Game for iPhone Gets Players Dancing

An item in the New Yorker reports that last month a group of game developers introduced Bounden, an app that invites users to dance, but also lays bare our obsessively protective relationship with our phones.

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Newsies to Close in August

The New York Times ArtsBeat blog reports that the hit Broadway musical Newsies will close on August 24 after two-and-a-half years of performances, Disney Theatrical Productions announced on Sunday.

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On My Mind

Recently I met Amanda (not her real name), a dance teacher who broke down while she explained that she had once loved teaching. Now it was nothing but stress. When she started teaching, she said, things were simpler: “All I had were toddlers; they loved class and so did I.” Now, she said, “I have students of all ages who are jealous of each other, and the parents question every move I make. They call or text me because they do not like my choreography or to blast me because they think tuition costs are too high. Almost everything I do is wrong!”

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Classroom Connection

To help students learn to remember choreography, let them become the teachers. This method works with both recreational and competition dancers, though it seems to benefit the latter most because as team members, they must learn their choreography quickly.

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Ballet Dancers, Symphony Musicians, Exhilarated by Original Collaboration

The dancers of Miami City Ballet and the musicians of New World Symphony have spent most of their careers doing what they’re told by teachers, choreographers, conductors, and directors. But Tuesday evening, members of both ensembles presented a show of choreography created by the dancers and live music that they put together entirely on their own, a collaboration that’s unprecedented for both.

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Moving Passages

Writing is a solitary pursuit. The tools, spare: pen and paper or a computer, one’s imagination, and a story to tell or idea to convey. Choreography, too, can frequently be a singular occupation: there’s the dancemaker alone in the studio; the score he or she has chosen; and an idea, a message, a story to impart.

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On My Mind

A 7-year-old should not dance to “Love to Love You, Baby,” because she doesn’t know how to love him.

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Showtime Shakeup

The annual recital is unquestionably one of the most important events on a dance school’s calendar. It’s a rite of passage for dancers and a choreography showcase for teachers—and it is one of the biggest and best ways for studio owners to market their schools.

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2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Fine-Tuning Performances

During performances the audience looks at the dancers’ faces first, and then moves on to the choreography and technique. To encourage students to explore facial expressiveness without feeling embarrassed, try this between barre exercises: have them close their eyes and then call out expressions for them to try.

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Classroom Connection

Musical theater class can involve far more than choreography done to Broadway tunes. Here’s your chance to work weekly with your students on one of the most difficult skills to grasp—how to create and sustain emotion and/or character.

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FYI What’s up in the dance community

“It was a good fit.” And with that pun, Sarah Hall Weaver described the impetus behind a public art and fund-raising project by the National Museum of Dance—24 five-foot-tall pointe shoes, decorated by area artists and sponsored by local businesses, scattered about the tourism town of Saratoga Springs, New York.

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Dancing Big

A normal week might find Jimmy Locust teaching 20 classes at his studio in Stamford, Connecticut. Or he might be on a plane to Los Angeles or Hawaii to choreograph a music video. Or a camera crew might be following him as he prepares for an upcoming performance with his acclaimed youth performance team, Hip Hop’s Finest. Life keeps the diminutive Locust, who is four feet nine inches tall, on the move.

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Thinking Out Loud | Hip-Hop Gold

For 18 years, my studio’s enrollment has remained steady. I have seen students graduate from high school and move on, only to be replaced by little ones now old enough to join Fundamentals of Dance, a class for the youngest dancers. Some students move away while an equal number of dancers change studios and come my way. Yet attracting male students to the school and sustaining their enrollment was like picking apples off a pear tree—until I added hip-hop to the roster.

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Ask Rhee Gold

Do you have any advice about working with competition kids and determining who is in the front row, back row, etc.? These are 7- and 8-year-old kids in their second year of competing. It is only a group of 10, so the majority of times they’re in either the first or second row. I try to rotate them as much as I can, but there are always the stronger ones I need at that age. It bothers me because I always try to make sure they all feel important and a part of the routine. How should I base which dancers are in the front row—do I assess them or give preference to the kids who have been with the studio longer than the others?

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2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Pas de Cheval

My training as a very young child included a step that is seldom done now. A favorite of mine, it was “the horsey step” (pas de cheval, or “step of the horse”). The foot is pointed devant and the arm is extended in front, in line with the foot, palm down, and eyes looking at the hand. The foot is then brought toward the supporting leg in a circular movement to approximately ankle height and returns to the pointed position, and at the same time the wrist and head lift.

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Trisha Brown Wants Her Company to Continue On Without Her

Trisha Brown, a dance experimentalist of the 1960s and ’70s who went on to help define contemporary dance performance, has decided to withdraw from leading the company she founded because of health problems but has given her blessing to its continued existence, reported The New York Times.

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Rhee Gold Brings Motivation to Your Next Dance Organization Event

You probably know that Rhee Gold’s Project Motivate seminars help studio owners generate more income, learn new strategies for 21st century marketing, become better organized, and learn new teaching and choreography concepts. But what you might not know is that you can bring Gold and his Project Motivate magic to your next dance teacher organization event.

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Intent and Expressiveness

There was a time when the goal of modern dance technique training was to make all dancers look as much alike as possible. That day has passed. Today most choreographers expect dancers to bring themselves to the movement they are given, and in many cases, to participate in the creation of the movement itself.

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Cultivating Creativity

Dance studios and programs across the country tend to put most of their emphasis on nurturing budding dancers and give little thought to offering training, support, and opportunities for young choreographers, particularly aspiring teenage dancemakers. But look harder and you’ll find that choreographic mentorship is thriving in three North American programs.

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Thinking Out Loud | Virtual Rehearsal

I slapped some ice onto my purpling Achilles tendon, but I could tell I was going to have to rest it. So I emailed the director of A Little Night Music, a production for which I was contributing choreography. A string of email brainstorming correspondence followed, and I began to write out instructions, reminders, and notes for the rehearsal in the event that I could not attend. Fortunately, the show was three weeks into rehearsal with staging and choreography already plotted out. But that night was an important run-through of Act 2, which I felt I could not miss. As a joke, I wrote, “Too bad we can’t have a video conference!” To which the assistant director replied that we could—via Skype, so that I could “watch” the run-through.

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