3 Dance Books Perfect for Holiday Gifting
Dancers love to linger over pictures of dancers. That’s why I’m going to tell you about some delicious (mostly) new photography books that would make great holiday gifts to your friends, colleagues or relatives.
Photographs by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory
Photographers Ken Browar and Deborah Ory founded NYC Dance Project to create images of dancers of all genres. Their 70+ subjects include Dance Magazine favorites like Ashley Bouder, Lloyd Knight, Devon Teuscher, Lauren Lovette, Chase Finlay and Sarah Lane, hailing from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Bolshoi Ballet and more. Each photo takes up a full page and is enticingly beautiful. Published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2016.
Lloyd Knight and Isabelle Guerin-Frohlich
Photographs by Stephanie Berger
Afterword by Nancy Dalva. Composition by Trevor Carlson.
A longtime photographer behind the scenes at Lincoln Center and other venues, Berger shot the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2008 to 2011. She brings to life the last years of the company in many settings, sometimes alongside visual artists like Richard Serra, Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt. This vibrant book could be considered a Cunningham “event” itself. Published by Damiani, 2016.
Jennifer Goggans, Daniel Madoff and Koji Mizuta at the Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, NY
Photographs by Gil Garcetti
Although this book was published in 2007, the dance landscape of Cuba is newly relevant to Americans, as shown in our June issue. American photographer Gil Garcetti, who traveled to Cuba seven times from 2001 to 2006, has captured artful images of Cubans dancing in theaters, studios and the streets. Each page is more gorgeous than the last. The book also features quotes, including this one from the great Viengsay Valdés: “Rhythm is in the blood of Cubans. Dance is the way Cubans throw away their problems. It is a way to escape. There are so many different dances Cubans enjoy and our spirit can be seen in each of them.” This book bears that out. Published by Balcony Press.
For a lightweight gift, consider this calendar by top dance photographer Lois Greenfield. Every month the giftee will be greeted by a new stunning dance picture. Enjoy.
Booking a gig on a cruise ship can feel like you're diving into the unknown—dropping everything to live in the middle of the ocean without family, friends or cell service. But cruise jobs can also offer incredible rewards, like traveling the world for free and delving into a new style.
Is ship life the right fit for you? Here are some elements to consider.
We knew that New York downtown dance darling Okwui Okpokwasili was a big deal. Critics and audiences have been raving about her dance-theater works for years, and the new documentary about her, Bronx Gothic, has attracted the attention of the larger arts community.
But never in our wildest dreams did we imagine she'd show up in a Jay Z video, along with flex dancer Storyboard P. Though we're slightly less surprised to see Storyboard in Jay Z's "4:44" video than we were to see Okpokwasili, we're jazzed that two of our favorites are featured on such a huge platform. (We're also feeling #blessed that we didn't have to subscribe to Tidal to watch this.)
Throughout the years, choreographer Seán Curran has worked with a diverse array of talented collaborators—from Kyrgyz music ensemble Ustatshakirt Plus to the the Grammy Award–winning King's Singers. But perhaps none are as meaningful as his most recent group of co-choreographers: At-risk teens from the after school program and nonprofit The Wooden Floor.
Curran has been in residence with The Wooden Floor since June, where he's worked with students to build choreography based on their lives and communities:
Their creation will be shown July 20-22 at The Wooden Floor Studio Theatre in Santa Ana, California.
"Besides the stage, baking is my other happy place," says New York City Ballet corps member Jenelle Manzi.
Four years ago, she thought her baking days were over when she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Manzi had been dealing with pain, frequent illness and joint inflammation for nearly 10 years. Once she cut out gluten, Manzi gradually started to feel better, noticing a transformation in how her body felt and functioned. She found her joints were less inflamed, and she got sick less often.
New York City Ballet soloist Unity Phelan and American Ballet Theatre soloist Cassandra Trenary spend every day making their hard work look effortless and graceful both in the studio and onstage. That's exactly what makes them the perfect spokesmodels for the dance-inspired activewear line, Belle Force.
To celebrate our 90th anniversary, we excavated some of our favorite hidden gems from the DM Archives—images that capture a few of the moments in time we've documented over the decades.
This image was captured during a 1978 New York City Ballet tour that took the company to Copenhagen—home turf for Adam Luders (right), who trained at the Royal Danish Ballet School and briefly danced with the company before joining NYCB as a principal dancer in 1975. Next to Luders is (of course) George Balanchine, in conversation with ballerina Suzanne Farrell. And looking on with a smile? NYCB's current ballet master in chief Peter Martins.
On March 8, 2016, Rami Shafi found himself inspired to film an impromptu dance video of his best friend, Aaron Moses Robin, improvising on Gay St. in New York City's Greenwich Village. Thus was born Pedestrian Wanderlust, a collection of dance videos that has grown to include a monthly improv jam.
Shafi works with anyone who wants to take part in the project, filming videos in locations chosen by the dancers and later adding music. The videos are shot on Shafi's iPhone in one take and, other than the starting and ending points, are entirely improvised. The editing afterwards—including the music choice—is minimal. "I don't like to edit too much. It's just what it is," says Shafi. "I usually can do the editing on the train ride home."