DSL NewsWire: Maggie Black, Who Taught Top Dancers of All Disciplines, Dies at Age 85

Maggie Black, who for decades earned renown for teaching famous ballet and modern dancers how to leap and turn in ways, as she put it, that “humans weren’t really made to do,” configuring their bodies to avoid injuries and even to heal them, died on May 11 at her home in East Hampton, New York. She was 85.

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DSL NewsWire: Redesigned Jacob’s Pillow Interactive Site Presents a Walk Through History

In 2011, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival launched a curated digital resource filled with video clips and context for many of the artists who have performed at the Becket, Massachusetts, festival since the 1930s.

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DSL NewsWire: Web Series Follows Young Hopefuls at Miami City Ballet School

The first season of Strictly Ballet, a web series from Teen Vogue that documents the lives of up-and-coming dancers vying for a coveted spot in a world-renowned ballet company, focused on New York City Ballet. This season the series takes a trip south: to the shores of Miami Beach.

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DSL NewsWire: Dynamic Exchange of Dance and Visual Art in Philly Exhibit

An exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art—Dance: Movement, Rhythm, Spectacle—showcases the kinetic energy of dance in a vibrant selection of prints, drawings, photographs, and vintage videos.

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DSL NewsWire: Laid-Off Sacramento Ballet Dancers Organize Own Performance

More than 20 dancers with Sacramento Ballet were laid off last week in a cost-cutting move, and now are cramming for a performance they had organized on their own in just a matter of days.

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DSL NewsWire: Anecdotes and Accolades Remembered on ABT’s 75th Anniversary Website

ABT’s 75th anniversary website; photo by Fabrizio Ferri

American Ballet Theatre invites fans to join in the company’s continued celebration of its 75th anniversary by perusing a new website that highlights ABT through the decades.

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DSL NewsWire: Ohio U Dance Professor Recognized for “Exceptional and Fresh” Teaching

Tresa Randall with Ohio University dance students; photo courtesy Ohio University Compass

Tresa Randall, an associate professor of dance in the School of Dance, Film, and Theater has won Ohio University’s Presidential Teacher Award.

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DSL NewsWire: Study Shows Hip-Hop Tops Ballet for Children’s Exercise

Pediatrics study; photo courtesy Getty Images

A study published in the journal Pediatrics says that only 30 percent of ballet class is spent in substantial exercise, and that most kinds of dance classes aren’t providing anywhere near the recommended amounts of physical activity suggested for children and adolescents, says Time magazine.

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DSL NewsWire: Des Moines’ Grand Dame of Dance, Mary Joyce Lind Thomas, Dies

Mary Joyce (Lind) Thomas; photo by Bill Neibergall/Des Moines Register

The 90-year-old grand dame of Des Moines, Iowa, dance took her final bow May 10. Mary Joyce (Lind) has died after teaching thousands of students in a career that spanned more than 70 years, reported the Des Moines Register.

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DSL NewsWire: Artists Protest Ukraine’s Efforts to Draft Dancers Into Army

Lviv National Opera; photo courtesy Facebook

Artists of the Lviv National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet have issued an appeal protesting performers’ mass conscription into the Ukrainian army, which they are calling a deliberate attempt to stamp out Ukraine’s educational artistic traditions, reports Sputnik news.

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DSL NewsWire: Arthur Mitchell’s Archives at Columbia U to Open to Public in 2017

Arthur Mitchell; photo by Sam Hodgson for the New York Times

Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library has acquired its first major dance collection, the archives of Dance Theatre of Harlem co-founder Arthur Mitchell.

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DSL NewsWire: National Choreography Center to Open at University of Akron

A story in Cleveland.com reports that the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has given $5 million to establish a national center for choreography at the University of Akron.

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DSL NewsWire: Dance Fixer Reality Special on Oprah Winfrey Network

Dance Crash will premiere May 30 on the Oprah Winfrey Network, according to Broadway World. The one-hour special follows Brandee Evans, a professional dancer and celebrity choreographer as she travels to Atlanta’s Westlake High School to overhaul its dance team in a dramatic battle to regain its hip-hop supremacy at the Georgia High School Dance Championship.

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DSL NewsWire: L.A. Dance Project at Cannes Film Festival

L.A. Dance Project; photo by Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

The opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival featured members of L.A. Dance Project in a performance inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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DSL NewsWire: Misty Copeland Mentors Twin Ballet Dancers

Shaakir and Naazir Muhammad; photo courtesy CBS News

Reporting on Misty Copeland for 60 Minutes this week, CBS correspondent Bill Whitaker heard the story of the star ballerina’s childhood: how a dance teacher took a teenage Misty under her wing, took her into her home, and changed her life.

What Whitaker didn’t expect to hear was that Copeland, now a soloist at American Ballet Theatre (ABT), is doing something similar for two teenage boys from Brooklyn—identical twins Shaakir and Naazir Muhammad. “She’s a coach, she’s a mentor, she’s a big sister,” Whitaker told 60 Minutes Overtime. “Her face lights up when she talks about them.”

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DSL NewsWire: Fred and Adele Astaire Award Nominees Announced

An American in Paris; photo by Angela Sterling Photography

Nominations have been announced for the 2015 Fred and Adele Astaire Awards, reports Theatermania. Established in 1982, and formerly known as The Astaire Awards, the awards recognize outstanding achievement in dance on Broadway each season.

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DSL NewsWire: Dance Performance Chronicles Early Days of AIDS

The Missing Generation; photo by Lydia Daniller

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, little about AIDS was known—except that it was ravaging the queer and trans community. Within months of being diagnosed, tens of thousands of once healthy and vibrant individuals withered and died.

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DSL NewsWire: Couple Brings Mexican Dance to Detroit

Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel; photo by Donna Terek/Detroit News

How do people who work full-time jobs and have kids find the time to take on a volunteer project? Jaime and Maria Luisa Carrillo somehow find the time because their project, Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel, is their passion.

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DSL NewsWire: SF Ballet School Hosts Open House for Boys

San Francisco Ballet School students in class; photo copyright Erik Tomasson

San Francisco Ballet School—America’s first professional ballet school—will host a free open house on Saturday, May 16 at 1pm, for boys ages 8 to 11 and their parents to find out more about the school’s boy’s training program. The event includes a facility tour, rehearsal observation, and Q&A session with school staff. No ballet experience is needed. To register, visit school.sfballet.org/boys or call 415.865.6700.

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DSL NewsWire: Cornish College Dance Chair to Retire

Kitty Daniels; photo by Bettina Hansen/Seattle Times

According to the Seattle Times, Kitty Daniels, longtime chair of the Cornish College of the Arts dance department, will retire this month after 29 years in her position. “I believe so firmly that we all stand on the shoulders of others,” Daniels said. “My entire time here, I’ve very consciously and deliberately said everything is a team effort. I’ve actually refused to use the words ‘I’ and ‘my’; I’ve always said ‘we’ and ‘our.’ ”

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DSL NewsWire: Halprin’s 1967 Protest Dance Reconstructed on SF Streets

Blank Placard Dance 1967; photo courtesy Lawrence Halprin

For nine decades, Anna Halprin has explored what it means to dance and to heal. The iconic San Francisco Bay Area–artist, who started dancing at age 5 and turns 95 in July, is the subject of a series of celebrations called “Dances for Anna” spanning three months and 15 countries this year. Halprin—who founded San Francisco Dancer’s Workshop in 1955—is known internationally for her investment in dance as a transformative practice.

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DSL NewsWire: Chicago Students and Teachers Unite to Offer Affordable Dance Classes

Recycled Barre; photo courtesy Recycled Barre

In order to address those challenges for future generations of aspiring dancers, Rendon and other Benito Juarez students teamed up with two of their teachers to bring a dance studio with classical dance training to Pilsen this summer, reports DNAinfo Chicago. Instructors Barbara San-Roman and Dianne Martinez came up with the idea for Recycled Barre last summer after discussing the void of dance studios in Pilsen and other South Side communities.

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DSL NewsWire: 100-Year-Old Dancer/Choreographer Starts New Career—In Music Videos

Eileen Kramer; photo by Saeed Khan/AFP Photo

Starring in music videos at the age of 100, Eileen Kramer is probably the oldest working dancer and choreographer in Australia, if not the world—and the centenarian revels in her age, says Yahoo news.

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DSL NewsWire: Rhythmic Movement of Hula Helps Babies Sleep While Moms Work Out

Hula Babies class; photo by Benjamin Benschneider/Seattle Times

The likelihood is pretty good that your baby, lulled by the soothing music and the swaying of hips, will fall asleep at Hula Babies class. If your baby cries instead, the moms there don’t mind; babies hiccupping and intermittently crying is the gentle background to the hula, says the Seattle Times.

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DSL NewsWire: View From the Wings Inspired Filmmaker to Create ABT Documentary

American Ballet Theatre: A History; photo courtesy Monsters & Critics

There are many ballet documentaries—including a couple on the American Ballet Theatre—but none has ever described the essence and beauty of dance as masterfully as Ric Burns’ American Ballet Theatre: A History, premiering May 15 at 9pm on PBS’ American Masters.

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DSL NewsWire: Two Grants Support Hubbard Street Youth, Community Programs

Hubbard Street Youth Programs; photo by Todd Rosenberg

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago has received two sizable grants to help support its continuing work with young people and families in Chicago.

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DSL NewsWire: Students Benefit From Loyola Marymount/Bill T. Jones Partnership

Bill T. Jones; photo by Lois Greenfield

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, New York Live Arts’ resident dance company, has launched a new, four-year partnership with Loyola Marymount University (LMU) that will bring the company’s works and their pedagogical and performing philosophy to LMU’s campus and the Los Angeles area.

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DSL NewsWire: Interest From Male Students Leads to First “Mancing” Class at Virginia Studio

Elite School of Dance “mancing” class; photo courtesy Southwest Times

“Mancing.” That’s what Elite School of Dance and Performance Art in Radford, Virginia, calls it when its 15-member, all-male dance class starts moving to the beat.

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DSL NewsWire: Top College and University Programs for Choreography Named

Ten colleges noted for choreography; photo courtesy Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The top schools for choreography are those offering dance programs that emphasize choreography or offer a distinct choreography degree, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which has released a list of its Top 10 Choreography Schools.

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DSL NewsWire: New Orleans Students Join Limón Company Onstage for Missa Brevis

NOBA dancers rehearse for Missa Brevis; photo courtesy Facebook

A handful of young New Orleans dancers and a local chorus will perform with the Limón Dance Company on May 9 when the modern dance company presents one of its masterworks, Missa Brevis.

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DSL NewsWire: NYCB Usher Tapped to Design Sets, Costumes, for La Sylphide

Artist Susan Tammany and her La Sylphide set; photo by Sam Hodgson/New York Times

Most nights find Susan Tammany ushering for New York City Ballet performances, but not last night: a new production of August Bournonville’s 1836 ballet La Sylphide—with sets and costumes designed by Tammany—had its premiere.

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DSL NewsWire: Project to Create Online, Long-Lasting “Voice for Dance”

California modern dance pioneer Anna Halprin; photo by Ernest Braun, courtesy Dance Heritage Coalition

“The average life of a webpage is a hundred days,” stated a New Yorker article in January. Since writing about dance—along with other forms of arts criticism—now takes place mostly online, and frequently outside of well-established newspapers or magazines, the instability of webpages clearly presents a stark challenge to the survival of today’s dance writing.

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DSL NewsWire: Autistic Children, Kids and Moms, Invited to Ballet San Jose’s Cinderella

Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley’s Cinderella; photo courtesy Facebook

Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley is running two special outreach programs in connection with this weekend’s production of Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella that will allow children with special needs, plus underserved children and their mothers, to attend live performances of the classic ballet.

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DSL NewsWire: Tragedy of Slain Family Leads Friend to Open Dream Studio

Moriah Davis School of the Arts; photo courtesy Facebook

It has been nearly one year since Stephen and Katie Stay, along with four of their five children, were gunned down inside their Houston home by an estranged relative. Now, a neighbor and friend is honoring the family with a dream inspired by two of the young victims.

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DSL NewsWire: Online Exhibition Tells the Stories of Historical Dance “Treasures”

Josephine Baker; photo courtesy Encyclopedia Britannica

Thirteen important dance history influences, from Isamu Noguchi who changed set design for dance forever by making it three-dimensional and interactive, to Ann Barzel who sneaked her 16mm camera backstage to film important performances of Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free and George Balanchine’s Symphony in C, have been added to the list of America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures.

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DSL NewsWire: Making the Leap From Student to Artist: Lar Lubovitch Speaks

Lar Lubovitch; photo courtesy Dance/USA

“I know who you are. You are the one amongst many who will make the leap from being a dance student to being a Dancer. You have existed for hundreds of years. You are part of a tradition that has been passed by hand from dancer to dancer to dancer. You have been living and breathing on the energy dreams are made of. It is a powerful source and there is nothing illusory about it. Trust it.”

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DSL NewsWire: NYC Kids See and Learn About Dance Through Victory Dance Program

Victory Dance; photo by Paula Lobo/New York Times

New Victory Theatre on 42nd Street in New York City has announced its second season of Victory Dance, a summer series of free dance performances by artists like Martha Graham Dance Company, Parsons Dance, and others, for children in NYC day camps, summer schools, and programs run by social service agencies.

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DSL NewsWire: Choreographer’s Gravity-Defying Art Subject of New Film

Born to Fly; photo courtesy Brooklyn Film Festival

Catherine Gund’s documentary Born to Fly, which follows iconoclastic choreographer Elizabeth Streb as she relentlessly pushes herself and her dancers to break free of the traditional, earth-bound confines of dance, will premiere on PBS’ Independent Lens May 11 at 10pm EST.

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DSL NewsWire: NJ’s Dance on the Lawn Aims to Engage Dancers, Audiences

Dance on the Lawn; photo by Anthony Turner

A work-in-progress by Robert Mark Burke, named the first Emerging New Jersey Choreographer by Dance on the Lawn, will be shown in rehearsal May 9 from 6 to 9pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church’s Assembly Hall in Montclair, New Jersey.

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DSL NewsWire: One of the 20th-Century Ballet Greats, Maya Plisetskaya, Dies at 89

Maya Plisetskaya; photo courtesy Reuters

Maya Plisetskaya, a star of Russia’s Bolshoi ballet who overcame a legacy of Stalinist oppression to redefine her art and be feted as the greatest ballerina of her generation, has died in Germany.

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DSL NewsWire: Dance Festival Ignites Memorial Day Weekend in St. Louis

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company; photo by Jeff Sabo

Thirty professional dance companies will perform across three nights at the 8th annual Emerson Spring to Dance Festival in St. Louis, Missouri, to be held this coming Memorial Day weekend (May 22 to 24).

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DSL NewsWire: Why Have Dance in K–12 Schools? “Why Not?” Asks New Documentary

PS Dance!; photo courtesy Facebook

Two years in the making, the documentary PS Dance! captures a typical day in the New York City classrooms of five master dance educators and shows how dance can affect the trajectory of student development.

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DSL NewsWire: “Dancing Is Dreaming on Your Feet,” Says NDW Essay Winner

National Dance Week logo; courtesy Facebook

“Every time I dance, I turn into a better person. Dance temporarily takes away the pain of the harsh world outside of those studio windows. Dance enables me to find myself but to also lose myself at the same time.”

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July 2012 | Bright Biz Idea | Sweat and Sizzle

If you are a studio owner who’s looking for a way to fill unused classrooms and increase your school’s bottom line, or a dance teacher who wants to expand your potential, Zumba Fitness® classes might be the answer.

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