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Posts Tagged ‘performance’

San Francisco Museum Looking for Selfies of Artists in Action

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San Francisco’s Museum of Performance + Design is on the hunt for unique, creative, and evocative selfies of performing artists for its exhibition, “Instant Love: Simple Moments of Magic and Memories in Offstage Sketches, Snapshots and Selfies,” opening December 18.

The selfies should capture you as a working artist (i.e. in rehearsal, backstage, etc.). Please send your own or your favorite selfie(s) as a .jpeg attachment to info@mpdsf.org with SELFIES in the subject line. Make sure to include the name of the artist and the date of the selfie(s) in the body of the email.

MP+D is the only independent, nonprofit arts organization in the United States devoted to the history of performing arts and theatrical design. For more information, visit http://www.mpdsf.org/index.html.

 

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New Orleans’ Jazz Musicians and Tap Troupe Create Beautiful Music Together

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Gulf Coast Theatre on Tap; photo courtesy Facebook

Gulf Coast Theatre on Tap; photo courtesy Facebook

A weekend performance in New Orleans explored an “energetic exchange” between two art forms—tap and jazz—as a professional tap troupe shared a stage with a seven-piece jazz music ensemble.

“We are telling the history of New Orleans’ music, and presenting a wide variety of New Orleans’ songs, and tap dance is the vehicle used to express it to the audience,” Heidi Malnar, artistic director of Gulf Coast Theatre on Tap, told the NOLA Defender.

A merger of these two art forms had rarely been seen in a city where tap is usually limited to dancers in the Quarter or to schools. “We’re just adding another layer to fabulous music that is already there, to take on a new life,” Malner said.

Opening the second act was a tribute to famed jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain performed by his granddaughter, Danielle Harrell Scheib. “We thought it was just such a perfect match with what we are doing, blending jazz and tap together. And we thought it was so coincidental that a tap dancer is related to such a famous jazz artist,” Malner said.

The production also featured an a cappella tap rendition of a Mardi-Gras style drumline. “I’m not a New Orleans native,” Malnar said. “And for me, one of the most exciting things about Mardi Gras was hearing the drumline coming down the street. We’re trying to re-create that using tapping, with lots of rhythms playing against each other that is going to resemble a marching drum line. One of the most important things to remember is that there will not be a band accompanying this portion, just 10 dancers who have to listen and feed off each other’s energy.”

The show, Neutral Ground, showcased performances by three companies: professional touring dancers, pre-professionals (ages 14 to 17), and juniors (ages 10 to 13).

To read the original story, visit http://www.noladefender.com/content/song-dance-show-neutral-ground-merges-jazz-and-tap.

 

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San Francisco Dancers Collaborate to Raise Funds and Fight Cancer

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DanceFAR; photo courtesy DanceFAR

DanceFAR; photo courtesy DanceFAR

San Francisco Bay Area dance companies will join together again this year in a one-night-only special performance to benefit the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC) and the UCSF Melanoma Center.

DanceFAR will be held November 18 at 7pm at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco, and features performances by San Francisco Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, ODC/Dance, Ballet San Jose, Smuin Ballet, Post:Ballet, tinypistol, and SFDanceworks; tap artist Joe Orrach; and special guests Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and dancers from Nederlands Dans Theater I.

The event includes a gala after-party featuring local restaurants, wineries, and live entertainment, as well as a pre-performance cocktail reception for event sponsors.

Now in its third year, the DanceFAR event (formerly Get in Front), was developed and is organized by James Sofranko, current soloist with the San Francisco Ballet, and colleagues Garen Scribner and Margaret Karl, both former San Francisco Ballet dancers. The team has raised more than $300,000 for CPIC in sold-out performances the last two years.

Tickets ($50 to $250) can be purchased online at http://ybca.org/dancefar or by calling the YBCA box office at 415.978.ARTS.

 

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Upcoming Ballet in Cinema Season Features Seven Bolshoi Performances

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Bolshoi Ballet’s Swan Lake; photo by Reuters

Bolshoi Ballet’s Swan Lake; photo by Reuters

The Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema 2014–15 Season will feature seven productions, with four live performances (captured earlier the same day of the cinema broadcast from Moscow) and three pre-recorded programs.

The Sunday matinee performances will be broadcast in more than 450 cinemas and performing arts centers across the U.S. and Canada.

The season will include:
• October 26: The Legend of Love, choreographer Yuri Grigorovich’s seminal work.
• November 23: Pierre Lacotte’s The Pharaoh’s Daughter (recorded)
• December 7: La Bayadère (recorded)
• December 21: The Nutcracker
• January 25: Swan Lake
• March 8: Romeo and Juliet (recorded)
• April 19: Ivan the Terrible

A new web-based video series, created to support the in-cinema events, will feature never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews with many of the company’s artists including Svetlana Zakharova, Maria Alexandrova, Vladislav Lantratov, Semyon Chudin, Alexander Volchkov and Anna Nikulina. The video series introduces the artists as they discuss their work, specific roles and productions, and individual inspirations.

Kicking off the cinema season is a video trailer starring premier David Hallberg and leading soloist Olga Smirnova (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd0BV9pR_wM).

Tickets are on sale now in the U.S. at participating cinemas and at www.bolshoiballetincinema.com. To view the Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema’s YouTube channel, visit, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGYdrSP2EaeoLxHbSVWNZ5A.

 

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Wendy Whelan to Dance Debut During Final NYCB Performance

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Wendy Whelan; photo by Paul Kolnik

Wendy Whelan; photo by Paul Kolnik

Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon, two of the world’s most sought-after ballet choreographers, will create a new work for Wendy Whelan’s farewell performance with New York City Ballet on October 18, the company said in the New York Times.

The ballet, which will feature Whelan, Tyler Angle, and Craig Hall, is set to excerpts from Max Richter’s 2012 score Recomposed: Vivaldi–The Four Seasons, with each choreographer creating two movements.

Whelan, who had a hip reconstruction in August last year, said that Wheeldon and Ratmansky had been her most important creative influences during her career, and that she had asked them to make a combined piece for her. She also chose the score. “I had listened to that music every day while doing my exercises after my operation,” she said. “It kept me going through a difficult year.”

Whelan said that she picked the sections of the music for each choreographer. “I chose one movement from each season, because I wanted that idea of change and transition,” she said. “I could clearly hear Chris in the first two and Alexei in the second two. They have always seen me in music, and now I’m seeing them.”

Whelan said it was important for her to end her career at NYCB with something new. “I like the idea of making a debut on my farewell,” she said.

To see the original story, visit http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/23/ratmansky-and-wheeldon-to-collaborate-on-city-ballet-work/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0.

 

 

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New Chicago-Based Company Presents Tap With a Comedic Twist

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Tapman Productions; image courtesy Broadway World

Tapman Productions;
image courtesy Broadway World

Tapman Productions, a newly formed Chicago-based tap company under the artistic direction of Tristan Bruns, will present three original productions in 2015 during its inaugural, full-length season.

Tapman Productions produced performances in Chicago and throughout the Midwest that highlight visual elements and touches of comedy while honoring the integrity of tap dance. Tapman Productions began in 2010 as a collaborative effort between Bruns and Chicago tap dancers Zada Cheeks and Martin Bronson, and today includes a resident performance ensemble, The Tapmen, and an apprentice company, The Tapmen 2.

The 2015 season will include:
The Adventures of Tapman (January 28 to February 8), a family-friendly show about the crime-fighting adventures of the tenacious Tapman, a lovelorn scientist turned tap dancing superhero.
• “The Tapmen Repertory Performance” (May 29 to June 7), a collaboration integrating tap dance and modern dance, featuring guest artists from other Chicago dance companies and with additional choreography from Mike Ford and Kate O’Hanlon.
• “Tapman Productions presents: MADD Rhythms” (September 11 to 20), a performance that showcases fellow tap dance company, MADD Rhythms, founded by Bril Barrett.

Shows will be held at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Avenue. Tickets to The Adventures of Tapman can be purchased at the theater box office, at www.athenaeumtheatre.org or by calling 773.935.6875. Tickets to the other two productions will be on sale at a later date. For more information, visit www.tapmanproductions.com.

To see the original story, visit http://www.broadwayworld.com/chicago/article/Tapman-Productions-to-Kick-Off-Inaugural-Season-with-THE-ADVENTURES-OF-TAPMAN-Jan-28-20140919.

 

 

 

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Twenty Years of New Jersey Tap Ensemble Celebrated in Show

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New Jersey Tap Ensemble; photo courtesy Broadway World

New Jersey Tap Ensemble; photo courtesy Broadway World

“XX: A Celebration of 20 Years” will look back at the two-decade history of New Jersey’s leading tap performance group, the New Jersey Tap Ensemble, through performances of 20 dance pieces from the group’s past and present.

Broadway World said group founder and artistic director Deborah Mitchell will narrate the company’s journey from infancy to today during the show, set for September 21 at 2pm at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, New Jersey.

The program includes Jersey Bounce, That Rhythm Man, The New Low Down, and Savoy, choreographed and costumed by Mitchell in traditional tap styles reminiscent of the 1930s. Caravan, to be performed by Evan Ruggiero as a tribute to Peg Leg Bates, celebrates the power of the human spirit in the face of all odds. Opus One, choreographed by the late Dr. Harold Cromer, will be performed by Hillary-Marie Michael and Kyle Wilder. Special guest NJTAP2 (ages 12-17) will perform Crazy, choreographed by Maurice Chestnut, and Rhythms, by Mitchell.

Tickets are $75 (VIP with post-show reception) and $40 and can be purchased online at http://www.mayoarts.org/event/nj-tap-ensemble2. To see the original story, visit http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwdance/article/NJTAP-Ensemble-to-Celebrate-20-Years-with-XX-on-Sept-21-20140912#.

 

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Audience Joins the Story at Fort Wayne Dance’s Interactive Performance

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Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s “Wonderland”; photo courtesy Facebook

Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s “Wonderland”;
photo courtesy Facebook

In the famous Lewis Carroll story, Alice in Wonderland, young Alice explores a magical and mysterious new world. Audiences at the Fort Wayne [IN] Dance Collective’s weekend fundraiser, “Wonderland,” might also find themselves tiptoeing though a world of wonder as part of an “immersive theater/choose-your-own-adventure” experience.

Indiana News Center said “Wonderland,” the Dance Collective’s second annual fundraiser, will be held September 12 at the Masonic Temple, 216 E. Washington Boulevard.

Audience members will be able to follow, interact, and perhaps dance, with Alice and the cast as the show journeys from floor to floor of the Masonic Temple. Organizers brought the idea to Fort Wayne from a show in New York, Alison Gerardot, outreach director, said. “Audience members will come in. There will be an initial scene that they’ll see, and they won’t really know when it’s going to happen—it’ll just happen. From there [they can] explore the entire space that is the Masonic Temple.”

Gerardot says all proceeds will go toward scholarships, community outreach programs for students and people with disabilities, and the Parkview Healing Arts program.

Tickets cost $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Doors open at 7:30pm with the show beginning at 8pm. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

http://fwdc.org/FWDC/event/wonderland-a-fundraising-event/.

To see the original story, visit http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/Wonderland-Gives-Audiences-New-Interactive-Dance-Experience-274699181.html.

 

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Classic Musical-Theater Routines Come Alive Again at the Joyce Theater

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ADM21 presents Charles Askegard and Sarah Weber-Gallo in “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” choreographed by Hermes Pan; photo Christopher Duggan

ADM21 presents Charles Askegard and Sarah Weber-Gallo in “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” choreographed by Hermes Pan; photo Christopher Duggan

American Dance Machine for the 21st Century, an organization dedicated to the preservation of dance masterpieces from American musical-theater history, will give its first public performances November 11 to 16 at The Joyce Theater in New York City.

The event will feature eight performances of musical-theater dance numbers by Rob Ashford, Michael Bennett, Patricia Birch, Andy Blankenbuehler, Gower Champion, Jack Cole, Henry LeTang, Jerry Mitchell, Jerome Robbins, Susan Stroman, and others.

Each dance will be performed by a company of dancers and guest performers from the musical theater, ballet, and contemporary dance worlds, featuring live music.

ADM21 has worked with artists including Susan Stroman, Donna McKechnie, Robert La Fosse, Marge Champion, Nicole Fosse, and Kathryn Doby to reconstruct the original choreography of Michael Bennett’s “Music and the Mirror” from A Chorus Line, Jerome Robbins’ “Mr. Monotony” from Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Susan Stroman’s “Simply Irresistible” from Contact, Bob Fosse’s “Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar” from Big Deal, and Bennett’s “Turkey Lurkey Time” from Promises, Promises.

The organization is run by Nikki Feirt Atkins, founder and artistic producer, and Margo Sappington, artistic director. Visit www.adm21.org for more information.

 

 

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Studio Owner’s Desire for a Place to Dance Results in Second Detroit Dance City Festival

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Joori Jung; photo by Scott Lipiec

Joori Jung; photo by Scott Lipiec

The second annual Detroit Dance City Festival, set for August 22 to 24, brings together local and out-of-state dancers, both professionals and students, in a celebration of all things dance, with more than 20 all-day workshops, classes, and afternoon and evening performances in downtown Detroit.

“I love Detroit,” says Joori Jung, festival founder and artistic director of ArtLab J, told the Detroit News. “But there is still a bad perception about it. Detroit has so much potential and opportunity, but people don’t know it. So my goal is to bring more people to Detroit through dance and change their mindset.”

Jung, a native of Seoul, South Korea, moved to Detroit from New York two years ago to open a dance studio. She initially wanted to create a space for herself and local artists to workshop and showcase their completed or works in progress. What started as a bi-monthly showcase at her Eastern Market ArtLab J studio expanded into the first Detroit Dance City Festival. More than 1,000 participants attended last year, coming from as far away as New York.

DDCF’s 23 faculty members, who are all donating their time, include Jung and such local professionals as former Radio City Rockette Denise Caston and Tracy Pearson, a 2014 Kresge Fellow and dance instructor at Marygrove College in Detroit.

Professionals coming from out of state include Carolyn Dorfman of Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company from New York, and ballet dancer Sheena Annalise, founder of the all-female Arch Contemporary Ballet, also from New York.

The festival will run Friday through Sunday with workshops from 9:30am to 5pm at the Detroit Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts and The Carr Center, with performances at the YMCA Boll Theater and 1515 Broadway. Free dance classes and performances will also be held outdoors at Paradise Valley/Harmonie Park, all three days, from 11am to 5:30pm, followed by community after-parties from 9 to 11pm.

For more information, call 313.683.2192 or visit www.detroitdancecityfestival.com.

To see the original story, visit http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140821/ENT01/308210010/Detroit-Dance-City-Festival-brings-students-pros-together.

 

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New Tights Continually Moisturize the Skin as the Wearer Moves

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Mondor moisturizing tights; photo courtesy Mondor

Mondor moisturizing tights;
photo courtesy Mondor

Mondor, a company that develops high performance tights and training and competition apparel for top athletes and professional dancers, has announced its latest: moisturizing 3D knit tights.

The tights combine ultra-soft microfiber yarns with Skintex® semi-opaque 40 denier yarn.

Microcapsules filled with active ingredients, such as vitamin E, passion fruit oil, Monoï de Tahiti, and squalane (derived from olive oil), are released gradually onto the skin to ensure continuous care while the wearer moves.

If the tights are washed according to instructions, their moisturizing properties will last a very long time. The tights are dermatologically tested and have been found to be effective for all skin types.

Details: Style #: 5366. Available in black. Price: $15. Sizes: S to XL. For more information, visit http://www.mondor.com/moisturizing-tight.html.

 

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San Antonio’s Second Professional Company Presents Ballet with a Latino Flair

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Ballet Latino de San Antonio dancer Danae Quevedo; photo by Tom Reel/San Antonio Express-News

Ballet Latino de San Antonio dancer Danae Quevedo;
photo by Tom Reel/San Antonio Express-News

With performances during its inaugural season under its belt, organizers of San Antonio’s newest ballet company, Ballet Latino de San Antonio, are working on the fall 2014 schedule as well as plans for performing abroad next year.

The San Antonio Express-News said Ballet Latino is the city’s second professional ballet company. Ballet San Antonio, the resident ballet company at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, was the first. Both companies were started by the same woman, Mayra Worthen, a native of Puerto Rico and a graduate of Texas Christian University.

Her new company is a perfect fit in a city where Latin music is as familiar and welcome as country and western, she said. “Ballet Latino is a neo-classical company that celebrates Hispanic cultures by combining classical ballet with Latin rhythms such as salsa,” Worthen said.

Most of the members, she said, are from countries such as Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, and Italy, and well-versed in Latin music.

Worthen is looking to obtain sponsors and funds to put Ballet Latino on firm financial footing, and is working on the fall season and negotiating to take the troupe north next year. Ballet Latino has been invited to perform at a dance festival in Canada in the spring, Worthen said.

To see the full story, visit http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/stone-oak/article/San-Antonio-s-ballet-madrina-starts-second-company-5669527.php.

 

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Seven Illinois Studios Strive to Raise $5,000 for Drea’s Dream

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RippleFX; logo by Ken Garnhart

RippleFX; logo by Ken Garnhart

Seven northern Illinois dance studios have come together to host RippleFX, a dance performance with the goal of raising $5,000 to help establish a Drea’s Dream dance/movement therapy program at a local area hospital.

More than 100 dancers are scheduled to perform in the show, set for August 16 at 2pm at Harlem High School in Machesney Park, Illinois. Participating schools include DanceFX, Evolve Dance Company, Mary Lee’s School of Dance, Resilience Dance Company, Rockford Dance Company, Steps to Grace Dance Academy, and Turning Pointe Dance Company.

RippleFX is open to the public. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and $2 for children ages 2 to 5 (under 2 free) and can be purchased at the door. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event will benefit Dance Across America, is one of many fundraising efforts created by The Andréa Rizzo Foundation, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization dedicated to bringing dance therapy to children with cancer and special needs in pediatric hospitals, public schools, and Ronald McDonald houses across the country.

For more information, visit www.DreasDream.org.

 

 

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Dance All Day—For Free!—on July 26, Philadelphia Dance Day

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Philly Dance Fitness; photo courtesy Facebook

Philly Dance Fitness; photo courtesy Facebook

Philadelphia Dance Day, a nonprofit festival featuring free workshops, live performances, and a huge evening dance party, will be held July 26.

Philly Dance Fitness, an independent company based in Center City, first organized this event three years ago to celebrate National Dance Day. Organizers seek to unite the Philly community as they celebrate dance both as a platform for creative expression and as a joyful, physical activity.

More than 300 people participated in the 2013 celebration, and with the addition of more participating organizations and more volunteers, an even bigger turnout is expected this year.

There is no pre-registration, and no limit to the number of workshops participants can attend. Workshops are filled on a first come, first served basis. All daytime workshops are free. (There is a $5 entrance fee for the evening dance party and other events at the historical Ethical Society Building on Rittenhouse Square.)

Locations and offerings include:
• Headlong Studios: power jam stretch, impact jazz, Indonesian dance, hip-hop, striptease, dance party boot camp
• Major Movement Studio: Tap Tonic, Piloxing (Pilates and boxing), modern fitness, JazzTech, BalletEXTREME, Bhangra Blast, tango
• Philadelphia Dance Academy: adult beginner ballet and advanced beginner adult tap
• Studio 1831: belly dance
• Christian Street YMCA: Zumba Sentao, Body Jam, Sh’Bam, hip-hop master class
• Art in Motion Dance Academy: Bachata
• The Ethical Society of Philadelphia; cardio bellydance, Zumba party, lindy hop, rumba, salsa

To see the full schedule, visit http://philadelphiadanceday.com/2014-workshop-schedule/.

 

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NYC Police Send “Show Closing” Notice to Subway Acrobats

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Subway performer Dashawn Martin of W.A.F.F.L.E; photo by Bebeto Matthews/AP

Subway performer Dashawn Martin of W.A.F.F.L.E;
photo by Bebeto Matthews/AP

Underground acrobats who flip, somersault, and pole-dance among New York City subway riders as trains roll are drawing a new audience—police officers, said an Associated Press story in Seattle PI.

The New York City Police Department is cracking down on the subway showmen who use the tight quarters of the nation’s busiest transit system as moving stages for impromptu—and illegal—pass-the-hat performances. More than 240 people have been arrested on misdemeanors related to acrobatics so far this year, compared with fewer than 40 at this time a year ago.

Police commissioner William Bratton acknowledges he is targeting subway acrobats as part of his embrace of the “broken windows” theory of policing—that low-grade lawlessness can cultivate a greater sense of disorder and embolden more dangerous offenders.

The subway acrobats say they’re just out to entertain, make a living, and put a little communal levity in New York’s no-eye-contact commuting.

Andrew “Goofy” Saunders and some friends started doing routines on trains in 2007, hoping to make $10 to enter a dance competition. Seven years later, the group—W.A.F.F.L.E., for We Are Family For Life Entertainment—has a shoe-brand sponsor and has been booked for music videos, parties, even a wedding.

But the roughly 12-person troupe has largely stopped performing on subways because of the police attention. Members now hope to line up a public space to flip with permission. To read the full story, visit http://www.seattlepi.com/news/us/article/New-York-City-police-to-subway-acrobats-Sit-down-5591892.php.

 

 

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National Dance Institute’s China Project Train Young Dancers

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Dancers and teachers onstage in Shanghai; photo courtesy National Dance Institute

Dancers and teachers onstage in Shanghai;
photo courtesy National Dance Institute

After three years of training by American dancers, a group of Shanghai students put on a dance performance for teachers and parents last Wednesday, according to CCTV. The event was part of a three-year pilot program set up by the National Dance Institute, the U.S. nonprofit organization that introduces children to the arts.

More than 600 children from 15 schools in Minhang District took part in the two-hour performance. NDI members trained more than 50 Chinese teachers and helped them teach more than 3,000 children how to dance, communicate with an audience, and put their personalities into a performance.

“Between the first day we meet the children, and the day the performance happens, you see an amazing trajectory going from maybe a little reserved, maybe a little unsure, fearful, a lot of times. But by maybe day three, they start to open up a little bit, and you see them really bloom, like a flower . . . growing in self-confidence, and expressing themselves in a fuller way,” said Kay Gayner, director of NDI’s China Project.

Thought the pilot program ends this year, the institute says it plans to build a training center in Minhang District, and hopes to work with children all over China.

To see the original story, visit http://english.cntv.cn/2014/06/27/VIDE1403800536347517.shtml.

 

 

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SAB’s Annual Workshop Performance A Rare Opportunity to View Future Stars

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School of American Ballet’s 2014 Workshop Performances; photo by Paul Kolnik

School of American Ballet’s 2014 Workshop Performances; photo by Paul Kolnik

The School of American Ballet’s Workshop Performance Benefit 2014 on June 3 celebrated 50 years of these annual performances and raised nearly $860,000 for scholarships and school programs, reported Elitedance.

The evening included the presentation of the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Service to Dena Abergel, SAB faculty member and NYCB children’s ballet master, and Wien Awards for Outstanding Promise to Lyrica Blankfein, Christopher Grant, Baily Jones, and Addie Tapp.

“We are thrilled to announce that the Workshop Performance Benefit exceeded our original goal,” said Margie Van Dercook, SAB executive director. “We gathered to celebrate five decades of these annual performances—the culmination of each year’s work for the students—and the tremendous generosity of our attendees, donors, and sponsors.”

More than 800 guests attended the Workshop Performance, which, as SAB’s only public annual performance, is a rare opportunity to get a sneak preview of the ballet world’s up-and-coming young stars. The program included Balanchine’s Serenade (staged by Suki Schorer); and excerpts from Coppélia (staged by Dena Abergel, Yvonne Borree, Arch Higgins, Katrina Killian, Lisa de Ribere, Jock Soto, and Sheryl Ware), Swan Lake (staged by Darci Kistler), and Western Symphony (staged by Susan Pilarre).

To see the original story, visit http://elitedance.com/the-school-of-american-ballets-2014-workshop-performance-benefit-raised-nearly-860000/.

 

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Pennsylvania Studio Performance Raises Funds to Help Repair Cemetery Vandalism

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“Save the Graves” performer Julia Marasteanu; photo courtesy StateCollege.com

“Save the Graves” performer Julia Marasteanu; photo courtesy StateCollege.com

Central Pennsylvania Dance Workshop’s “Save the Graves” performance this Sunday at the Boal Mansion Museum benefitted the Boalsburg [PA] Cemetery, the scene of a vandalism spree in May that left more than 50 gravestones toppled over, with some snapped in half.

StateCollege.com reported on the dance studio’s performance of excerpts from Amelie Hunter’s Civil War ballet, The Vacant Chair. In one vignette, dancers in pale-colored period dresses thrashed in fits of fluid motion as their plantation “burned” to the ground behind them.

In another, dance instructor Karen Stoner’s movements illustrated a letter from Civil War soldier to his wife that described the deep and longing ache created by war’s brutal separations. The breath of wind she may feel on her cheek, he wrote, will be his breath, should he die in battle.

The dance company arranged the performance after learning of May’s vandalism, which caused extensive damage to gravestones dating back to the Civil War. “Save the Graves” was the latest of a series of successful community fundraisers.

“A lot of people were horrified, shocked, and saddened by the vandalism,” Harris Township manager Amy Farkas says. “”What’s great is that people took that anger and turned it into action, bringing the community together.”

To see the full story, visit http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/dance-company-performs-civil-war-ballet-to-benefit-cemetery,1459588/.

 

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College Dancers Study Relation of Wind to Energy and Breath to Dance in New Piece

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Ann Arbor Dance Works dancer Patty Solorzano; photo by Kirk Donaldson Photography

Ann Arbor Dance Works dancer Patty Solorzano;
photo by Kirk Donaldson Photography

Into the Wind, a dance piece inspired by the potential of harnessing the wind as a renewable energy source, will be performed in a theater this month and at a renewable energy center in August.

The Ann Arbor News said the piece was created in collaboration between University of Michigan Department of Dance faculty and students, faculty from Grand Valley State University, and the executive director of Muskegon’s Michigan Alternative & Renewable Energy Center (MAREC).

It will be presented by the Ann Arbor Dance Works, U-M’s resident professional dance company, with choreography by company artistic director Jessica Fogel. A second choreographer, U-M alumnus Shawn Bible, Grand Valley dance department coordinator, will also choreograph for the Muskegon performance with dancers from GVSU.

“In rehearsals,” writes dancer Patty Solorzano on the blog devoted to the project, “it’s been interesting to explore various ideas involving wind within the body. What is wind? How is wind created? How can we create wind (breath) with our bodies? How can we figuratively become wind and thereby understand it?

“Perhaps by understanding the relationship between humans and our ability to harness our breath as a source of movement, we can understand the relationship between communities and the ability to harness wind as a source of energy.”

Preview performances will be held June 11 and 12 at M-U’s Petty Pease Studio Theater, with August showings to be held at MAREC, on Muskegon Lake. To read the full story, visit http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2014/06/ann_arbor_dance_works_harnesse.html.

 

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NBS’ “Pop-Up” Performance Initiative Seeks to Encourage Young Dance Artists

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NBS Creative Challenge participants; image courtesy Facebook

NBS Creative Challenge participants;
image courtesy Facebook

Student choreographers from Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) and their artistic collaborators will present free public “pop-up” dance performances in various locations across Toronto today, tomorrow, and June 14 as part of NBS’ first-ever Creative Challenge.

NBS’ Creative Challenge seeks to encourage the next generation of dance artists to be inventive, collaborate across disciplines, and perform new works in unexpected public places.

The students collaborated with an artist from a different discipline (e.g., musician, filmmaker, costume designer), and shared their creative process with their fellow choreographers, while also recording their work to be shared online via blogs, videos, or photographs.

Six NBS students will present performances across Toronto, while five international students (from the Dutch National Ballet Academy, The Juilliard School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, and The School of The Hamburg Ballet) will perform similar works in their respective cities.

The program was announced last May at NBS’ Assemblée Internationale 2013 (AI 13) festival, which presented nontraditional performance collaborations between students of different schools and countries.

For more information, visit http://www.nbs-enb.ca/professional/global/default.aspx.

 

 

 

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Rogue Dance Artist’s App Sneaks Dance Performance into NYC Museum

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The Reaccession of Ted Shawn app; photo courtesy Adam Weinert

The Reaccession of Ted Shawn app; photo courtesy Adam Weinert

Art museums have been struggling for half a century to figure out how to collect and exhibit “time-based art,” such as dance and theater. Now, one dancer has figured out a way for museumgoers to experience dance on their handheld devices—and he did it without the museum’s consent.

Hyperallergic reported that dancer Adam Weinert brought to life the work of pioneering modern dancer and choreographer Ted Shawn during the “20 Dancers for the XX Century” program held at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) last fall.

Recently, however, Weinert launched The Reaccession of Ted Shawn, an augmented reality app for smartphones and tablets that, when the device is pointed at certain intersections and wall texts within MoMA, plays videos of Weinert’s performances of Shawn’s work, as well as archival footage of Shawn himself performing. The intervention is unobtrusive and unsanctioned by the museum.

“In my experiences performing at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim Museum, among others, I bore witness to the extreme differences and complications that arise in presenting dance works in museum spaces,” Weinert said. “The choreographer cedes control over time, perspective, attention, and temperature in this context, and the work that results is often radically different. Furthermore, every performance I’ve been involved with in a museum has resulted in injury.”

With the app, “Weinert creates a permanent installation of his recent performances at MoMA in virtual reality,” it says at the project’s website, http://www.thereaccessionoftedshawn.com/proposal/. To read the full story, visit http://hyperallergic.com/127944/artist-plants-a-digital-dance-intervention-at-moma/.

 

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EditorSpeak

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EditorSpeak

A Gentle Reminder

There are two singing ensembles in my area. One boasts 100 chosen-by-audition voices trilling out six-part harmonies. In performances the singers wear black-tie garb and are accompanied by a professional orchestra—with a harp.

Then there’s my community chorus. All you have to do to join this 42-member group is grab a folding chair off the rack and, occasionally, bring a snack to share. You’re sure to be welcomed by the director’s dachshund, which weaves around our feet during rehearsals.

In a way, we’re like the Pawsox compared to the mighty Red Sox. Or—in an analogy every dance teacher can understand—the rec kids to the comp kids. This, of course, does not mean we love singing any less. It only means that high notes (like home runs) are harder for us to hit.

Last fall we prepared mightily for our Christmas concert, going over and over sections and marking up our music with pencil. We’re a jolly, friendly bunch, sharing throat lozenges and laughs, but at dress rehearsal for the public concert, we perched stiff and breathless in tiers on the Methodist church altar. Our director raised his baton. “Savor every note,” was all he said. “Enjoy.”

No last-minute “Don’t forget to do this-and-that.” No fussing and fretting over performance points or technical details. Only a gentle reminder that it was time to put away the struggle for perfection and enjoy the show.

It was good advice. Our “giddy-yap”s were sprightly, our “fa-la-la”s on key. And when we came to the sing-a-long, the audience actually sang. Our director—a very wise man—flashed us a secret thumbs-up.

This month, I’ll be “directing” my dancers in our first competitions of the season. How many teachers will I see backstage drilling their troops, pounding out counts in endless linoleum hallways, with furrowed brows and wagging chins? I’ve been there myself, but this year I know what my final direction will be: “Savor every step. Enjoy.” —Karen White, Associate Editor

 

All-Inclusive Dance

Not long ago, while I was leaving the garage to take Saturday morning ballet class at a downtown dance studio, an older couple rode the elevator with me. Both were in their mid-60s, graying, and they carried an extra 50 pounds between them. She wore the air of a woman who’d seen many children and grandchildren through colds, homework, and heartbreak. He sported a grizzled beard, a disheveled ponytail, and crooked glasses that slid down his nose. I noticed them because they seemed out of place in an area whose weekday bustle was largely muted on an early Saturday morning. The only significant pedestrian traffic at that hour was the trickle of addicts shuffling into and out of a methadone clinic.

Later, as I left my class in the main studio, I saw the two of them sitting on a bench in the hall in old workout clothes, dripping with sweat, street clothes in canvas shopping bags at their feet. I poked my head into the smaller studio and discovered they’d come from an Absolute Beginner Ballet Workshop class. I smiled and thought, “Whoa. You’ve really got to give it to them for having the courage and the chutzpah to do something like starting ballet at this age.”

The next week, back for another class, I spotted them again. Leaving their class, both of them looked happy and satisfied, if exhausted.

I was flooded with a sense of amazement, that dancing can and does afford so much happiness to so many people, of all ages, and shapes, and inclinations. And I was grateful to the teacher and the school for welcoming all of us—the no longer shiny new, the absolute beginners, the intimidated, the newly intrepid—to dance our hearts out. —Lisa Okuhn, Associate Editor

 

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ATDF Takes Tap to the Streets With Free Outdoor Performance May 25

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ATDF’s Tap Attack; photo courtesy Monsters & Critics

ATDF’s Tap Attack; photo courtesy Monsters & Critics

Tap Attack, a free outdoor performance presented by the American Tap Dance Foundation (ATDF), will be performed three times on National Tap Dance Day, May 25, in New York City. **Performances will be held at** Hudson River Park, Pier 45, Christopher Street and the Hudson River.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of National Tap Dance Day, a yearly celebration of tap dance as an American art form and national treasure. ATDF artistic/executive director Tony Waag will lead tap dance students ages 5 to 75 and professional dancers as they perform the Shim Sham Shimmy at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm.

The day’s festivities also include open jam sessions and special appearances by top tappers Chloe Arnold and her company, Apt 33; Japan’s Kazu Kumagai; Michela Marino Lerman; Max Pollak; Jason Samuels Smith; and ATDF’s Tap City Youth Ensemble.

“Throughout its entire history, tap dance had a tradition of street performing, where tappers would improvise and busk with their peers at social events and public gatherings,” said Waag. “What could be more appropriate, then, that we hold this event outside, where so much of the art form was literally created and developed?” For more information, visit www.atdf.org.

To see the original story, visit http://www.monstersandcritics.com/national-tap-dance-day-tap-attack-in-new-york-city-on-sunday-may-25/.

 

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Tap Festivals

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Montreal Tap Dance Festival offers classes in English and French. Photo by E.S. Cheah Photography

Montreal Tap Dance Festival offers classes in English and French. Photo by E.S. Cheah Photography

A guide to 2014 tap events in the U.S. and abroad

Intensive tap festivals abound, and most include workshop classes, performances, and more. Whether you’re on the hunt for a great tap experience for your students or yourself, you’ll find the right fit in our listings.

Festivals are listed alphabetically by state, province, or country.

National Festivals

Chloe & Maud Productions’ DC Tap Festival
Where:
Washington, DC
When: April 10-13
Fees/costs: Unlimited classes $300; single class $25
Registration deadline: Ongoing (March 1 for early-bird discount); walk-ups welcome
Faculty includes: Chloe and Maud Arnold, Michelle Dorrance, DeWitt Fleming, Jason Janas, Sarah Reich, Jason Samuels Smith, Dianne Walker, Joseph Webb, and Bakaari Wilder

Expand the language of tap dance through master classes with world-renowned tap dance artists. Includes competition, panel discussions, jam sessions, student showcases, cutting contests, and an all-star concert featuring tap masters, critically acclaimed musicians, and accomplished young dancers from around the world.

Contact: 202.421.0235; dctapfest@gmail.com

 

Rhythm World
Where:
American Rhythm Center, Chicago, IL
When: July 7-August 3
Fees/costs: Two weeks $1,500; single class $25
Registration deadline: May 25
Faculty includes: Lane Alexander, John Angeles, Bril Barrett, Martin Bronson, Zada Cheeks, Starinah Dixon, Martin “Tre” Dumas, Jay Fagan, Doug Feig, Derick K. Grant, Jason Janas, Nico Rubio, Sarah Savelli, Jumaane Taylor, Dianne Walker, Sam Weber and Nicholas Young; plus guests from Europe and South America: Guillem Alonso, Daniel Borak, Victor Cuno, Roser Font, and Charles Renato.

Rhythm World, Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s 24th annual summer festival of American tap and percussive dance, features courses, master classes, workshops, and conferences taught by the world’s leading tap masters. “JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance” concerts showcase extraordinary foot drummers and percussive arts masters.

Contact: 312.542.CHRP (2477); info@chicagotap.org; chicagotap.org

 

Motor City Tap Fest
Where:
Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
When: August 13-16
Fees/costs: Unlimited classes $395; single class $30
Registration deadline: June 15 for a 15 percent discount; July 15 for a 10 percent discount
Faculty includes: Guillem Alonso, Bril Barrett, Denise Caston, Suzy Guarino, Ray Hesselink, Shelby Kaufman, Avi Miller and Ofer Ben, Jenefer Miller, Claudia Rahardjanoto, and Gregg Russell

In its seventh year of bringing tap dance to the heart of Detroit, Motor City Tap Fest offers three days of master classes for all levels and ages with leading artists, a participants’ showcase, a “faculty chat,” a tap jam, and the “Masters of Tap” concert at Detroit’s historic Orchestra Hall.

Contact: 917.687.4811; info@motorcitytapfest.com; motorcitytapfest.com

 

Jersey Tap Fest
Where:
Bloomfield, NJ
When: August 14-17
Fees/costs: Unlimited classes $365; day passes and single classes available
Registration deadline: Ongoing as of April 1
Faculty includes: Maurice Chestnut, Jason Janas, Hillary-Marie Michael, Deborah Mitchell, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Kyle Wilder, Karen Callaway Williams, and Nicholas Young

Founded in 2010, Jersey Tap Fest offers master classes, a student showcase, a panel discussion, and the mainstage event, “Tap ’N Time.”

Contact: 973.932.0561; JerseyTapFest@gmail.com; JerseyTapFest.com

 

North Carolina Rhythm Tap Festival
Where:
The Ballet School of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
When: June 13-15
Fees/costs: $30 per class
Registration deadline: Ongoing
Faculty includes: Michelle Dorrance and Derick K. Grant

A rhythm-tap festival for all levels, including a showcase for students and a performance for instructors.

Contact: Gene Medler, 919.260.7585; ncyte@mindspring.com; ncyte.org

 

Point Tap Festival 2014
Where:
Noel Fine Arts Center, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, Stevens Point, WI
When: August 7-9
Fees/costs: Full festival $400 (early bird $350), 1/2 festival and individual class options
Registration deadline: June 6 for early-bird discount
Faculty includes: Past teachers have included Robert Audy, Brandi Coleman, Thelma Goldberg, Mark Goodman, Josh Hilberman, Jeannie Hill, Ryan Korb, Lynn Schwab, and Mark Yonally.

National and international tap dancers from beginner to professional are invited to Wisconsin for three days of intensive tap dancing. Eight classes daily in two beautiful studios with sprung floors. Additional events include faculty rap session, cookout, downtown jam session, and festival concert.

Contact: Jeannie Hill, jhill@uwsp.edu; 715.346.3980; pointtap.wordpress.com

 

International Festivals

Vancouver International Tap Festival
Where:
Dance Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
When: August 28-31
Fees/costs: Varies
Registration deadline: August 28
Faculty includes: Terry Brock, Mika Komatsu, Gene Medler, Danny Nielsen, and Dianne Walker

Fifty master classes, four performances, and special youth programming.

Contact: 604.253.0293; tapinfo@vantapdance.com; vantapdance.com

 

Montreal Tap Dance Festival
Where:
Montreal, QC, Canada
When: August 15-17
Fees/costs: All-access passes TBA (early bird $250)
Registration deadline: May 30 for early-bird discount
Faculty includes: International tap dancers and teachers offering classes in English and French

North America’s premier bilingual tap dance festival. Workshops, master classes, and three tap shows, a tap jam and cutting contest, panel discussion, footage viewing, and a Tap Dance Museum, all held in the historic Rialto Theatre. Performance opportunity for participants.

Contact: 514.779.6506; rhythm.dance.tap@gmail.com; tapmontreal.com

 

Stockholm Tap Festival
Where:
Stockholm, Sweden
When: April 16-22
Fees/costs: Festival package: 2600 SEK ($399 at press time; includes 14 classes in the main schedule and evening events). Master classes: 250 SEK ($38). Faculty Showcase Gala: 170-270 SEK ($26-$41)
Registration deadline: Ongoing until filled
Faculty includes: Guillem Alonso, Chloe Arnold, Michelle Dorrance, Derick K. Grant, Josh Hilberman, Michela Marino Lerman, Jason Samuels Smith, Sam Weber, Joseph Wiggan, and Nicholas Young

Celebrate the fifth anniversary of Stockholm Tap Festival with seven days of classes, a student showcase, live music jam sessions, a cutting contest, a teachers’ gala, an all-style battle, and parties.

Contact: Jonas Nermyr, +46 704 385871; Jonas@StockholmTapFestival.com; StockholmTapFestival.com

 

Zurich Tap Festival 2014
Where:
Backstage Studio Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
When: April 17-20
Fees/costs: Single class $50; complete program (16 classes) $30/class
Registration deadline: April 10
Faculty includes: Lane Alexander, Derick K. Grant, Jason Janas, Danny Nielsen, Demi Remick, Cartier Williams, and Karen Callaway Williams

Four intensive days with 52 master classes for all levels, including kids and teens, and specialty-themed classes (technique, slides, improvisation, funk, etc.). Student showcase and tap jam with live music; parties. European premiere of Rhythm Refix, the percussive extravaganza directed by Cartier Williams; Festival Concert 2014.

Contact: +41 (43) 311 6868; info@zurichtapfestival.com; zurichtapfestival.com

 

 

 

 

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Center Stage’s “Charlie,” Sascha Radetsky, Sets Final Performance With ABT for July 3

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Sascha Radetsky; photo by Fabrizio Ferri

Sascha Radetsky; photo by Fabrizio Ferri

Center Stage star Sascha Radetsky, an American Ballet Theatre soloist since 2003, will give his farewell performance with the company on July 3 at the Metropolitan Opera House in the role of Franz in Coppélia.

Radetsky was born in Santa Cruz, California. He studied on scholarship at the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC, and toured with the Kirov Ballet throughout the United States and internationally. He also studied on scholarship at the summer programs of the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre’s School of Classical Ballet with Mikhail Baryshnikov, the San Francisco Ballet School, and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Vail, Colorado.

Radetsky has performed in galas and festivals around the world and as a guest principal with companies such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Berlin Staatsballett, Ballet San Jose, Ballet do Theatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro, the Mongolian State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, and with the Dutch National Ballet as a principal dancer. In 2012, he choreographed for Bucknell University’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

He and his wife, ABT soloist Stella Abrera, were recently named repetiteurs-in-training with The Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. Radetsky will star in the Starz television series, Flesh and Bone, slated to air in 2015.

For more information, visit http://www.abt.org/insideabt/news_display.asp?News_ID=479.

 

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Pre-Professionals Pay Tribute to Longtime Joffrey Teacher Francesca Corkle

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Francesca Corkle and Kevin McKenzie; photo by Herbert Migdoll

Francesca Corkle and Kevin McKenzie; photo by Herbert Migdoll

The Joffrey Concert Group, a pre-professional performance company that prepares dancers for the world stage, will pay tribute to longtime Joffrey Ballet teacher Francesca Corkle during a May 19 performance at New York Live Arts.

Corkle, who danced with the Joffrey Ballet from 1969 to 1978, has spent the past 30 years teaching at the Joffrey Ballet School. Her significant impact on the lives of the students and her initiative to maintain the highest artistic integrity within the school is unparalleled, said a release from the school.

The 30-member troupe, who will also perform May 20, will present two signature works by Joffrey co-founder Gerald Arpino: Kettentanz (1971) and Light Rain (1981). Other pieces on the program include Entropy by Joffrey Concert Group artistic director Davis Robertson; world premieres by Shawn Hounsell (formerly with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet) and Africa Guzman (former associate director of Compañía Nacional de Danza under Nacho Duato), plus a New York premiere by Scott Rink, former Lar Lubovitch company dancer.

New York Live Arts is located at 219 West 19th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues) New York City. Tickets are $25 general admission and $20 for students and seniors and can be purchased through New York Live Arts at http://www.newyorklivearts.org/event/joffrey_ballet_concert.

 

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Pavilion Audiences to Enjoy Simulcast of Hubbard Street Program June 6

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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in Gnawa by Nacho Duato; photo by Todd Rosenberg

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in Gnawa by Nacho Duato; photo by Todd Rosenberg

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s summer series programming includes the first-ever simulcast of a Hubbard Street performance this July to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

The first dance simulcast from the Harris to the Pritzker, two summers ago, drew a capacity audience of more than 11,000 to watch the Paris Opera Ballet performance of Giselle.

The live simulcast will be presented on a state-of-the-art, 40-foot-wide, 22 1/2 -foot tall LED screen in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion June 6 at 8pm. This free outdoor event, open to the public, is part of Millennium Park’s 10th anniversary celebration and highlights the final weekend of Hubbard Street’s Season 36 performances.

The simulcast performance includes Gwana by Nacho Duato, a world premiere by resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, Falling Angels by Jiří Kylián, and Cerrudo’s PACOPEPEPLUTO.

Hubbard Street’s summer series at the Harris Theater runs June 5 to 8. For more information, visit www.hubbardstreetdance.com.

 

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Multi-Faceted Arts Program, Hope Stone Studio, Closes to Reevaluate and Rejuvenate

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Children in dance/movement class at Hope Stone Studio; photo by Simon Gentry

Children in dance/movement class at Hope Stone Studio; photo by Simon Gentry

Anyone who’s ever crossed paths with arts entrepreneur Jane Weiner is instantly captivated by her ability to get things done, to find a way to fix things. It’s because of Weiner’s determination that her decision to close down Hope Stone Studio will come both as a surprise and as a warning to art consumers and supporters, reported Culture Map Houston.

“We have made the hard decision to take a year to right-size our business by reducing overhead and closing Hope Stone Studio, refocusing on the programs that make the greatest impact, and deploying our resources in the most cost-effective way,” Weiner explains in an email to the company’s subscribers. “This has been a difficult decision, but I believe the right one for the organization.”

The space, located in the Art Deco Tribeca Lofts on West Clay Street, has hosted dance and movement classes for children and adults for 10 years. An artist-in-residence program offered emerging choreographers a rehearsal and performance venue in which they could embark on their creative journeys. (See “Art for Art’s Sake, Dance Studio Life, November 2013, http://www.dancestudiolife.com/2014/01/art-for-arts-sake/.)

Weiner explains that all commitments have been met for the 2013–14 season. Classes will continue through May 16. It’s important to note that it’s only the physical space that’s ceasing operations. Founded in 1997, Hope Stone Dance Company will continue its performance series.

To read the full story, visit http://houston.culturemap.com/news/arts/04-19-14-cutting-edge-houston-dance-company-plans-to-close-studio-end-classes/.

 

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Philly Company of Dancer/Choreographers to Present Work in Free Outdoor Shows

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MM2 Modern Dance Company; photo by Bill Hebert

MM2 Modern Dance Company; photo by Bill Hebert

Philadelphia’s MM2 Modern Dance Company—a unique collaborative effort in which each member is charged with creating and setting new work each year on the entire company—will be offering three free programs this spring at The Porch at 30th Street Station, reported The Dance Journal.

MM2 will present their latest work, BREATH, as well as site-specific improvisation, on April 27 (rain date: June 29), May 18 (rain date: July 13) and June 1 (rain date: July 27). All performances run from 1 to 2pm.

“There is no better setting for our work than being outdoors at the Porch and sharing our passion and dance with the Philadelphia community,” artistic director Brianne Scott said. The group had appeared at the Porch in 2013 as part of the Solow Festival and “fell in love with the space,” Scott adds.

The company is comprised of seven dancer/choreographers: Jessica Bryan, Jenna Faye Eugenides, Kaylee Goodwin, Jillian Ikeler, Jennifer Laucella, Alison Liney, and Brianne Scott.

The performances are free to the public and appropriate for family audiences. For more information, visit www.theporchat30th.com or http://mm2dance.org/category/breath/. To see the original story, visit http://philadelphiadance.org/blog/2014/04/16/mm2-modern-dance-to-offer-three-free-programs-at-the-porch-at-30th-street-station/.

 

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EditorSpeak

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28 EditorSpeakDance, All Over Again

I love dance neophytes. Accompanying one of those newbies to a performance—whether it’s their first exposure to dance in any form, to a particular kind of dance, or to a specific work—has the added perk, beyond the performance’s offerings, of a delicious mingling of pleasures.

Last December, when I took a friend to San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker, I got to share in this 20-something’s delight as she discovered the magic of a ballet she had never seen as a child. She swooned over costumes embellished with beading and silken textures and glorious colors, gasped when the Russian trio burst from their Fabergé-like eggs, exhaled soft “ooh”s at the elegant perfection of the grand pas de deux. Sitting next to her, in effect seeing the stage through her eyes, I experienced this Nutcracker, which I’ve seen too many times to count, with a renewed feeling of joy. And pride, a sense of ownership.

Isn’t it odd how we can feel possessive about something as impermanent and intangible as a dance performance? When I expose someone to something that’s new to them, I see their experience of dance art as something real and permanent. When dance moves us, for whatever reason—beauty, provocation, a shift in perspective—it becomes part of us, something we internalize and integrate into who we are. Maybe we revisit a performance mentally because it challenges our thinking, or maybe we simply let it resonate quietly within us, an emotional touchstone. Either way, the art lives, and we have become something we were not. The choreographer and the dancers have sent us a message, and we have interpreted it as we will.

Dance, all spectacle aside, is a form of communication. All art is—dance, literature, music, fine art. Our need to communicate on a deep level through art is, to me, the most elemental definition of being human. Art shakes us up. It creates wonder, transcends the rote of the everyday.

In that darkened theater, those vital messages were flying faster than IMs, from the dancers to my friend, from my friend to the dancers, and from her to me. How lucky I am to be able to give that experience to others and in return live it anew. —Cheryl A. Ossola, Editor in Chief

 

 

Power of One

Last month editor in chief Cheryl Ossola wrote about Nederlands Dans Theater; I saw the same performance. But rather than bringing to mind Calvino’s literary manifesto, it got me thinking about individualism and discipline.

I saw onstage a retinue of dancers, each of whom was intensely and tangibly distinct. There was no prescribed “style” of dancer. The dancing was as individual as it could be. One dancer had a fierce dramatic presence. Her slow creep across the stage could have stopped traffic. Another moved so smoothly into and out of the floor that he might have been cutting through the surface of a pond.

Yet when any group danced in unison, the impact was astonishing. A phalanx of men moved across the stage with a power that pinned me against my seat.

Dancers have to learn to control their bodies and constrain their egos to convey the kinds of choreographic ideas only unison movement can communicate. Also, dancing as a group is immensely satisfying, in the same way that playing or singing in a musical ensemble is.

Yet cultivating an individual, unique relationship with dance is what makes a dancer an artist. Certainly teach your kids to watch spacing, keep their legs at uniform levels, match the group’s dynamic quality. But also teach them to know when they’re allowed to bust out. Help them find the personal spark that will make them glow inside and shine onstage.

Many years ago I saw a ballet company whose dancers were so interested in expressing their individual fabulousness that they were almost incapable of touching their noses in unison. A talented ballet master got hold of them; now what you see onstage is a unified ensemble that brings to the stage the soaring melody of group movement—but also individuals whose gifts ring clearly and distinctively. —Lisa Okuhn, Associate Editor

 

 

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NY Public Library Makes Historic Dance Performance Videos Available Online

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Archival shot of dancers in 1919; photo courtesy New York Public Library for the Performing Arts/Jerome Robbins Dance Division

Archival shot of dancers in 1919; photo courtesy New York Public Library for the Performing Arts/Jerome Robbins Dance Division

For the first time, 24,000 films and tapes from the New York Public Library’s dance archive is available to view online, reports Hyperallergic.

The New York Public Library recently digitized thousands of hours of its videos in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division Moving Image Archive, from grainy historic footage to contemporary productions. Before, you had to ask for copies individually at the library. Even now, not all of the thousands of videos are viewable off-site, as much of the archive does still require you to be present in the library. However, in terms of accessibility, it’s miles ahead . . . [of where it was] before.

What you can view online includes documentation of the Khmer Dance Project featuring the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, and the Dance Division and Core of Culture’s three-year project of recording the Kingdom of Bhutan’s vanishing dance traditions.

There are also modern pieces like the 2011 Performance Space 122 reconstruction of the intense 1980s Them by Ishmael Houston-Jones, Chris Cochran, and Dennis Cooper, as well as the haunting Water by Eiko & Koma performed in 2011 right in the Paul Milstein Pool at Lincoln Center.

Then there’s the 2007 Monet Impressions performed by the Carolina Ballet depicting Monet’s life and his relationships in dance, as well as older works like the 1923 silent film star Alla Nazimova’s Dance of the Seven Veils, and Danse Macabre where two lovers try to escape the plague that frolics as a skeleton around them.

More films will continue to be available as the archive undergoes digitization. The Jerome Robbins Dance Division Moving Image Archive can be accessed online at http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/dancevideo.

To see the original story, visit http://hyperallergic.com/117959/new-york-public-library-puts-major-dance-video-archive-online/.

 

 

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NYCB’s Wendy Whelan’s Last Performance with Company Set for October 18

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Wendy Whelan; photo by Nisian Hughes

Wendy Whelan; photo by Nisian Hughes

Wendy Whelan, principal dancer with New York City Ballet who became a major star of the post-Balanchine era, plans to give her farewell performance with the company on October 18 after 30 years—and then to continue her leap into contemporary dance.

“It’s exactly like a 30-year circle,” Whelan, 46, told the New York Times. Whelan joined NYCB as an apprentice in 1984 and went on to become a prima ballerina and to create roles in new ballets by choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Twyla Tharp, and Alexei Ratmansky, among others. “It feels perfect. I wouldn’t want to stay 31. Thirty years is a good, long time.”

But Whelan, whose departure is being announced Monday, does not seem inclined to slow down. After making a critically acclaimed foray into modern dance last year with her program Restless Creature, she is planning a second venture: a program of new works for her to perform with the Royal Ballet’s Edward Watson that is scheduled to have its premiere in London in 2015.

Whelan said she was recovering well from a hip injury that required surgery and sidelined her, forcing the postponement of a national tour of Restless Creature that had been scheduled for this spring. “I’m making some steady progress,” she said, adding that she hopes to dance with NYCB this spring and to dance this summer in Saratoga, New York; London; and Vail, Colorado. The Restless Creature tour has been rescheduled for next year.

To read more, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/31/arts/dance/whelan-plans-to-depart-city-ballet-after-30-years.html?_r=0.

 

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ARB April Events: College Admissions Discussion, DANCE POWER Performance

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American Repertory Ballet’s DANCE POWER; photo courtesy ARB

American Repertory Ballet’s DANCE POWER; photo courtesy ARB

The public is welcome to attend two free outreach programs offered up by American Repertory Ballet’s Access & Enrichment department this April.

“Dancing Your Way into College,” an On Pointe enrichment series event, will be held April 4 at 5:15pm at Princeton Ballet School, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton, New Jersey. Representatives from ARB and from Princeton University’s admissions and financial aid departments will advise high school dancers and their families on their college options and how to best navigate the admissions process. Attendance is recommended for high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing a degree in dance, as well as those who wish to keep dance as an extracurricular activity as they pursue a degree in another subject area.

Waiting in the Wings, a performance designed as the culmination of ARB’s 2013–2014 DANCE POWER educational residency in the New Brunswick Public School District, will take place April 7 at 7pm at State Theatre, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, New Jersey. The performance, on the theme “Carnival of the Animals,” will feature more than 400 third-grade students from the New Brunswick Public School District who have participated in DANCE POWER since last fall.

For more information, visit http://www.americanrepertoryballet.org/ARB/American-Repertory-Ballet-announces-%E2%80%9CDancing-Your-Way-into-College%E2%80%9D-On-Pointe-lecture-and-Waitin.

 

 

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Documentary Uses Dance and Disability to Explore Siblings’ Relationship

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Kiera Brinkley and Uriah Boyd in Soar; photo by Casey Parks/The Oregonian

Kiera Brinkley and Uriah Boyd in Soar; photo by Casey Parks/The Oregonian

The sisters had a month to get the lift right. Kiera Brinkley slides across the floor on legs stumped at the thighs. She jumps. Uriah Boyd catches Brinkley with her feet, grabs the arms that end just below the elbow and pushes her sister up.

It’s the airplane trick people play as children with their parents. When Brinkley—who lost parts of both arms and legs to an infection when she was 2—and Boyd do it right, it becomes art.

The Oregonian said an upcoming documentary by filmmaker Susan Hess Logeais, Soar, follows the past two years of the sisters’ lives, beginning with the last time they performed their duet in April 2012 at Jefferson High School. The films uses dance and disability to explore the ways siblings form identities away from each other.

A viewing of Soar and a dance performance is planned for April 21 at 7:30pm at the Newmark Theatre, Portland. “It’s about the human potential, how we grow and contract and continue and live,” said Melissa St. Clair, a dance choreographer who works with the sisters.

Students used to crowd circles around Brinkley in elementary school to watch her jump rope. She learned dance routines at Da Vinci Middle School, then taught them to Boyd at night. Then she’d choreograph her own, pushing her younger sister to perform with her.

Amputees “aren’t really supposed to dance,” Brinkley said. Dancing sharpens her bones to pencil points. Every few years she goes to the hospital. A doctor breaks the sharpened bones off, resets her legs. Brinkley spends the months after incapacitated, depending on family members to help her use the bathroom or make dinner. Nevertheless, she is now a member of Polaris Dance Theatre, a professional contemporary dance company.

To read the full story, visit http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/03/documentary_follows_sisters_ki.html.

 

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Free Mother’s Day Event Features Performances by Four Texas Dance Groups

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Marina Almayeva School of Classical Ballet; photo courtesy Marina Almayeva

Marina Almayeva School of Classical Ballet; photo courtesy Marina Almayeva

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.

 

 

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Boston Ballet Concludes 50th Anniversary Season with Historic Visit to Lincoln Center

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Boston Ballet’s Whitney Jensen and Jeffrey Cirio in Jorma Elo’s Plan to B; photo by Gene Schiavone

Boston Ballet’s Whitney Jensen and Jeffrey Cirio in Jorma Elo’s Plan to B; photo by Gene Schiavone

Boston Ballet will climax its 50th-anniversary season with its first-ever performances at New York’s Lincoln Center, reported the Boston Globe.

Two programs will be offered in six performances over five days, June 25 to 29, at the David H. Koch Theater. Program 1 will comprise William Forsythe’s The Second Detail, a new work (still untitled) by former Paris Opera Ballet étoile José Carlos Martínez, and Alexander Ekman’s Cacti. Program 2 will include George Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements, Vaslav Nijinsky’s Afternoon of a Faun, Jorma Elo’s Plan to B, and Jirí Kylián’s Bella Figura.

It’s a contemporary group of works; only the Nijinsky and the Balanchine are more than 25 years old. Symphony in Three Movements will be particularly familiar to New York audiences; the company’s performances will invite direct comparison with those of Balanchine’s own New York City Ballet.

“This is one of the biggest historic things Boston Ballet has ever done,” artistic director Mikko Nissinen said of the tour. But he’s confident the company will be received as enthusiastically in New York as it was when it opened its 50th anniversary year last June in London. “I’m very proud with the way we do Symphony in Three Movements, and I’m very happy to take it to Balanchine’s home,” he said.

For tickets, visit www.davidhkochtheater.com. To read the full story, visit http://www.boston.com/culturedesk/2014/01/30/boston-ballet-will-conclude-anniversary-season-lincoln-center/yViqy8zkWIPD6Uu4acQY3K/story.html#sthash.lZuLxBaT.dpuf.

 

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No Dance Experience Required to Join Performance Dance Art Planned for Boston

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Le Grand Continental; photo courtesy Facebook

Le Grand Continental; photo courtesy Facebook

Celebrity Series of Boston is looking for more than 150 dancers to participate in a public “dance extravaganza” that will descend on Copley Square this May 16 to 18, reported Boston.com.

Informational “recruitment” meetings will be held February 2 to 4 at the Boston Conservatory.

Volunteer dancers will participate in a series of 20 rehearsals to learn and perform Le Grand Continental, a 30-minute performance of music and dance created by Montreal choreographer Sylvain Émard Danse. Le Grand Continental requires no previous dance experience and all ages are welcome.

Gary Dunning, Celebrity Series of Boston executive director, said organizers will accept as many dancers as Copley Square can hold. “We look for passion, energy, and the desire to do this, while we take on the responsibility for training. We’ll take all the applicants and work with them,” Dunning said. “In a sense, it’s as much about creating community as it is about celebrating community.”

Dunning said he was amazed by the success of “Street Pianos Boston,” a similar event of public performance art sponsored by Celebrity Series, and feels that city residents crave more opportunities to participate in and develop community around performance art. “Our goal is to have a project every year of some kind or another that celebrates how much Boston loves performing arts.”

For more information or to sign up for an information session, visit http://www.celebrityseries.org/lgc/. To see the original story, visit
http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/downtown/2014/01/dance_extravaganza_coming_to_copley_square_dancers_needed.html.

 

 

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PTDC Alumni Dancers Join Current Company in Special Anniversary Performance

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Paul Taylor Dance Company; photo courtesy Broadway World

Paul Taylor Dance Company; photo courtesy Broadway World

Forty-six former Paul Taylor Dance Company dancers have accepted the modern dance master’s invitation to join the current company in the revival of his work, From Sea to Shining Sea.

Broadway World said the work will be presented along with the Taylor masterpiece Esplanade at a special added performance March 23 at 6pm as part of the PTDC’s three-week season at Lincoln Center. A 60th-anniversary party will be held immediately following the performance on the promenade of the David H. Koch Theater.

From Sea to Shining Sea, the first dance in what has become an acclaimed series of Americana-themed works, was initially hailed by some as sharp-eyed commentary and panned by others as tastelessly unpatriotic. Made in 1965—a time colored by presidential assassination, church bombings, urban riots, and an increasingly unpopular war—the dance provided an unabashed and controversial perspective on American history and cultural icons. Many observers outside of the United States were amazed that an American artist could exercise such freedom of expression.

In addition, to honor all Taylor dancers, Taylor Foundation executive director John Tomlinson has announced that all company alumni will be given free admission to Taylor Lincoln Center performances in perpetuity.

All special-performance tickets will be priced at half of regular prices: $5, $15, $27.50, $40, $55, and $80. Performance-with-party ticket prices are $65, $75, $87.50, $100, $115, and $140. Tickets are available at the Koch Theater box office, 63rd and Columbus Avenue, online at www.ptdc.org/tickets, and by calling 212.496.0600.

To see the original story, visit http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/FORTY-SIX-PAUL-TAYLOR-DANCE-COMPANY-ALUMNI-TO-REVIVE-FROM-SEA-TO-SHINING-SEA-IN-CELEBRATION-OF-60TH-ANNIVERSARY-SEASON-20140122.

 

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New Cleveland Organization Dedicated to Ballet Plans First Fundraising Gala

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Allison DeBona teaches a Ballet in Cleveland master class; photo by Vicki Lantz

Allison DeBona teaches a Ballet in Cleveland master class; photo by Vicki Lantz

Ballet in Cleveland, a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting extraordinary ballet performances and education with the best professional ballet companies and dancers from across the nation, will hold its first gala fundraising event February 28.

WhatsNewInBusiness.com reported that doors will open at 6pm for the ballet-inspired evening taking place at the Tudor Arms Hotel, 10660 Carnegie Avenue in Cleveland.

Proceeds from the gala will benefit scholarships for young dancers in Northeast Ohio to attend master ballet classes with world-class instructors, presented by Ballet in Cleveland. The fundraiser will also enable the organization to present professional ballet productions in Cleveland, including a world premiere performance to be produced and danced by ballerina Ashley Bouder—and featuring other New York City Ballet principal dancers in works by Balanchine, as well as a new ballet choreographed by up-and-coming choreographer Joshua Beamish—planned for October.

The gala will include dinner, dancing, and performances by Ballet Le Reve as well as nationally recognized professional ballet stars Allison DeBona, Rex Tilton, and Christopher Ruud of Ballet West and the television series Breaking Pointe.

Tickets are $100 per person and available online at www.balletincleveland.org/gala. To see the original story, visit http://www.international.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29990:ballet-in-cleveland-announces-first-annual-gala-event-feb-28&catid=323:prlog&Itemid=479.

 

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Montana Student Dances Take Aim at Cyberbullying in Annual Performance

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Curtain Up! Performing Company; photo courtesy NBC Montana

Curtain Up! Performing Company; photo courtesy NBC Montana

The Curtain Up! Performing Company from On Center Performing Arts in Missoula, Montana, is taking aim against cyberbullying with its annual show “To Missoula, With Love.”

This year’s edition, titled “#Instant Fame,” is a multi-perspective show about the impact of social media on today’s youth, and features a piece on cyberbullying.

“A lot of people don’t actually understand that people can bully through the internet and texting and all that kind of stuff. We just kind of make it apparent and we show people kind of what can happen,” said student director Riley Sanders on NBC Montana.

The company dancers are ages 8 to 17, and several contributed choreography to the show, along with On Center Performing Arts’ owner and director Lisa Deer and instructors.

The show will be held at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts on 200 North Adams Street in Missoula on January 31 at 7pm and February 1 at 2 and 7pm. To see the original story, visit http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/missoula-dance-company-tackles-cyberbullying-with-performance/24002320.

 

 

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ABT Studio Company Dancers to Perform at Historic NYC Dance Space for First Time

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American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company; photo by Erin Baiano

American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company; photo by Erin Baiano

American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company will make its inaugural appearance at the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center in New York City with four performances February 7 to 9.

In 1935, what became 92nd Street Y’s Harkness Dance Center provided a home to the fledgling American modern dance movement. In the decades that followed, every great American dancer and choreographer—visionaries including Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille, Robert Joffrey and Donald McKayle—spent time at 92Y.

The ABT Studio Company is comprised of 14 dancers-in-training ages 16 to 20 who gain performance experience through residencies, cultural exchanges, and local performances. The works scheduled to be performed include a world premiere choreographed by Larry Keigwin, Martine van Hamel’s Trio a Deux, excerpts from Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Great Galloping Gottschalk, Antony Tudor’s Continuo, and the pas de sept from Raymonda.

Tickets, priced at $25, are available at www.92y.org/dance. The 92nd Street Y is located at 1395 Lexington Avenue in New York City.

 

 

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Special Dance Performance Hopes to Open Conversation on Mental Illness

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Dancers rehearse for an upcoming Paramus Stigma-Free Zone performance; photo courtesy Paramus Stigma-Free Zone

Dancers rehearse for an upcoming Paramus Stigma-Free Zone performance; photo courtesy Paramus Stigma-Free Zone

Dancers from Paramus [NJ] High School, Mariann’s School of Dance, Center Stage Dance Studio, and the Ridgewood High School Dance Company will perform a special choreographed piece titled Let’s Help to call attention to the Paramus Stigma-Free Zone’s effort to abolish the stigma of mental illness, reports The Paramus Post.

The special choreographed performance for the Paramus Stigma-Free Zone will be presented at 2:30, 3, and 3:30pm on January 25 at the Paramus Park Mall in Paramus.

The Paramus Stigma-Free Zone is a community group established in July of 2013 by Paramus resident Mary Ann Uzzi under the belief is that the best way to end stigma is to begin a healthy conversation on mental illness. The dance performance is one of many local events planned by the group. As more events are held, the expectation is that the conversation will continue to grow.

“As an artist and teacher, I truly believe in advocacy through the arts and see this as a natural way to address the issues within our community,” said Jennifer Landa, lead choreographer of the dance project, along with Claudine Ranieri, Ann Marie Coelho, and Mariann Paul. “It has been wonderful to see the dancers and teachers here in Paramus collaborate and have the opportunity to share their work, their thoughts, and their feelings on the issue.”

For more information, visit www.paramusstigmafree.org. To read the original story, visit
http://www.paramuspost.com/article.php/2014011315375579.

 

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Luke Spring, 10, Stops the Show with his Professionalism Onstage and Off

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Luke Spring during a performance of A Christmas Story: The Musical; AP Photo/Keith Sherman & Associates, Carol Rosegg

Luke Spring during a performance of A Christmas Story: The Musical; AP Photo/Keith Sherman & Associates, Carol Rosegg

Ten-year-old tap prodigy Luke Spring has tapped his way onto the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in A Christmas Story: The Musical, the Tony Award telecast from Radio City Music Hall, and now Madison Square Garden.

“I’m just honored and blessed to be performing onstage,” says Spring, a remarkably well-behaved, 4-foot-tall blond boy from Ashburn, Virginia, told the Associated Press. Luke has returned to A Christmas Story, the hit musical based on the 1983 movie about a kid who dreams of getting an air rifle for Christmas. It’s at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, until December 29.

His second-act tap solo has become a special highlight of the show; even the show’s dressers crane their heads offstage to watch his act, which he improvs every night.

Dance captain Mara Newbery recalls an early rehearsal in which Luke unleashed a flurry of tap-tappity-taps that stunned everyone. The assistant conductor leaned over and whispered in her ear, “You just got outtapped by a 9-year-old.” Newbery, who holds a bachelor’s degree in theater from the University of Michigan and is a seasoned performer, agreed: “I was like, ‘I know. I need to go to class.’ ”

She’s even found herself learning from Luke, some 15 years her junior. He’s unfailingly polite, regularly practices on his own after rehearsals, and carries himself with total professionalism.

“I think that’s something we forget as adults: you can learn so much from kids. We try and act like, ‘Oh, we know what we’re doing. We’re here to tell you what to do,’ ” she says. “Sometimes you get a kick in the pants and you’re like, ‘Oh, wait. I can learn something from you.’ ”

To read the full story, visit http://bigstory.ap.org/article/luke-spring-tap-dancing-prodigy.

To see a video of Luke’s performance on the Tony Awards, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tguc49ODMI.

 

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Dancers Across the Nation Kick Up their Heels In Support of National Dance Week

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A Wakeland High School dancer participates in National Dance Week Foundation’s Kick It Challenge; photo courtesy Facebook

A Wakeland High School dancer participates in National Dance Week Foundation’s Kick It Challenge; photo courtesy Facebook

Teamwork, timing, and fun were on display when more than 600 participants in five states performed kick lines as part of National Dance Week Foundation’s second annual Kick It! Challenge.

The performances were held during October and November and took place at a variety of venues and events, including high school and college football games. Participants filmed the performances and submitted them to the NDWF for judging.

“The winning videos are featured on our website and posted on Facebook,” Cathy Graziano, NDWF executive director, said. “We can’t wait to see what people do next year.”

Groups competed in five categories: high school, elementary school, college dance team, dance studio, and longest. Winning entries included:

High School:
• Texas High School Royals Dance Team (47 dances) at Hall Stadium, Missouri City, Texas, on October 4 and 11
• Seaman High School Vikettes (22 dancers) in Topeka, Kansas, on September 6
• Lake Travis High School Cavalettes (39 dances) in House Park Stadium, Austin, Texas, on September 27

Elementary School:
• Apache Babes (106 dancers ages 3 to 12) at Rose Stadium, Tyler, Texas, on September 21

College Dance Team:
• Apache Belles (46 dances), a precision dance and drill team from Tyler Junior College, at Rose Stadium, Tyler, Texas, on October 26

Dance Studio:
• Westport Academy of Dance junior and senior company members (19 dancers) in Westport, Connecticut, on November 9
• Angela Floyd School for Dance and Music dance company (23 dancers) at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium, Knoxville, Tennessee, on October 14

Longest Kick Line:
• Dance-N-Drill (213 dancers) in Tyler, Texas

To see the winning entries, visit http://www.nationaldanceweek.org/.

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Thinking Out Loud | Defining Reality

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O13_Thinking1
By Julie Holt Lucia

Dear Former Customer,

Today was such a special day. Our annual recital, like most, is so much more than a performance—it’s a chance for all of our students to dance their hearts out in front of their families and friends. From the tiniest preschooler to the teenager with nine dances to remember, they all look forward to their moment onstage where they can share their love for dance.

Our staff members too, look forward to this day with great anticipation. Finally, the hours and hours of work they put in, most of them behind the scenes, are recognized by an audience. As the studio owner and director, I’m always nervous and excited for everyone—dancers and teachers alike—and I always hope that we’ve done enough to satisfy you, the parents.

You believed the dancers were being taught by perfect teachers; we are not perfect. You thought perfection was our goal; it wasn’t.

We clearly failed you. But I am not sorry.

You expected to watch perfect dancers; we did not put perfect dancers on the stage. You wanted to see perfect technique; we did not show you that. You believed the dancers were being taught by perfect teachers; we are not perfect. You thought perfection was our goal; it wasn’t.

Somehow you missed the joy, the smiles, and the pure excitement of the dancers on that stage. Backstage too, there were countless high fives, hugs, and happy tears.

We have nurtured these dancers and instilled in them a sense of accomplishment. Whether they are naturally gifted—like your beautiful daughter—or struggling to keep up, we encourage them. We walk a line every day between how to correct and how to inspire. We take pride in teaching technique that is developmentally appropriate and will not injure young bodies. Choreography is planned and costumes are chosen with the intent of helping our dancers look their best.

Year after year, the dancers achieve new goals, on and off the stage. When a kindergartner finally masters shuffle hop step, we are beyond thrilled. When a shy dancer learns how to freestyle in hip-hop, we hug her and whisper, “Way to go!” When a high-schooler is accepted into a summer intensive or an arts magnet school, we are delighted beyond words.

And yes, all of those students are tickled pink to perform in the recital. For them, each in his or her own way, being a dancer is realizing a dream. For me, being a small part of that dream is incredibly rewarding and humbling.

And so the hateful, vile criticism you posted via social media about my studio, staff, and dancers? The comment that next year, your daughter can do “real” dancing somewhere else? It made me feel sick.

But only for about a minute. Because after that minute, I realized that you’re looking for all the wrong things in a dance school, and we are not the right fit for you. You and I have very different definitions of “real.” For me, what’s “real” are the dancers’ accomplishments, big and small, and the happiness they share when the curtain falls.

Hundreds of people were happy today. It’s a shame you weren’t one of them.

Sincerely,

Proud Studio Owner

 

 

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Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Moves Closer to Approval of New Multi-Million-Dollar Facility

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Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Kathi Sundstrom executive director; photo by Ted Rhodes/Calgary Herald

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Kathi Sundstrom executive director; photo by Ted Rhodes/Calgary Herald

A city council committee has approved a $5.46-million funding request for a proposed $17.9-million dance facility in Calgary’s Beltline, reported the Calgary Herald.

At 3,250 square meters, the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Dance Centre would be the largest facility of its kind in the city. It would house several dance studios, performance venues, a recreational school, and community space.

“We moved into our current facility in 1993 . . . and we paid $35,000 a year in rent,” said Kathi Sundstrom, executive director for Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. “We now pay in excess of $250,000, so we can’t afford to operate where we are because we can’t expand our revenue because there are only so many studios.”

DJD is partnering with the Kahanoff Centre for Charitable Activities to build a $40-million, 12-story building at Centre Street and 12th Avenue S.E. DJD, which is kicking in $17.9 million for the project, would occupy the first five floors of the building through a 49-year lease.

The $5.46 million, which still needs council approval, is through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative Culture-Related Infrastructure Fund. The provincial and federal governments have already approved $5 million and $1.9 million, respectively, for the project. DJD has also received $1.5 million from the Calgary Foundation and $3.5 million in private donations.

Sundstrom said the new performing arts facility should open in November 2015 and will provide the community with additional arts space. “Our objective was to bring dance to the street and make it accessible,” said Sundstrom.

To read the full story, visit http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/Proposed+dance+facility+Beltline+receives+million+boost
/9256711/story.html
.

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St. Paul City Ballet Dancers Do Double Duty in Administrative Roles

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St. Paul City Ballet; photo by Chris Polydoroff/ Pioneer Press

St. Paul City Ballet; photo by Chris Polydoroff/ Pioneer Press

The professional dancers in the St. Paul City Ballet’s holiday production Clara’s Dream often pull double or triple duty, dancing multiple roles in the one-hour performance. The dancers pull extra duty offstage as well, said the Pioneer Press, covering administrative roles as part of the company’s rare artist-led business model.

When Minnesota’s St. Paul City Ballet announced the 2013–14 performance season was in jeopardy, dancer Shannon Corbett pitched to the board the dancers’ plan to step into the administrative roles, overseeing the direction of the ballet in addition to the work they do in the studio, including a budget that would make it possible.

“Being artist-led makes it really easy for us to kind of have control, and have a little more artistic freedom, in that sense,” said Jarod Boltjes, who joined the St. Paul City Ballet this season and serves as the production coordinator, booking performance spaces for the company.

Dancer Zoe Henrot was nominated by the company to be the interim artistic director, overseeing much of the choreography for the season. “It’s kind of a blessing. Because we are artist-led, we can sit down and be like ‘What part has someone always been dying to do, but never has had the chance?’ ” Henrot said. “It gives us a lot of flexibility in what we want to put on stage.”

The company puts on a free performance once a month in downtown St. Paul. Dancers walked in the 2013 Twin Cities Pride parade, and the company maintains an active social media presence. This community outreach is crucial, Henrot said, because of the artist-led business model’s reliance on community support. “We’re just really trying to get out there and talk to people about what we’re doing, because we think it’s really cool,” she said.

To read the full story, visit http://www.twincities.com/stage/ci_24634446/dancers-take-over-st-paul-city-ballet-keep.

 

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Ballet Preljocaj to Premiere Snow White in April

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Preljocaj Ballet in And then, one thousand years of peace; photo by Ruth Fremson, courtesy The New York Times

Preljocaj Ballet in And then, one thousand years of peace; photo by Ruth Fremson, courtesy The New York Times

According to The New York Times, The Joyce Theater Foundation will present the New York premiere of Snow White with choreography by Angelin Preljocaj. Performed by Mr. Preljocaj’s French dance company, Ballet Preljocaj, and based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, not the 1937 animated Disney film, the production is scheduled for a six-performance run from April 23 to 27 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. Mr. Preljocaj recently choreographed a new work for the New York City Ballet and Ballet Preljocaj completed a run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music during its Next Wave Festival this month.

To see the original story, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/25/arts/dance/grimm-snow-white-coming-to-lincoln-center.html?ref=dance&_r=0.

 

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Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Plans Special Autism-Friendly Performance of Nutcracker

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Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker; photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker; photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is the first professional ballet company in the United States to offer an autism-friendly performance of The Nutcracker, set for December 27 at 2pm at the Benedum Center.

According to CBS News/Pittsburgh, the city of Pittsburgh is a leader in making its performing arts accessible for people with disabilities—whether it’s a physical impairment, visual impairment, hearing impairment, or a developmental disability. An autism-friendly performance of The Lion King in September filled the Benedum Center’s 2,800 seats. (Pittsburgh was only the third city in the country to offer it.)

Alyssa Herzog Melby, education director for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, spearheaded the ballet’s autism-friendly Nutcracker with a focus group that included people with autism who gave them guidance. All choreography will remain the same, but the lights in the mice’s red eyes will be turned off, flares used in a magic trick will be eliminated, the sound will be lowered, and the house lights will be partially up.

The Benedum Center lobby will be outfitted with quiet areas for anyone who needs to calm down and activity zones for anyone who needs a break from the show but still wants to stay connected. Last week, the dancers had a special training on autism and what they can expect from the audience at the show.

All tickets for the performance are reserved for families who have a child or someone in their family on the spectrum or another cognitive disability, and are available at a discounted rate at www.PBT.org.

To see the original story, visit http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/11/19/pittsburgh-ballet-theatre-offering-autism-friendly-nutcracker-performance/.

 

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2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Fine-Tuning Performances

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2 Tips Ballet
By David Arce

Tip 1
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.

 

Tip 2
One major element that separates students from professional dancers is the quality of the connecting steps in choreography (such as walking and running), as well as non-choreographed stage movements such as bows. These must be done with confidence and are as important as the turns, jumps, and other technical steps; therefore they should be given equal attention in rehearsals.

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