resulted in widespread use of makeup by young competitors. But a leading Irish dance teacher said it should be up to the parents to decide whether or not their competing daughters should wear makeup.
Pauline Fegan, who runs four schools in South County Dublin and County Wicklow, Ireland, said: “Too many people who don’t really understand Irish dancing have gotten involved, with people calling up radio shows to say it’s disgraceful that children are wearing makeup.
“But it’s not that big a deal. Children who take part in competitions are trying to win and they want to look as well as they can when they perform. The young girls get excited about putting a bit of makeup or lipstick on for competitions. At the end of the day it’s all about the dancing, but I think it should be left for the parents to decide on whether their daughters apply makeup.”
To see the full story, visit http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/irish-dance-make-up-ban-too-extreme-says-teacher-261013.html.
Loyola Marymount University assistant professor of dance Rosalynde LeBlanc Loo has won the prestigious Graves Award in the Humanities, and will use the award to create an interdisciplinary, core curriculum class at that examines “the interconnectedness of dance, culture, and history.”
A release from the Los Angeles university said the award includes a $12,000 stipend that will support her research focusing on the work and methods of renowned choreographer Bill T. Jones; in particular, D-Man in the Waters, the dance he created in 1989 about the AIDS epidemic.
The dance is named for Demian “D-Man” Acquavella, who was a member of the Jones’ troupe when the dancer was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988. Acquavella died at 32 in 1990.
LeBlanc Loo, who danced with Jones from 1993 to 1999, expects to complete a documentary about Acquavella, the troupe, and the impact of AIDS on their art. “As a scholar and teacher, I investigate ways in which personal, cultural, and historical events inform choreography. I try to situate movement in its larger context, stressing the fact that dance can be, and often is, a beautiful repository for narrative.”
The Arnold L. Graves and Lois S. Graves Awards, administered at Pomona College, encourage and reward “outstanding accomplishment in actual teaching in the humanities by younger faculty members.” It is given to about a dozen teachers biennially, with applications accepted from about 40 private, liberal arts universities on the West Coast. For more LMU news and events, visit www.lmu.edu/news.
The 36th annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival will feature 31 dance companies and more than 300 dancers and musicians at this year’s event, set for June 5 to 29.
Kathakali dance, last presented at the festival in 1978, will be highlighted. Of all of the classical Indian dance forms, kathakali is the most stylized and is often compared to the kabuki tradition of Japan, especially in regards to the elaborate make-up worn by the performers.
Noted teachers of classical Indian dance, Katherine and K.P. Kunhiraman, will be presented with the festival’s annual Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award at the June 14 evening performance.
“Kathakali dance is at risk of being lost forever,” said Julie Mushet, the festival’s executive director, noting that this year’s festival will mark K.P.’s final U.S. appearance before retirement. “K.P. Kunhiraman’s departure raises many questions about the future of dance and how, and even if, cultural traditions will be passed to the next generation, as they have been for millennia.”
Tickets to the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival are $18 to $58 and will be available for purchase April 11 at www.sfethnicdancefestival.org.
Dance may not just be athletic or aesthetic, it can also be psychotherapeutic. That’s the premise behind The Evolving Center on West Street in Litchfield, Connecticut, which was started in January by Judith Ehrman-Shapiro, a board-certified dance movement therapist and dance educator.
Ehrman-Shapiro told the Register Citizen that any kind of movements can be used, not only dance. The individual can use whatever movement, gesture, or posture they feel comfortable with, and which expresses how they feel inside. For example, Ehrman-Shapiro said, if they feel angry, she will guide them to find out where that anger comes from in the body, to locate the first place they feel it.
It’s great for people who can’t express themselves through words, Ehrman-Shapiro said, noting that she often works with autistic children. The idea of dance therapy is actually very old, she added, as it emerged, along with other forms of creative arts therapy, in the U.S. as early as World War I.
Creative arts therapy, also known as expressive therapy, includes dance, drama, art, and music, according to Ehrman-Shapiro. She said not just any artist can be a therapist; it requires a master’s degree and more than 3,000 hours of supervision from a dance therapist. Then there are tests, registration, and licensing to become certified.
She is interested in working with groups affected by depression, anxiety, and trauma, as well as people with physical challenges and addictions. The bright side for her is to see how many more people have become receptive to dance movement therapy today compared to 25 years ago.
“The most important [thing] for people to know is the process of therapy happens at their pace,” Ehrman-Shapiro said. “It’s important to take care of yourself. When you do, other things in life will fall into line.”
To read the full story, visit http://www.registercitizen.com/general-news/20140303/litchfields-evolving-center-uses-dance-to-heal-minds.
Four out of five dancers will suffer a severe injury during the course of their dancing career—and two out of those four will never fully recover, reports CNN World.
Physiotherapy for recovering dancers is well entrenched, and dancers benefit from few of the scientific breakthroughs that have so improved the safety record of their athletic counterparts on the sports field.
Patrick Rump, a 33-year-old former karate champion from Germany, is fighting to change all that. His work rehabilitating leading dancers is featured in a short documentary, Patrick Rump: Sports Scientist, first screened at the Prix de Lausanne ballet competition in February.
The Rump approach is to consider the whole picture—compiling data to track everything: from what the dancer eats and how much weight they can lift, to the angle of their leg as they glide through the air. In practice, this means watching each dancer intimately and building a computer profile of their performance based on multitude of different measures. Rump takes this visual micro-analysis and adds dietary guidance, strength and stamina-building weight training, and scheduled recovery periods, all of which he imported from his knowledge of the world of sport.
His methods have faced resistance from some in the ballet world. He’s used to hearing the complaint from ballet company directors that “they are sports and we are art, and it doesn’t go together.” And it has been harder still to break the ingrained code of silence that exists among dancers, where fierce competition ensures they often conceal injury or weakness for fear of missing out on the best roles.
Yet when star ballerina Alina Cojocaru suffered a serious injury, her recovery regime—guided by Rump—helped her recover from surgery and address underlying issues so that she defied doctors’ predictions and returned to the stage within six months. “To be on stage and not feel pain . . . it’s a wonderful, wonderful miracle,” Cojocaru says.
To see the full story, visit http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/05/world/meet-the-ballet-doctor-dance/.
“Pennsylvania Ballet at 50,” an exhibition celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary, is on view at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street, through March 30, reported The Dance Journal. The free exhibit is open to the public.
“Pennsylvania Ballet has an incredibly rich history,” artistic director Roy Kaiser says. “We are honored the Free Library has given us this platform to share our story with our fellow Philadelphians.”
Pennsylvania Ballet’s 50-year history is displayed in the Parkway Central’s first floor West Gallery through the use of stunning photos, vintage posters, costumes, performance programs, and historic artifacts, many items on view for the first time. The exhibition also features highlights from the company’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2013, including the 50th Anniversary Gala and the first annual Nutcracker Market craft and gift fair, plus a video tribute created by Pennsylvania Ballet photographer/videographer Alexander Iziliaev, a former principal dancer for the company.
To design the exhibition, Pennsylvania Ballet has partnered with graphic design students from Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, led by professor and program director Jody Graff. Drexel students also designed “Behind the Scenes of The Nutcracker,” which ran this past winter at the Philadelphia History Museum.
George Mason University will host the American College Dance Association Mid-Atlantic Conference this weekend at its Fairfax, Virginia, campus.
Northern Virginia Magazine reported that more than 560 dancers and dance faculty representing 20 different universities will attend the March 8 to 11 conference. Participating dancers will be taking classes in a variety of dance forms such as world dances, ballet, and contemporary, and present dance pieces in a series of adjudicated and informal concerts.
Public events will include a panel titled “Imagine . . . a Life in Dance” featuring Ashley Wheater, artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet, 2013 MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham, and other dance industry professionals on March 9; a performance by the Joffrey Ballet of Body and Soul on March 8; and a gala performance on March 11.
For more information, visit https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/tab1.aspx?EventID=1259417.
To see the original story, visit http://www.northernvirginiamag.com/buzz-bin/2014/02/27/gmu-to-host-american-college-dance-association-mid-atlantic-conference/.
World War II was a perilous time for Britain, and yet, the years of grinding conflict offered British ballet dancers a chance to show their mettle and become entwined with the cultural fabric of the nation, reported the Daily Mail.
As David Bintley, Royal Birmingham Ballet director, explains in the new BBC4 documentary Dancing in the Blitz: How World War 2 Made British Ballet, the war years proved to be “the making of British ballet.”
The driving force behind the scheme to turn what had once been a largely foreign art form into something quintessentially British was Ninette de Valois, who had set up the Vic-Wells Company and put together a roster of talent that included dancers Margot Fonteyn and Robert Helpmann, and choreographer Frederick Ashton, by the mid ’30s. But it wasn’t until war broke out in 1939 that de Valois’ fledgling ballet company truly came into its own—transforming the art from a niche pursuit for the posh into an everyman pleasure in the process.
“I think for highbrow audiences, ballet was well established,” says Royal Ballet School’s Anna Meadmore. “But for the man in the street, it was still very much peripheral, exotic, something they wouldn’t consider going to themselves.”
When war broke out on September 3, 1939, de Valois decided to send her company (by now renamed after the Sadler’s Wells Theatre where they were based) on tour. “Everything changed
with the outbreak of war,” says ballet historian Jane Pritchard. “Obviously, the companies immediately stopped performing, but that was only for a brief period because it was quickly realized that people needed entertainment more than ever during wartime.”
With many of the male dancers (and choreographer Ashton) conscripted, the repertoire was reworked to omit male dancers. The company toured the length and breadth of Britain right until the end of the war, creating many new fans in the process.
To see the full story, visit http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2573095/Incredible-story-British-ballets-World-War-II-roots-revealed.html.
An updated report by IBISWorld announced that the dance studio industry is expected to grow by 2.4 percent in 2014, an estimate that would result in the generation of $2.2 billion in revenue.
This represents average annual revenue growth of 2.3 percent over the past five years. “The popularization of dance-inspired television shows and rising interest in dance as an alternative form of exercise have positively impacted the industry over the past five years,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Stephen Morea in a PRWeb release.
In particular, dance studios offering Latin-inspired, fusion, and ballroom dance classes have benefited from rising consumer demand. For instance, there was a 30 percent spike in the number of people taking ballroom lessons and attending ballroom events during the first decade of this century, according to USA Dance Inc.
The industry has not been without its challenges: during the recession, enrollment in dance classes declined and clients shifted away from private classes to more inexpensive group classes. The dance studio industry, however, was quick to rebound. Shifting consumer preferences towards niche and fitness-inspired dance classes mitigated industry revenue declines. As the economy improved and employment and discretionary income expanded, consumers shuffled back into dance studies, and industry revenue gradually improved.
“Fueled by rising consumer interest in dance over the past five years, the number of dance studios is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 2.1 percent, to total an estimated 8,455 studios in 2014,” says Morea.
To see the full release, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11634866.htm.
The Royal New Zealand Ballet is searching for a new artistic director, reports Stuff.com.nz.
Ethan Stiefel, RNZB artistic director since 2011, has not extended his contract with the Wellington-based professional ballet company, instead choosing to return home to the United States, the company confirmed.
“I have enjoyed growing alongside the RNZB, and I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to live and work in New Zealand,” Stiefel said. “Despite how rewarding the experience has been it has proved difficult on a personal level to be so far away from family and friends.”
RNZB chair Candis Craven praised Stiefel and his fiancée—Gillian Murphy, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and RNZB’s principal guest artist in 2012—for their contributions to New Zealand ballet. Behind the scenes Stiefel had expanded RNZB and strengthened its reputation, she said. The company experienced record-breaking seasons under his leadership.
An international search for a new artistic director was currently underway and the RNZB Board hoped to fill the spot by September. To see the original story, visit http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/arts/9789347/Ballet-boss-quits-for-home.
Nearly 20 dance and choral students from Los Angeles’ Academy of Music at Hamilton High School joined 20 professional dancers onstage when singer/songwriter Pharrell Williams presented his Oscar-nominated song “Happy” at the Academy Award ceremony Sunday night.
NRP reported that this was the fourth time Academy of Music students have teamed up with the superstar musician in recent months. “It was a dream. It was awesome,” Alexa Baruch, 15, told member station KPCC. “Leonardo DiCaprio was right in front of us.”
The students were chosen to help Williams perform his song “Happy,” from the soundtrack for the animated film Despicable Me 2. “It was such a unique opportunity and these kids will forever have something really special to remember,” says Kelci Hahn, the school’s choral director.
The students took their chance to dance so seriously they kept it a secret, agreeing not to use social media such as Instagram or Facebook to discuss their upcoming gig at the Dolby Theatre with one of the hottest stars in music. Only in recent days were they allowed to spread the news.
The Academy of Music is a magnet program and relies heavily on donations, school officials told KPCC. To see the original story, visit http://capeandislands.org/post/teens-live-dream-dancing-pharrell-oscars.
Dancing with the Stars has rounded up another eclectic cast of celebrity characters for Season 18, which kicks off March 17, reports USA Today.
The cast includes: Olympic ice dancing darlings Charlie White and Meryl Davis, three singers (including Billy Dee Williams), former child TV stars from The Wonder Years and Full House, a double amputee snowboarding champ, a former pro hockey player, distance swimmer Diana Nyad, reality star NeNe Leakes, and comedian Drew Carey.
Other changes: Bad-boy pro Maks Chmerkovskiy returns to the ballroom, where he will be partnered with gold medalist Davis. Tom Bergeron’s co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet was fired and replaced by Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews. New bandleader Ray Chew joins the team, as Harold Wheeler and his gang exits.
Pro Derek Hough announced another twist on Good Morning America Tuesday, saying that at some point the cast will all switch partners. “You have to change things every so often to keep them fresh,” says executive producer Conrad Green.
The show’s audience was slightly smaller (averaging 15 million viewers) and older last fall. And while it is roughly tied with The Voice in total viewers, DWTS has only about half that show’s young-adult audience. The median age of a DWTS viewer is 61.6, the second-oldest of any major-network primetime series.
But Green defends the show that has had so many years of success. “I think we’ve held our own remarkably well.” To see the full list of stars and partners, visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2014/03/04/dancing-with-the-stars-unveils-season-18-cast/5981855/.
Some businesses in the Fox Cities, Wisconsin, have found joining forces or sharing space can help reduce costs associated with overhead and other expenses, reports the Post Crescent.
Valley Academy for the Arts, a dance school in Neenah, houses multiple arts-related businesses under its roof. Anne Marie Abderholden, founder and artistic director, began collaborating with others as far back as 2001 in two previously leased locations. She continued the practice when she purchased her current building at 139 North Lake Street, but it wasn’t just to cover the mortgage.
“Dance alone isn’t going to sustain my vision of what I want to do,” she said. “It’s vital for the arts to partner with other groups. If organizations collaborate, visibility gets higher. You bring in more people this way.” Besides her nonprofit dance school, the building houses Badger State Girl Choir, karate classes, City of Neenah’s dance classes, and now Rooster Dreams, a new art studio.
“There is no other arts community like it in the Fox Valley,” said Freedom resident Laura Rice, who has three generations of her family in art classes here plus a daughter in ballet and choir. “This original, one-of-a-kind business has made our family’s life so much richer.”
Another new venture in Appleton is a collaboration of four women. Two personal trainers, Jeanne St. Pierre Amstadt and Heather Alix, leased the building under the name Personal Fitness Trainers. They then sublet space to two first-time entrepreneurs, Erin Bembeneck, an Iraq war veteran who does massage, and Wanda Schnetzer, a former city of Appleton employee who teaches yoga.
Fitness veteran Amstadt knew how to get a business going and saw this as a way to help incubate three newcomers. “Their start-up costs are thousands of dollars less,” she said.
To see the original story, visit http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20140228/APC0301/302280310/?nclick_check=1.
Bob Mangold, a 68-year-old resident of Portsmouth, Maine, has been tap dancing his way through chemotherapy with the help of teacher Drika Overton, director at The Dance Hall in Kittery, reports Seacoast Online.
Mangold is raising his own spirits and showing many people a positive way to fight a disease that is working well for him. “I think people way underestimate attitude. It makes a huge difference,” he said. “This is pretty depressing stuff. You know, you say, ‘This is not what I wanted to be doing this year.’ ”
Mangold said he feels better when he’s dancing. He learned he has cancerous lesions in his colon in 2011 and a CT scan later found it had metastasized to his liver. It was not operable, his doctors told him, and he has been undergoing chemotherapy since.
“Tap dancing makes you think. The subtleties are unique. If you miss, it sounds terrible. If you get it, it sounds good,” he said with a laugh. “And it’s a very happy thing to do. Generally, everyone is smiling. And so am I.”
To see the original article, visit http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20140301-OPINION-403010308.
The Now & Next Dance Mentoring Project is a nonprofit organization that develops leaders in dance and movement education and illuminates the cultural relevance of dance through workshops, teacher training programs, support for the creation of new dance works, and online mentoring for college dance majors and minors, adolescent girls, and professional dance artists.
Each project includes a one-week, intensive program designed for students who demonstrate leadership and artistic potential. College dancers and recent graduates study somatics, contemporary dance technique, improvisation, and new works repertory each morning; teach dance classes and mentor middle-school girls each afternoon; and participate in professional development workshops with the professional dance artists in the evenings.
This summer, Now & Next Dance Mentoring programs will be offered at five locations: Appalachian State University (NC), Sam Houston State University (TX), College of Charleston (SC), Lindenwood University with Leverage Dance Theater (MO), and the University of Utah (UT).
This summer’s faculty will include Natosha Washington, Meghan Durham Wall, Ashley Thorndike-Youssef, Kristen Osborne, Adriana Durant, Ama Codjoe, Annie Arnoult Beserra, and Laurie Atkins.
A number of partial tuition scholarships are available, and students seeking scholarship support must apply by March 15 (www.nownextdance.org/apply) and indicate financial need. For more information, visit http://www.nownextdance.org/.
Whenever he gets a few minutes away from class or activities at Tonganoxie [KS] High School, you can usually find sophomore Paul Thompson dancing, reported FOX 4 during a Reaching 4 Excellence report.
He specifically loves to dance animation, a mix of hip-hop freestyle moves that he presents when performing in his dance crew, Krowd Control. Dance has helped Thompson deal with family struggles and challenges that confronted him when his parents split up, and has so thoroughly changed Thompson’s attitude and outlook that he has become a whole new student at Tonganoxie High. Once a kid in trouble from time to time, and not particularly motivated to do well academically, he’s now working hard to get good grades and to be a positive student leader.
Tonganoxie High School assistant principal Brent Smith spoke of Thompson’s strong new commitment, fueled by dance. “I don’t think it’s a stretch saying that dance might be something that has saved his life and that will continue to help him be successful,” said Smith.
“When I started dancing, I realized that I need to do something with my life,” said Thompson. “I need to change. I need to give me something that I can do in the future that will get me somewhere. So really, I started dancing so people would look at me different. Not as, ‘Oh, that kid that’s going nowhere in life.’ And really giving me something so people would see me as a leader and not just as another kid.”
To see the Fox 4 video report, visit http://fox4kc.com/2014/02/26/dance-is-a-big-motivator-for-young-achiever-paul-thompson/.
The first and only full-length biography of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was published in 1988. After receiving stellar reviews, it eventually fell out of print and became a prized find on eBay. That’s about to change. Mr. Bojangles: The Biography of Bill Robinson by Jim Haskins and N.R. Mitgang has just been re-released, reported PR Web.
With access to much primary source material—people who knew Bojangles, his scrapbooks and his personal papers—Haskins and Mitgang create a vivid portrait of the man behind the myth, from his birth in Richmond, Virginia, to his death and the star-studded funeral where he was eulogized by Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Ed Sullivan.
They also address the myth that portrays Robinson as an Uncle Tom figure. As Mitgang notes, “Robinson was called the Mayor of Harlem. He fought for respect with every weapon he had—his charming smile, his humor, his dancing feet, his fists, and his gold-plated pearl-handled gun given to him by the New York City Police Department. During a time when too few African American voices shouted for justice, Bill Robinson’s whispers were heard by presidents, governors, kings, queens, and countless others.”
The paperback is available for $14.99 at http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Bojangles-Biography-Bill-Robinson/dp/0615909248 with a Kindle edition for $6.99.
To read more, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11548760.htm.
Before Patrick Swayze hit the Catskill Mountains as Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing, he learned to dance right here in Houston. And it was the good fortune of Jennifer Wood, Heights resident and Suchu Dance founder and artistic director, to end up in the studio where the magic began.
According to the Leader, Wood owned and managed a large studio and theater but, seeking to simplify things, moved her nonprofit company into a space at Ella Plaza, 3480 Ella Boulevard. It was only when Wood and managing director Vipul Divecha were doing paperwork that they saw that Patsy Swayze’s Houston JazzBallet Company was registered to their address. “It was intriguing,” said Wood. “Then we read in Patrick Swayze’s biography that he would walk across the street to Ella Plaza to take dance classes after school.”
The definitive proof came from a choreographer who had danced with Patsy Swayze and from other former students who sent her pictures of the building. Suchu Dance was in the exact same spot as the Swayze School of Dance—a fantastic marketing tool.
While Suchu is gaining momentum in its new home—the company just finished its first show, Nothing, in February—it was slow going at first. The building, for which Wood signed a three-year lease in October, had been abandoned for some time and needed a lot of sweat equity. “The floor wasn’t level and the walls were very purple,” said Wood.
To read the full story, visit http://www.theleadernews.com/?p=16247.
Renowned ballerina Misty Copeland will be signing copies of her book, Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, at Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, Chicago, on March 16 at 2pm.
In her memoir Copeland, the first African American soloist in the last two decades at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, shares her inspiring journey to become a dancer in the world of professional ballet.
Life in Motion is a multilayered memoir that transcends the boundaries of the traditional ballet biography—it’s not just a ballerina’s story, but instead an all-American story of perseverance and achievement in the face of adversity. Copeland is a recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts, an inductee into the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame, and winner of the 2013 Young, Gifted and Black Award presented by BET’s Black Girls Rock!
To receive a priority number, fans are welcome to purchase the author’s new book from Anderson’s to hold their place in the signing line. To read the full story, visit http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/naperville_lisle/community/chi-ugc-article-celebrated-american-ballet-theatre-soloist-mi-2014-02-26,0,817829.story.
It was a stunt that Daniel Curry had performed many times before in the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark: plant himself firmly on a hydraulic lift in the pit beneath the stage, then remain steady as he rose a dozen feet to emerge for the start of Act II.
But on the night of August 15, something went wrong. Curry, 23, giving an interview to The New York Times this week, said he felt the lift moving as usual as the Spider-Man score swelled. He couldn’t see, though that was normal, too, because he wore a blindfold, and the stage was dark. Then, in a split second, something solid pressed down against his right foot, then crushed it. His foot had become trapped between the lift and the stage.
In multiple operations, surgeons removed about three-quarters of the foot and replaced a portion of it with other tissue, according to Elias Fillas, a lawyer for Curry. Three areas of his foot and leg were shattered, requiring pins and plates. Curry, now strapped into an orthopedic boot, will be using crutches for the foreseeable future.
As for what caused the accident, Curry has accused the show’s producers, engineering consultants, and others of negligence in the design and operation of the lift. The suit, filed in January, seeks several million dollars for medical bills and personal suffering.
Curry said the accident has dimmed a dream that began when he was 6. Growing up in Minnesota as an only child, he began tap dancing around the house to amuse himself. His passion was so great that his mother Diana moved them to New York so he could attend Fiorello H. La Guardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. After graduation, he joined a Michael Jackson tribute tour and danced in some music videos before his agent sent him to audition for Spider-Man in the fall of 2010.
Asked if he thought he would ever dance again, Curry took a long pause. “I don’t know,” he whispered. “No. No.”
To read the full story, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/27/theater/injured-spider-man-dancer-discusses-his-lawsuit.html?rref=arts&module=Ribbon&version=origin®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Arts&pgtype=article.
The Peters Township [PA] School District is gauging student support for dance classes as a way to avoid “twerking” and other risqué moves at school dances, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The issue was first broached last week by school board member William Merrell, who chaperoned a February 8 dance at the high school dance where three students were cited for underage drinking and hundreds more left early after being admonished for “twerking” on the dance floor.
“I’m trying to provide an outlet for these kids to learn how to dance,” said Merrell, who has spoken with the owner of the local Arthur Murray Dance Studio about providing dance lessons to students. Students told Merrell they didn’t know how to dance and learned their moves from MTV.
Owner David Geidel said he can easily develop a dance curriculum that could serve as an elective course or as part of physical education requirements. And, the dance lessons don’t have to focus on ballroom-style dancing, he said. “People get to see a lot of [dancing] these days; it’s not your grandma’s ballroom dancing,” Geidel said. “There are very progressive dances like the salsa or club-style with modern dance. It’s very versatile and it’s a great skill to learn.”
The school board did not discuss during its meeting how the lessons would be paid for, though Merrell he envisions five-week classes with a student contribution of about $25. He is hoping to have the classes wrap up by early May, before the prom.
Stars of Tomorrow, a dance invitational for studios from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut held at Purchase College, will be holding two events this season due to increased interest from local studios.
Stars of Tomorrow, produced by Dancers Responding to AIDS as a benefit for that organization, has planned “evenings of dance” for March 2 and April 13 at The Concert Hall Performing Arts Center, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, New York. Last year, more than $47,000 was raised to assist men, women, and children across the country affected by HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses.
Twenty-six studios will be participating in this year’s event. Dancers perform and take master classes with world-renowned teachers. All participating schools commit to selling tickets based on the number of dances they perform.
Dancers Responding to AIDS, founded in 1991 by former Paul Taylor Dance Company members Denise Roberts Hurlin and Hernando Cortez, is a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations.
To see a list of participating studios, visit https://www.dradance.org/Stars_Of_Tomorrow.
DanceSational, a new competitive dance competition company based in Hammonton, New Jersey, will showcase dance groups from around the country in venues along the East Coast.
The Daily Journal said DanceSational will feature three competitive levels that will allow dancers to compete according to their level of expertise, a professional backstage crew and top-notch judges, 10 percent cash back to teachers, and giveaways to dancers, plus choreography and special judges awards.
The competition, co-founded by Paul Morris, owner/creative director of Paul Morris Dancexplosion, and Patrick Azzara, director of the Performing Arts Theatre of Hammonton, kicked off its inaugural season on February 15 in Fairfax, Virginia. Proceeds from that competition will benefit Reaching 4 Autism Miracles.
The remainder of the DanceSational 2014 schedule is as follows:
• March 22 in Voorhees
• April 19 in Manahawkin
• May 24 in Mays Landing
DanceSational offers discounts for dance groups and studios. For more information on how to register for competitions, call 609.704.1988 or visit www.DanceSational.com.
To see the original story, visit http://www.thedailyjournal.com/article/20140226/HAMMONTON03/302260018?nclick_check=1.
The dancer Jenifer Ringer, who retired this month from New York City Ballet, has been appointed head of the Colburn Dance Academy, a new division of the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Times has reported.
The New York Times ArtsBeat blog said the Colburn School, where music, dance, and drama are currently taught, is starting the new, more specialized program in the fall, in partnership with the L.A. Dance Project and its director, Benjamin Millepied. The program is for students between 14 and 19 who hope to become professional dancers, and admission will be through audition.
Millepied, who will take up his new role as director of the Paris Opera Ballet in the fall, will serve as an artistic adviser to the program. James Fayette, also a former City Ballet principal and Ringer’s husband, will be the associate director of the Colburn Dance Academy in addition to his current job as managing director of the L.A. Dance Project.
“L.A. Dance Project’s presence is really being felt in L.A. now,” Millepied wrote in an email. “We are building a new audience, we are bringing art, dance, and music to an exciting community. And we are now creating a school to nurture and encourage the next generation of artists.”
To see the original article, visit http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/former-city-ballet-dancer-to-lead-academy-in-los-angeles/?_php=true&_type=blogs&module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Arts&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs®ion=Body&_r=0.
Live Love Dance of Broomfield, Colorado will hold a dance-a-thon to benefit the Andréa Rizzo Foundation’s nationwide fundraising effort, Dance Across America, on March 8 from 1 to 6pm at the studio, 290 Nickel Street, Unit 300.
The dance-a-thon is not open to the public. However, the public is invited to a short performance that will take place at 6pm at the event’s conclusion.
Live Love Dance owner and director Valerie Gunnels will oversee approximately 40 dancers ages 3 to 16 as they take classes throughout the day in musical theatre, hip-hop, jazz, poms, creative dance, and body awareness exercises. The event includes classes taught by Naropa student Mary Martin, who will be graduating in May with her master’s in dance movement therapy.
Local businesses including Jump City, Madcap Theater, ABC Kids Climbing, and The Original New York Pizza have made donations to the studio, which will be used as prizes for the dancers that raise the most money.
The Andréa Rizzo Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing dance therapy to children with cancer and special needs at public schools and pediatric hospitals across the country. For more information on The Andréa Rizzo Foundation, visit www.DreasDream.org.
American Ballet Theatre will mark the 75th anniversary of its founding next year with a new production of The Sleeping Beauty choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky and based on the production Léon Bakst created for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1921, the company announced.
The New York Times ArtsBeat blog said Ratmansky, the troupe’s artist in residence, has long wanted to choreograph the seminal story ballet. “Tchaikovsky’s complex score and Petipa’s choreography represent the highest achievement of Russian classical art,’’ he said in a statement. “It symbolizes the harmony and magic of classical dance for me.”
The work will have its premiere on March 3, 2015, at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, and will be part of ABT’s 2015 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House. It will be ABT’s fourth production of The Sleeping Beauty.
The production, which is being underwritten with a $2.5 million matching gift from David H. Koch, an ABT trustee, will have sets and costumes designed by Richard Hudson, who will base them on the Bakst production of 1921.
Kevin McKenzie, the company’s artistic director, said that he was excited by the project. “Having Alexei put his touch to this classic, incorporating elements of a historical reproduction, will make us look anew at The Sleeping Beauty,” he said in a statement.
Ivan Nagy, the charismatic and globally famed dancer who was Cincinnati Ballet’s artistic director from 1986 to 1989, died Saturday in Budapest, the city where he began his rise to global prominence in the dance world. He was 70 years old.
The Cincinnati Enquirer says that Nagy’s career would include the artistic leadership of three ballet companies on three continents. But he remained best-known as elegant and regal partner to many of the world’s greatest ballerinas, including Dame Margot Fonteyn, Natalia Makarova, Cynthia Gregory, Carla Fracci, and Gelsey Kirkland.
“I danced my first ‘Giselle’ with him,” Cynthia Gregory, a former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, reminisced. “It’s a performance that is still emblazoned in my head and in my heart. I felt I was floating with him. That’s when I fell in love with him. He was so dreamy.”
But at the age of 35, at what many regarded as his peak, Nagy announced he was retiring, wanting to avoid the physical ailments that plague so many dancers as they get older.
Nagy was lured to Cincinnati Ballet’s by then-acting artistic director Frederic Franklin, a former Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo member, who had had “discovered” Nagy at a ballet competition in Bulgaria in 1965. Franklin knew Nagy had the star power and dance world connections to give Cincinnati the boost it needed.
“Ivan presided over a ‘Golden Era’ in the history of the Cincinnati Ballet,” says the company’s longtime music director Carmon DeLeone. But that onstage success was coupled with behind-the-scenes management issues, which led to his exit in 1989.
During his career, Nagy also served as artistic director of the English National Ballet in London, and twice as artistic director at the Ballet de Santiago in Chile. To see the full obit, visit http://cincinnati.com/blogs/arts/2014/02/24/obituary-ivan-nagy-70-former-cincinnati-ballet-artistic-director/.
The Dance Council of North Texas and the Town of Addison will celebrate dance styles from contemporary ballet to traditional Aztec dance to Russian folk dance during a free Mother’s Day event to be held May 11 from 2 to 4pm at the Addison Theatre Center, 15650 Addison Road.
This year’s Taste Dance Addison Style interactive performance schedule includes:
• Mitotiliztli Yaoyollohtli: Aztec Dance Company
• Hathaway Academy of Ballet: The Project Contemporary Dance Ensemble
• Marina Almayeva School of Classical Ballet: Russian Folk Dance
• Booker T. Washington HS of the Performing and Visual Arts’ Rep II Dance Company
Presenting groups will also give instruction in their style. Visit www.thedancecouncil.org for more information.
The American Dance Festival (ADF) will present the 2014 Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement to choreographer and director Angelin Preljocaj.
Preljocaj is one of France’s preeminent choreographers, known for work that is daring, intensely physical, and complex. Established in 1981 by Samuel H. Scripps, the annual award honors choreographers who have dedicated their lives and talent to the creation of modern dance.
The Scripps/ADF Award presentation will take place on July 11 at 8pm, prior to Ballet Preljocaj’s performance at the Durham [NC] Performing Arts Center.
“Mr. Preljocaj creates visually arresting, beautifully physical work that never fails to amaze. We are pleased to honor his significant contributions to the dance world this summer at ADF,” said ADF director Jodee Nimerichter.
Preljocaj began his career in classical ballet before turning to contemporary dance. In 1980 he studied in New York with Zena Rommett and Merce Cunningham, after which he returned to France, joining the Quentin Rouillier Company in Caen. Preljocaj formed his own company in December 1984 in Champigny-sur-Marne and since that time has produced 47 choreographic works.
His productions have been restaged by numerous repertory companies, many of which also commission works, including the Saatsoper of Berlin, The New York City Ballet, and the Paris Opera Ballet. For more information, visit www.americandancefestival.org.
For seven years, the Dancing in the Street festival in Grand Center, St. Louis, not only opened the entertainment district’s fall season, but also served as a showcase for local companies. The family-friendly outdoor setting was invaluable in introducing dance to new audiences while raising the profiles of the companies onstage.
But Grand Center recently announced that the festival will not be returning for an eighth edition a decision that the dance community views as a step backward, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“Dancing in the Street was a great opportunity for a variety of dance groups of all levels to come together and bring awareness of dance to the people of St. Louis,” said Stacy West, executive and artistic director of MADCO, the resident dance company at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “I think it will be missed by many people.”
Last year’s festival featured more than 60 local and regional dance companies on three stages.
In a recent interview with the Post-Dispatch, Vincent C. Schoemehl Jr., president and chief executive of Grand Center Inc., cited inadequate funding and difficulties in booking big-name headliners as reasons for bringing Dancing in the Street to an end.
But Grand Center said in a statement released in January that the district was “willing to provide logistical support to a dance organization interested in assuming sponsorship of the event and would love to see the event continue in the district.”
Dancer and choreographer Stephen “tWitch” Boss will be guest starring on the two-hour season 6 premiere of the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva on March 23 at 9pm, TheWrap has learned.
Boss will play Billy Donaldson. Billy’s younger brother (played by One Life to Live’s Corbin Bleu) was arrested for arson and murder eight years previously. Billy hires Jane (Brooke Elliott) to help get her brother out of jail. But, Jane’s investigation into the cold case digs up some startling evidence
Boss was a finalist on the fourth season of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, and his TV credits also include guest-starring roles on Fox’s Bones and Touch. He also regularly serves as guest DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
He reprises his role of Jason on the Step Up film franchise’s next installment, Step Up 5, which hits theaters on July 25. Also, he and his wife, Allison Holker, co-choreographed the Oscars promo featuring the award show’s upcoming host Ellen DeGeneres and 250 dancers, which was directed by Paul Feig.
To see the original story, visit http://www.thewrap.com/lifetime-drop-dead-diva-so-you-think-you-can-dance-twitch.
The Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance announced last week that it has received a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will allow it to build on, digitize, and organize its archive of materials on Graham dances.
The New York Times ArtsBeat blog said the grant will allow the center to create what it calls “toolkits” that can be used to help mount individual Graham dances—which can include videos of generations of Graham dancers in rehearsal and performance; stage drawings; musical recordings and scores; Graham’s choreographic notes; drawings and photographs of sets; costume sketches, reviews, and other materials. The kits will incorporate the center’s recently restored and digitized films and videos, and some materials that had to be restored after they were damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Over the next two years the center will create 35 new toolkits, which can be used by the Martha Graham Dance Company when it revives a work, as well as by other companies and schools that license them. They will also be made available to scholars, critics, and artists interested in Martha Graham, the modern dance pioneer who created 181 dances.
A toolkit of Graham’s modern dance classic Appalachian Spring takes up three 3-inch binders in its hard copy, said LaRue Allen, the company’s executive director. She said that the next set of toolkits would be about 34 dances, and the Martha Graham technique.
“They are the critical ballets,’’ she said. “The ballets that we have information on, and that are important for the company, and that critics and scholars are often interested in.”
To see the original story, visit http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/graham-center-gets-1-million-for-dance-archive/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0.
Jersey Moves! Festival of Dance will feature New Jersey’s top dance companies, as well as emerging dance troupes from around the state, during two nights of dance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark.
This will mark the third year for the festival, reported Broadway World. Nine dance companies featuring styles from Irish to modern, ballet to tap, will be presented in two installments.
The opening night’s program, March 8, will feature world premieres and other pieces from Randy James’ all-male dance company, 10 Hairy Legs, as well as from The Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company. Prior to the 8pm curtain, ticket holders are welcome to attend a free workshop where 10 Hairy Legs company members and guest musicians will demonstrate the nuances of the relationship of live music to dance.
The second part, May 3, will feature performances by American Repertory Ballet, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Cleo Mack Dance Project, tap dancer Maurice Chestnut, dancer Timothy Kochka, and dance artist Claire Porter.
Tickets are $24 to $39. For more information, visit http://www.njpac.org/events/detail/jersey-moves-festival-of-dance-1.
To see the original story, visit http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwdance/article/NJPAC-to-Present-JERSEY-MOVES-Festival-of-Dance-38-20140220#xhAd8RUr8q0Ie1OE.99http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwdance/article/NJPAC-to-Present-JERSEY-MOVES-Festival-of-Dance-38-20140220#.UwdnuM-YaUk.
Reaching the age of 100 is worth celebrating, but marking your birthday by performing in a dance show in your honor is celebrating on a whole different level.
Barry Lynn, founder, director, and choreographer of four dance companies and the co-director of the Lynn Dance Company at ChaliceStream near Ladysmith, Wisconsin, turned 100 on February 11. “Celebrating 100 Years: A Birthday Concert Tribute to Dancer Barry Lynn,” will be held February 23 at 2pm at the Heyde Center for the Arts in Chippewa Falls.
Featured in the show will be Lynn’s performance of his own The Cripple & The Chinese Bench, a theater solo about an elderly character and his favorite park bench. “I never thought I’d live to be 100, but here I am,” Lynn told The Leader-Telegram. “The end of my life is going to have to wait a little longer, though. There is so much I’m still learning and so much I still want to create.”
Lynn, originally from North Carolina, moved to Wisconsin in 1978 to form the Lynn Dance Company at ChaliceStream with Michael Doran. He has remained in the Chippewa Valley ever since, and continues to be active in the dance community.
Lynn lived the life he wanted—as a dancer, a painter, or whatever other medium took over his soul at a given time—without a care of what others thought of him. And after a century of living, that is the most important advice he has for anyone willing to listen.
“Don’t ever let yourself be guided by what someone else wants you to do; it sacrifices who you are and who you want to be,” Lynn said. “Nothing will spoil your life more quickly. You only get to have one life—as far as we know—so let it be yours.”
To see the original story, visit http://www.leadertelegram.com/entertainment/story/article_5e8ceb4e-99a2-11e3-9684-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=story.
Tanaquil Le Clercq isn’t a household name, but she still holds a stunning place in ballet history. In the 1950s, “Tanny,” a gorgeous Paris-born American, was muse to the great New York City Ballet choreographer George Balanchine, who’d become her husband, and also to choreographer Jerome Robbins, who remained her friend.
But in 1956, at the age of 27 in the middle of a NYCB European tour (and after having refused a pre-tour polio vaccine), Tanny was struck down by polio, never to walk or dance again. It’s a story told in the new documentary, Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq, showing through February 25 at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in New York City.
Director, producer and writer Nancy Buirski discussed the film with 90.9 WBUR Boston’s Here & Now’s Robin Young.
On why she decided to make the film: “Actually, it was how compelling Tanny was herself. I saw her dancing a small segment of Afternoon of a Fawn and I was mesmerized by her beauty and her talent and her intelligence on stage. And I just wanted to see more of her and I was amazed that I didn’t know anything about her. Well then I discovered what had happened, that she had been stricken by polio and that her career had been cut tragically short. And I immediately committed myself to telling her story.”
On the ballet world’s reaction to the film: “First of all, they’re very grateful. They get to see how she comes to accept this. You know, Tanny did not overcome polio, but she personally comes to some level of acceptance about this disease. And I think that that’s something we all take away from the film, that we—even if it’s just a question of age, which causes some limitations, that if we can accept it as gracefully and eloquently as Tanny did, then we can still have a full life.”
To see the full interview and a movie trailer, visit http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/02/18/ballet-polio-tanaquil.
Dancer and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director emerita, Judith Jamison, will be the visiting guest lecturer at Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 5.
“A Conversation with Judith Jamison” will run from 7 to 9pm in the Washburn Auditorium on Lesley’s Brattle Campus, 10 Philips Place, Cambridge.
“Judith Jamison’s dancing is the pure embodiment of life in all of the dimensions of the human experience,” Dr. Nancy Beardall, coordinator of Lesley University’s Dance/Movement Therapy program, says. “Her dedication and passion will inspire our Lesley community to celebrate and affirm the revitalizing nature and power of dance and the arts.”
A native of Philadelphia trained in classical ballet, Jamison studied with Marion Cuyjet, was discovered by Agnes de Mille, and made her New York debut with American Ballet Theatre in 1964. She became a member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965 and danced with the company for 15 years to great acclaim.
The event, sponsored by the Lesley University Strauch-Mosse Visiting Artist Lecture Series, is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited and registration is required at www.lesley.edu/alvin-ailey.
The Bill Evans Dance Company will hold a concert to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary on April 13 at 4 and 7pm at Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 Plymouth Avenue North, Rochester, New York.
The Bill Evans Dance Company, founded by master educator and Dance Studio Life columnist Bill Evans, gave its first performances at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC in the summer of 1975. The company has appeared in all 50 states, throughout Canada and Mexico, and in 20 other countries. For the past two years, BEDCO has performed at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.
Company members now include Falon Baltzell, Kathy Diehl, William Evans, Don Halquist, Leanne Rinelli, Adrian Safar, and Vanessa Van Wormer. Guest artists joining them for the anniversary concert include Mariah Maloney, Corina Ferro, Hilary Denison, Jen Dayton, Morgan Hassan, Natlie Swan, Haley Zdebski, as well as FuturPointe Dance members N’Jelle Gage, Guy Thorne, Heather Roffe, Melinda Phillips, Liam J. Knighten, and Kathryn Bowering.
To purchase tickets, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/584347. Tickets will also be available at the door.
Career Transition for Dancers will hold a Career Conversation event, “LinkedIn: For Everyone!” on February 24 from 5:30 to 7pm at 1560 Broadway (between 46th and 47th streets), 14th Floor council room, New York City.
During this free workshop, guest speaker Larissa Higgins will discuss how to develop and optimize an online profile and resume, discover avenues into various organizations, and gather tools to leverage LinkedIn—one of the top sites for professionals, recruiters, and job seekers. Higgins, a former dancer with Hamburg Ballet and other companies, is an analyst on the product development team at Weight Watchers.
Career Conversations are panel discussions that help performing artists explore career opportunities while they are still performing. For information, visit http://www.careertransition.org/OnlineResources/Schedule/.
Career Transition for Dancers will also hold its first Annual Dance Career Symposium on March 9 at The New School, 66 W 12th Street, New York City. Presented by Dancewave and co-sponsored by Dance Films Association, the symposium will feature workshops, panels, networking, and innovative ideas to help dancers explore new career opportunities by partnering their dance knowledge with other fields. For tickets and information, visit www.dancewave.org.
In his just-published memoir, former New York City Ballet soloist Frank Ohman reveals new, previously unexplored aspects of George Balanchine as a master teacher, as a caring friend, and as a deeply philosophical man.
Broadway World says that Balanchine’s Dancing Cowboy is an inspiring, American success story of a boy living in the rural West who sees a movie that changes his life, and with talent and work, rises to become part of one of the world’s finest ballet companies.
Jacques d’Amboise, New York City Ballet legend and founder of the National Dance Institute, says: “[The book] is excellent and captures Frank and Balanchine, especially the spirituality and example he set to all those around him…. Frank Ohman continues gracing his life of dance through his teaching, his school, and his company. I am filled with admiration for his accomplishments.”
Ohman, the founder, ballet master, and artistic director of the Frank Ohman School of Ballet & The New York Dance Theatre, provides a rich view of the pinnacle of the ballet world. During his 22 years with NYCB, Ohman danced some of ballet’s greatest works created by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Antony Tudor, and others, with renowned dancers including Suzanne Farrell, Maria Tallchief, Melissa Hayden, Allegra Kent, Patricia McBride, Gelsey Kirkland, and Cynthia Gregory.
The memoir, co-authored by Emily Berkowitz, captures a special period of cultural history in ballet and in New York City, when Balanchine’s works were becoming recognized and the company’s style was gathering followers and earning critical acclaim.
To see the original story, visit http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwbooks/article/Life-of-Ballet-Master-George-Balanchine-Revealed-in-New-Memoir-20140219#.UwTOPM-YaUk
The National Museum of Dance’s third annual Black History Month Celebration welcomes members of the Saratoga Springs, New York, community as they honor their ancestors and their heritage.
The event, set for February 23 from 2 to 5pm, is part of the museum’s mission “to continue to acknowledge the struggle to achieve human rights, equality, and dignity through the works of literature, music, dance, and the visual arts. This program is part of the journey and grows out of the need to preserve and celebrate life and culture.”
Professional artist and photographer Clifford Oliver Mealy will re-enact the story of Solomon Northup of Saratoga Springs, a free man who was kidnapped in 1841, sold into slavery, and held captive for 12 years, and whose story is told in the Academy Award-nominated Best Picture 12 Years a Slave.
Other groups participating in the event include the Figures in Flight Released Dance Company from New York City; Johnnie Roberts, program coordinator at Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center; and the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church Choir.
Admission to this event is free. The National Museum of Dance is located at 99 South Broadway in Saratoga Springs, New York. For more information, visit www.dancemuseum.org.
Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet artistic director who was wounded in an acid attack last year, will visit New York in April as one of the judges in the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition, officials from the contest announced.
The New York Times ArtsBeat blog said Filin is expected to take a curtain call at the competition’s 15th anniversary gala on April 10 at the David H. Koch Theater, which will feature Olga Smirnova of the Bolshoi, and Misty Copeland and other dancers from American Ballet Theater, among the performers.
Filin is scheduled to answer questions from the stage the following night, before a performance by several prominent dancers, including Sara Mearns of New York City Ballet, Herman Cornejo of the American Ballet Theater, and Alicia Graf Mack of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
The attack on Filin last year outraged the ballet world and threw the Bolshoi into turmoil. A former dancer in the company, Pavel V. Dmitrichenko, was sentenced to six years in a penal colony for ordering the attack, which partially blinded Filin. A spokeswoman for the competition said Filin’s sight in one eye was strong enough for him to act as a judge.
To see the original story, visit http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/a-year-after-acid-attack-bolshoi-director-to-visit-new-york/?_php=true&_type=blogs&module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Arts&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs®ion=Body&_r=0.
A Swan Lake newly reimagined by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon will have its Chicago premiere next fall as a main production in The Joffrey Ballet’s 2014-15 season.
The season will mark 20 years since the New York City-founded company moved its base to Chicago, and along with Swan Lake, will feature both premieres and audience favorites from choreographers such as Antony Tudor, Yuri Possokhov, Robert Joffrey, James Kudelka, Stanton Welch, and others.
Swan Lake, with 10 performances set October 15 to 26, is a $1.5 million production with lavish costumes by Jean-Marc Puissant and scenic design by Adrianne Lobel. Commissioned for the Pennsylvania Ballet in 2004 to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary, Wheeldon’s reimagining sets Swan Lake in the 19th century milieu of the Paris Opera Ballet, during the time when Tchaikovsky was actually composing Swan Lake and when Edgar Degas was on the rise.
The ballet uses actual Degas imagery to create an Opera Ballet studio, and the ballerinas and their wealthy patrons of those days serve as central characters. While the dance ensemble prepares for a major opening night gala, a young boy, Siegfried, daydreams of escaping rehearsal for the lake.
Performances take place in the Joffrey’s home venue, Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, in downtown Chicago at 50 East Congress Parkway. To see the full season schedule, visit www.joffrey.org.
Former American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet principal Robert La Fosse has been passing down his expertise to students of the Scarsdale Ballet Studio in Westchester, New York, as the studio prepares to present Coppélia on March 29 and 30 at the Dance Lab at SUNY Purchase College.
Coppélia will be the first full-length ballet to be presented since the school opened its doors in 1992. Studio director Diana White and La Fosse have been coaching the students and sharing memories of their experiences dancing together at NYCB.
White said the ballet not only offers great opportunity to aspiring dancers to perform an abundance of solo roles and explore eccentric characterizations and work, but also provides the opportunity to perform with La Fosse, who will appear as Dr. Coppelius. La Fosse will reprise this same role later this month with NYCB at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.
Coppélia will be performed March 29 at 6:30pm and March 30th at 1:30pm at the Dance Lab at SUNY Purchase, 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, New York. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for children under the age of 12 and can be purchased in person at the Scarsdale Ballet Studio, located at 696R White Plains Road in Scarsdale, or by calling 914.725.8754.
Choreography videos for the third annual National Dance Week Flash Mob are now available online.
Groups are encouraged to participate in National Dance Week, April 25 to May 4, by learning either the choreography provided by NDW or a dance routine of their own creation, to perform the routine in a public location, and post a video of the performance on the NDW website.
Choreography includes an intermediate-level, funky routine by master teacher Gregg Russell, along with a routine for beginners taught by Christy Lane. Visitors to the NDW website can find information on a poster and essay contest, along with details for purchasing NDW Flash Mob T-shirts.
For the Gregg Russell video, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFOPMbzEuNo&feature=youtu.be. For the Christy Lane video, visit http://www.nationaldanceweek.org/flash-mob/2014/.
The José Limón Dance Foundation last week sadly announced the sudden passing of beloved teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend Alan Danielson on February 12.
“Yesterday we lost a dear friend and an amazing human being,” Limón executive director, Juan Jose Escalante, said Thursday in a press release.
Danielson discovered dance at age 22 and subsequently moved to New York to study with Ruth Currier, who performed in the Limón Dance Company for many years and became company director after José Limón’s death. Ten years later he was approached by the director of the Limón Institute, Norton Owen, to help found the Limón School. The Professional Studies Program, an intensive nine-month program in the Limón technique and repertory, was created in 2001 under Danielson’s guidance.
Danielson was an internationally acclaimed choreographer and master teacher, committed to the contemporary relevance of the Humphrey/Limón movement principles and philosophy. He was on faculty at New York University and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and taught extensively in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan, and Central America.
Once, when asked, “What would you like to offer young dancers today?” Danielson said: “I would like to share my love for movement—what it feels like and what it projects to those who are watching. I would like to share my joy in working with music and creating with other dancers. I’d like to show them how dance is life, and how it communicates our existence as human beings.”
More than 80 students/dancers from Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia came together to share a stage and their love of dance this weekend—a collaboration that had been two years in the making, reported The Daily Princetonian.
Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Harvard Ballet Company, and Princeton University Ballet each performed four pieces at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University in New York City this weekend. The three companies—the only student-run ballet troupes in the Ivy League—had spent the past two years planning the Ivy Ballet Exchange event and delegating the responsibilities involved in producing the inaugural performance.
What began as Columbia graduate student Elysia Dawn’s initial vision has grown into a full-fledged production. Dancers within each company had individual visions of what the collaboration would look like and reached a consensus on the specifics of their performances largely through communication by Skype, emails, and conference calls.
Each company also had to prepare pieces to feature in the performance. Initially, the groups hoped they might be able to perform together and intersperse their separate pieces with a goal of blending the different schools and highlighting ballet as a link and the focus of the collaboration.
Although the logistics of the long-distance partnership prevented that, the heart of the collaboration remains: the desire to bring together a group of people who, despite being in different schools, share a passion for ballet. Through that commitment and the amount of time the dancers have dedicated to perfecting their art, the participants have found many shared experiences between the companies and dance itself.
“I met with Elysia over the summer, and it was so cool how much we could relate on even though we went to different schools and had different experiences,” PUB president Caroline Hearst, ’14, said. “We are different ages, but there was just so much we had in common having gone through all that ballet training together.”
To see the full story, visit http://dailyprincetonian.com/street/2014/02/ivy-ballet-exchange/.
As Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” to John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962, Lawrence Gradus was standing behind the curtain with other members of Jerome Robbins’s Ballets U.S.A. dance troupe, which was also on the program that night.
Toronto’s Globe and Mail said that Gradus, who died of prostate cancer in Ottawa on January 7, rose from humble beginnings to become a brilliant dancer and choreographer with a wide-ranging career that saw him cross paths with some of the most celebrated performers of his day. Performing in I Can Get it For You Wholesale, Gradus taught a young Barbra Streisand tap-dance steps backstage, only to be interrupted by her mother dropping off a tub of chicken soup.
In 1967, Canada claimed him when he accepted an invitation to dance at Expo 67. He went on to found the influential Montreal-based contemporary dance company Entre-Six, and later worked with Ottawa’s Theatre Ballet of Canada.
Born in the Bronx in 1936 to Anna and Julius Gradus, he started tap-dance classes at age 7 and would sneak into Broadway musicals and dance performances at intermissions. He studied at the Ballet Russe school and then the American Ballet Theatre school on a scholarship. In 1961, he became a soloist with Jerome Robbins’s Ballets U.S.A., performing around the world, and returned after a couple of years to rejoin American Ballet Theatre.
In 1974, after a handful of years dancing with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Gradus co-founded the dance company Entre-Six, where he took on bold, new repertoire and embarked on a fresh kind of touring, Canadian style; to Tuktoyaktuk, for instance, where dancers were welcomed by Inuit snowmobilers towing a string of sleds. The company dined on caribou stew and deer meat, then danced en pointe in a local school. An improvised stage was built with rubberized mats laced together by duct tape.
He taught and choreographed for National Ballet of Canada’s outreach program, the Danny Grossman Dance Theatre, Ryerson University, and other places.
The fifth annual Space City Tap Festival, planned for February 28 to March 2, will bring together tap dancers from 4-year-olds to professionals as it continues to build the ties between tap dancers of all ages throughout Texas, according to the Citizen.
Hosted by New Tap Productions (TNT), festival faculty will include Acia Gray, Matthew Shields, Tony Merriwether, and Sarah Reich.
The festival includes opportunities for young dancers from the Houston area and beyond to participate in numerous cultural traditions of tap dance (such as a cutting contest and tap jam), to grow with fellow dancers, and to increase their historical knowledge of this uniquely American art form. Classes will include classic and musical theater tap, tap history, choreography, and hip-hop.
All classes will be held at 15210 Hwy 3, Suite 109, Webster, Texas. For registration and information call 281.480.8441, or visit www.spacecitytapfest.com.
To see the original story, visit http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/bay_area/living/space-city-tap-fest-returns-feb/article_3ffef129-73b7-5dde-8696-5bcf9adcc578.html.
Pacific Northwest Ballet School will hold a Teachers’ Seminar April 9 to 12 featuring presentations in dance training, philosophies, and practical practices, along with tickets to PNB’s production of George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Participants experience an insider’s view of PNBS’ programs for students ages 2 to professional as they exchange ideas and make new connections within the dance education field. The program will be held at PNB’s dance training facility, the Phelps Center, Seattle.
Topics include: Engaging Young Dancers (ages 4 to 7); Costuming on a Limited Budget; Fostering Emerging Choreographic Talent; Marketing Strategies for Ballet Schools; Injury Screening and Prevention; How to Get Boys to Your School and How to Keep Them; and others.
Cost for the full four-day seminar is $700, with individual days priced at $200.
More information, visit http://www.pnb.org/Community/Teacher/
To register, visit http://www.pnb.org/Community/Teacher/2014RegistrationForm.pdf.
The Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) will feature a globe-spanning roster of artists and creators who will take to the city’s stages from March 7 to 29.
This vibrant festival features a diverse array of international icons, including China’s Guangdong Modern Dance Company and Spain’s flamenco innovator Israel Galván, coupled with local favorites Dancers Dancing, the 605 Collective, among many others.
“VIDF exists to celebrate and explore dance in its enriching and endlessly fascinating incarnations,” says artistic director Barbara Bourget. “This season’s programming realizes this purpose in the most brilliant manner—perhaps more so than any other season—by drawing master practitioners who represent a vast range of geographic place and distinguished artistic form.”
A standout early event features Guangdong Modern Dance Company, China’s first professional modern dance company, appearing with Vancouver’s award-winning Goh Ballet in “Select Works/Mustard Seed” at the Vancouver Playhouse on March 7 and 8 at 8pm.