DSL NewsWire: Newcomers and Old Favorites Part of 2015 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; photo courtesy Jacob’s Pillow

Highlights of this summer’s offerings include Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host, a special dance and radio stage production starring public radio’s Ira Glass; the return of Nederlands Dans Theater 2; the US debut of Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart from Germany; the world premiere of American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Daniil Simkin’s Intensio; Cuban contemporary ensemble Malpaso Dance Company, performing with Grammy Award–winning pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra; and the launch of Martha Graham Dance Company’s 90th anniversary, including a world premiere by eminent choreographer Mats Ek.

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DSL NewsWire: Choreographer Lucinda Childs’ Archival Materials Available Online

Lucinda Childs (second from left) and company; photo © 1973 Babette Mangolte, courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1602, New York

A Steady Pulse: Restaging Lucinda Childs, 1963–78 is a new web-based publication that reexamines the early dances of one of America’s most influential contemporary choreographers.

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DSL NewsWire: “Two Tips” Columnist Thelma Goldberg is BDA 2015 “Dance Champion”

Thelma Goldberg; photo courtesy Thelma Goldberg

Dance Studio Life columnist and Massachusetts studio owner Thelma Goldberg will receive the 2015 Dr. Michael Shannon Dance Champion Award from the Boston Dance Alliance at the organization’s May 14 gala.

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DSL NewsWire: DTH Exists to Prove That, in Ballet, Color Doesn’t Matter

Dance Theatre of Harlem; photo by Rachel Neville

“Panel after panel convenes to ask why there are not more dancers of color in ballet. My heart sinks every time. Where is Dance Theatre of Harlem in this conversation?” asks DTH artistic director and former professional dancer Virginia Johnson in a column in Huffington Post.

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DSL NewsWire: Michigan Ballroom Studio Offers Instruction to Wheelchair Dancers

Wheelchair classes at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Bloomfield Hills; photo courtesy Facebook

The Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, has hired a new dance instructor to lead an effort to start a wheelchair dance workshop.

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DSL NewsWire: Rockettes’ New York Spring Spectacular Arrives With a Splash

The Rockettes’ New York Spring Spectacular has arrived and it’s one show this season that definitely lives up to its name—spec-ta-cu-lar.

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DSL NewsWire: Latest Capezio Tap Shoe Offers First Interchangeable Heel Unit

Cathie Nicholas and the Dada Hoofers; photo courtesy Capezio

The shoe offers several heels crafted in different weights and materials for a wide variety of tone and pitch. A hollow heel unit acts as a sound chamber to produce a crisp sound that is not subdued by marley competition floors, plus heightened amplification. With the Tapsonic, dancers are able to customize their sounds similar to the ways in which musicians can customize the sounds of their instruments.

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DSL Newswire: Dance Class Helps Mothers, Daughters Make Emotional Connection

Mother & Daughter Classes; photo by Joe Ahlquist/Argus Leader

Mothers and daughters who crave more quality time together have found their way to an eight-week class at BritZa Studios in Sioux Falls, North Dakota, that mingles dance with life lessons in self-esteem, inner beauty, and being unique.

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DSL NewsWire: Six Master Classes for $25 Part of Movement and Dance Weekend

Movement and Dance Weekend; photo courtesy Alex Shukoff

More than 30 affordably priced classes for all skill levels in a variety of genres will be offered as part of Movement and Dance Weekend, presented by Rochester, New York’s Nazareth College Department of Theatre and Dance from today through Sunday.

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DSL NewsWire: Mark Morris’ Ode to Joy, L’Allegro, Shown on Great Performances

Mark Morris Dance Group in L’Allegro on PBS; photo courtesy MMDG

One of the best-loved dances by one of the world’s greatest choreographers—Mark Morris’ 1988 L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato—will be broadcast on television for the first time this March 27 at 9pm EST on PBS’ Great Performances program.

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DSL NewsWire: Mark Morris, Nureyev, 2015 Inductees into NMD Hall of Fame

Mark Morris in rehearsal; photo by Amber Star Merkens

Innovative contemporary choreographer and company director Mark Morris and ballet luminary Rudolf Nureyev have been chosen by the National Museum of Dance as the 2015 inductees into its Hall of Fame.

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DSL NewsWire: Parisian Audiences Defy Critics by Showing Love to American Musicals

Singin’ in the Rain; photo by Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images

American musicals were rarely performed in France in the past, but have been a huge hit in recent years, reported NPR.

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DSL NewsWire: Performances, Free Talks Part of Peabody Dance’s 100th Celebration

Peabody Dance Centennial; photo courtesy Peabody Dance

One hundred years after opening its doors, Peabody Dance welcomes alumni, guest artists, and scholars to Baltimore, Maryland, for its Centennial Celebration during the weekend of March 26 to 29.

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DSL NewsWire: Story of Prancing Elites’ Determination to Dance Told on Oxygen

The Prancing Elites; photo courtesy Facebook

A new Oxygen docu-series, The Prancing Elites Project, tells the story of an African American, gay and gender non-conforming dance team from Mobile, Alabama, that challenges societal norms while overcoming obstacles with passion and wit.

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DSL NewsWire: Tap Company Attracts New Audiences by Presenting Story Shows

Choreographer Mark Yonally; photo by Mina Bloom/DNAinfo Chicago

When tap dance choreographer Mark Yonally was performing with a touring circus a few years ago, he would watch the whip artist and the contortionist warm up before shows.

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DSL Newswire: LED Smart Shoes Turn Your Dance into a Light Show

LED smart shoes; photo courtesy No New Folk Studio

They’re like the light-up shoes of your childhood, the ones that blink and flash, activated by the pressure of your tread—but cooler than that, reports CNET. Orphe, developed by Japanese startup No New Folk Studio and currently seeking Indiegogo backers, is a programmable performance shoe fitted with 100 full-color, serially controlled LEDs, advanced motion sensors, and a Bluetooth module—designed to enhance and become a part of your dance moves.

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DSL NewsWire: Square Dancing in Steep Decline; Fans Try Legislation to Stem Tide

Square dancing; photo courtesy Square Dance Magazine

The nation’s square dancing population has declined by 700,000 over the past 30 years, according to United Square Dancers of America. Lawmakers in 31 states have tried to reverse that trend by making it their official state dance.

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DSL NewsWire: SYTYCD’s Travis Wall and Twitch to Mentor This Season’s Contestants

Travis Wall and Stephen “Twitch” Boss; photo courtesy Variety

So You Think You Can Dance will be bringing two of its alumni on board when it returns this summer for season 12. Travis Wall and Stephen “Twitch” Boss will join the competition dance series as mentors to the top 20 finalists.

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DSL NewsWire: Precious Puppies Help to Ease Job Stress at American Ballet Theatre

ABT’s Lauren Post and Pickles; photo courtesy Instagram

Ballet dancers have a tough life: so how about a softer, cuddlier look at the dance life, thanks to Instagram.

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DSL NewsWire: Choreographer and Students Discover Limitations Can Spur Creativity

“Ten Tiny Dances;” photo courtesy Kali Raisl

“Ten Tiny Dances,” a Tacoma, Washington, dance event that raises funds for scholarships at Tacoma City Ballet, sets a challenge for choreographers and dancers: to fit expressive movement into short works on a 4-by-4-foot stage set squarely in the middle of an audience.

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DSL NewsWire: Dance+ Festival Going Strong for 25 Years in Saratoga Springs

Dance+ Festival; photo courtesy Facebook

The 25th annual Dance+ Festival will offer classes in over a dozen different styles of dance and movement for dancers and non-dancers of all ages and levels on March 29 at the National Museum of Dance, 99 South Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York.

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DSL NewsWire: “Curriculum in Motion” Science Teacher on Third Pair of Jazz Shoes

School science teacher Dan Gray rehearses Curriculum in Motion; photo courtesy of David Dashiel for Jacob’s Pillow

When he retires at the end of the school year, Monument Mountain Regional High School teacher Dan Gray will be remembered as much for the contributions he made through his dancing shoes as he will be for the lessons he gave in the biology lab.

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DSL NewsWire: Charity-based Competition Presents $50,000 to Utah Food Bank

Ginette Bott of the Utah Food Bank accepts a $50,000 check from Will Dance For Kids; photo by Chelsey Allder/Deseret News

Will Dance for Kids Project, an organization that raises funds for children’s charities through dance and dance competitions, earned $50,000 for the Utah Food Bank through a weekend competition.

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DSL NewsWire: Video and Share Moves and Music with New Free App

Jusmove app; photo courtesy Amarillo Globe-News

Gray’s Studio, an Amarillo, Texas, photography and video business, will soon offer a video-based social network they hope will tap into the artistic drive that supports thousands of dance studios across the United States.

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DSL NewsWire: National Museum of Dance Heats Up Winter With Tango Exhibit

Antón Gazenbeek and Natalie Laruccia; photo courtesy Natalie Laruccia

Visitors to the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, New York, can learn about the history of the Argentine tango, view rare footage, and even learn the dance itself through a new exhibition, 125 Years of Tango: A Walk Through the History of the Dance, running through March 2016.

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DSL NewsWire: Info on Duncan Dancers and Educators Sought for Online Archive

Isadora Duncan; double exposure photo by Richard Stoots from the collection of Janaea Rose Lyn

Duncan dancers, teachers, choreographers, and scholars throughout the world are urged to share information about themselves with the Isadora Duncan Archive committee now in the process of producing a digital archive representing the vast legacy of the modern dance pioneer.

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DSL NewsWire: Struggling Ballet San Jose Launches Emergency Fundraising Drive

Ballet San Jose; photo by Alejandro Gomez

Financially troubled Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley has to raise $550,000 by March 14 or face its possible swan song, reported the San Jose Mercury News.

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DSL NewsWire: Edward Villella’s Choreography Featured in Televised Ice Show

Meryl Davis and Charlie White; photo courtesy Shall We Dance On Ice

Miami Ballet founder and former New York City Ballet principal Edward Villella is also an accomplished choreographer for ice skaters. One of his pieces, “The Three Smokers,” will be featured during ABC-TV’s Shall We Dance On Ice, airing March 7 at 4pm EST.

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DSL NewsWire: 8-Year-Old Dances With and Without Prosthetic in First Solo

Alissa Sizemore; photo by Heather Sizemore

Seven-year-old Alissa Sizemore was playing with a group of kids last May when Naples, Utah, police say she ran into the street, where her right foot became pinned under the wheel of a passing UPS truck.

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DSL NewsWire: Free Printed Recital Tickets Now Available to TutuTix Customers

TutuTix printed tickets; image courtesy TutuTix

TutuTix announced that it will begin offering free printed tickets to all dance studios and performance companies who use TutuTix to sell recital tickets online.

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DSL NewsWire: Coach Fired Over Use of “Inappropriate” Song Sues School District

Lisa Joling; photo by Megan McCormick/News-Herald Media

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s Equal Rights Division is hearing the lawsuit between a former dance team coach and the Marshfield School District.

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March-April 2015 | On My Mind

Photo by Mim Adkins

I’ve been in the dance education field for a long time, and over the years I’ve noticed some changes, particularly in regard to student performances. Long before the current generation started dancing for awards, generations of young dancers performed for something quite simple: applause.

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March-April 2015 | Make It Modern

Ana Marie Forsythe, chair of The Ailey School’s Horton Department, says the lack of ambiguity in Horton technique makes it appealing to students. Photo by Eduardo Patino

For some educators, the thought of teaching modern dance raises terrifying questions. How do you do it best? How do you know you’re qualified? What is modern dance, anyway? Others ask: why do my students need modern training? Aren’t those techniques old-fashioned and outdated?

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March-April 2015 | FYI

Jamie Benson and his amateur company, Shakedown Dance Collective, will be making a stop at a New York Transit Museum event in April. Photo by Willie Davis

What’s up in the dance community:

The Dance Happy Project

Musical Tribute to Luigi

Shaking It Down in the Subway

Archives Expands Collection

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March-April 2015 | Thinking Out Loud | Discovering Gaga


I take the stairs at a run, risking my neck by sprinting in socks, gripping my shoes in one hand and my bag in another, a mess of T-shirts dangling from my arm. I’m always running 5 or, let’s face it, 10 minutes behind, sheepishly dropping straight into pliés in fourth position or “accidentally” missing pranayama and chanting. But Batsheva Dance Company has been very clear: class begins at 11:30, and once class begins, no one enters or leaves. Maybe it’s the cultural influence of the Tzahal, Israel’s military, I think. My uncharacteristic punctuality is noted by a friend, who laughs and says, “In Israel, class always starts 10 minutes late.”

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March-April 2015 | Etudes for the Ages

Limon Dance Company in Jose Limon's Psalm, part of the source material for Limon Etude. Photo by Doug Cody

Pondering these questions of education and access, Strandberg and her sister Carolyn Adams, a longtime Paul Taylor Dance Company dancer and a faculty member at The Juilliard School, came up with a revolutionary concept—the Repertory Etudes Collection. Under the guidance of Brown’s American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI), established by the sisters in 1993, modern dance choreographers would create new works based on one of their signature works or personal stylistic and thematic choreographic qualities. Important deceased modern pioneers, like José Limón, who died in 1972, could be represented through a new work created by a close associate charged with preserving and protecting the choreographer’s legacy.

Since these short technique studies (informally called RepEtudes) were commissioned by ADLI, they could be recorded and distributed to educators, who could teach them to students and present them in performance with no rights or royalty issues attached.

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March-April 2015 | Kids in Contact

Photo courtesy Jennifer Kelble

Any child who’s ever “flown” atop a parent’s upstretched feet has an inkling of the kinetic pleasure at the heart of contact improvisation (CI). A movement form developed in 1972 by dancer and choreographer Steve Paxton, CI utilizes every bone, muscle, and surface of the body in the service of an unpredictable duet. Participants are “danced” by a point of contact, which might be a head against a back, a hand to a chest, or simply two wrists leaning into each other.

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March-April 2015 | Tap Festivals

The lineup at the 2014 Stockholm Tap Festival Teachers Gala included (from left) Josette Wiggan, Michelle Dorrance, Joseph wiggan, Derick K. Grant, Chloe Arnold, Michela Marino Lerman, Nicholas Young, Sam Weber, Jason Samuels Smith, Josh Hilberman, and Guillem Alonso. Photo by Iselin Jansen

If you’re looking for an intensive tap experience for you or your students, we’ve got you covered. Just browse through our annual listing of national and international festivals, most of which include workshop classes, performances, and more.

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March-April 2015 | Bright Biz Idea |Dance & Diversify


For small-business owner Hillary Parnell, business is anything but small. The owner and artistic director of Academy for the Performing Arts (APA) in Apex, North Carolina, a suburb of Raleigh, Parnell has grown her school from a 4,000-square-foot dance-focused facility to one with 10,000 square feet and multiple programs.

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March-April 2015 | College Close-Ups | Boston University

Photo by William Parsons/Maximal Image

Boston University (BU) offers an extensive program of dance and movement courses through its Department of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (PERD) and School of Theatre in the College of Fine Arts. Although BU, a private institution, does not offer a dance major, it offers a dance minor program to undergraduate students in all majors.

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March-April 2015 | Teacher in the Spotlight | Ellen Dyer

Photo courtesy River Oaks Dance

“I own a dance program that caters to children ages 3 to 8, and Ellen has been an integral part from day one. She performs in many theater productions in the Houston area, and brings that energy and animation into class. I know my program wouldn’t be as successful without her dedication.”

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March-April 2015 | Moving Images


1. Never Stand Still: Dancing at Jacob’s Pillow
2. An Evening With the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
3. Paul Taylor: Dancemaker
4. Martha Graham: Dance on Film

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March-April 2015 | Page Turners


1. Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring
2. Improvisation on the Edge: Notes From On and Off Stage
3. Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey’s Embodiment of African American Culture
4. The Vision of Modern Dance: In the Words of Its Creators

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March-April 2015 | EditorSpeak

Photos by Chris Hardy

I’m writing this the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, at a time when world events make me wonder whether we, as individuals and societies and nations, will ever think of one another as equals. Serendipitously, I came across an interview with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director Robert Battle in which he speaks about dance’s role as an equalizer.

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March-April 2015 | Midwest Modern

TU Dance company performs to sold-out houses in Minnesota and on tour. Photo by Ingrid Werthmann

There’s a lot to love about Horton technique, a codified form of modern dance created by American choreographer Lester Horton (1906–1953). With its anatomically corrective approach and focus on producing dancers who are equally flexible and strong, the technique is an effective modality for teaching the fundamentals of modern dance to a wide range of students. While dancers who have mastered Horton tend to share certain traits—including lean and strong limbs, clean lines, and exceptional stamina—the technique is known for creating dancers who perform without affectation and can confidently transition among multiple styles of dance.

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DSL NewsWire: Longtime Chicago Dance Educator, Ginger Farley, To Head Up CDF

Ginger Farley; photo by Cheryl Mann

Chicago-based dance artist and advocate Ginger Farley has been named the first executive director of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF), which, through its Lab Artist grant program, provides ascending choreographers with cash awards, mentorship, and artistic and professional support.

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DSL NewsWire: YBCA’s “50 Cent” Workshops Introduce Students to Influential Artists

Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble members Katie Geissinger and Ellen Fisher will head up several classes March 28 from 11am to 4pm offered through the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ 50 Cent Tabernacle program.

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DSL NewsWire: Christian Dance Ministry Offers Free Lessons to More than 300 Girls

Donna Smith has always wanted to own her own dance studio, but she never imagined she would design a nonprofit ministry for girls that teaches girls how to dance, but with a difference.

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DSL NewsWire: Creator of Company That Honors All Body Shapes and Sizes Retires from Stage

Maria Caruso has made her mark on the Pittsburgh dance scene by telling other people’s stories through her medical-themed ballets performed by her company, Bodiography Contemporary Ballet.

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