A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Courtney danced with Lafayette Ballet Theatre before matriculating to New York University. After spending her freshman year in London, she moved to New York to attend NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where she recently graduated with a BFA in Dance. Courtney began contributing to Dance Magazine during her senior year. She has performed in works by Karole Armitage, Netta Yerushalmy, Septime Webre, Vita Osojnik, Cherylyn Lavagnino, Giada Ferrone and Fairul Zahid, among others. She continues to take class, create and perform in the city.
Kidnapped and dishonored on the day of her wedding, Princess Amba swears vengeance on the man responsible and is reborn as the gender-shifting Shikhandi, granting her the opportunity to defeat him in battle. This is the legend behind Akram Khan's Until the Lions, his full-length work based on Karthika Naïr's poetic reinterpretation of the Mahabharata which approaches the epic from the perspective of its female characters. Performed in the round, the critically lauded work makes its U.S. debut in Los Angeles at The Music Center on Location, marking the only 2017 stateside performances of Khan. Oct. 18–21. musiccenter.org. The company also brings the piece to Stanford, Oct. 27–28, but Khan will not perform. live.standford.edu.
There's something special about seeing New York City Ballet dance at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Maybe it's the history: George Balanchine helped design the theater, and NYCB has called SPAC, which opened in 1966, its summer home for over 50 years. But over the weekend, SPAC announced that NYCB's 2018 residence will be shortened, according to Albany's Times Union.
La Bayadère can be something of a contentious ballet, with its outdated cultural sensibilities filtered through the aesthetics of Imperial Russian ballet. But what if a production not only acknowledged the strange dualities present in the work, but used them to reinvent it? Shobana Jeyasingh's Bayadère: The Ninth Life recasts the eponymous temple dancer as a contemporary Indian man who is swept into a Shade-like vision of the past to embody the alluring woman. The gender-bending of the role highlights the ways in which Indian dancers were viewed as both fantastically desirable and unapproachably alien by European men in the 19th century, a point brought home by the inclusion in the sound score of Théophile Gautier's written account of his first encounters with devadasis, the inspiration for the ballet's original scenario. Oct. 16–17. sadlerswells.com.
Ever since it was announced that Baz Luhrmann's spectacular (spectacular!) movie musical Moulin Rouge! would be adapted for the stage, we've been cautiously excited. The 2001 film feels like a natural fit for Broadway, what with its genre-bending soundtrack stocked with absurdly catchy mash-ups, decadent costumes and sets, epic production numbers and show-within-a-show premise. Not to mention the romance. (Come on, who didn't fall in love with Ewan McGregor watching this movie?)
We're still in early days—the Alex Timbers–directed musical is scheduled for a lab presentation at the end of this month. But thanks to some news that broke last week (while we were all pretty distracted by World Ballet Day), we're moving past cautious excitement and into high-key freaking out quicker than Satine can purr "Diamonds are a girl's best friend."
American Ballet Theatre is breaking out of the proscenium.
The company announced earlier today that in addition to the works already scheduled for their two-week fall season at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater (Oct. 18–29), a new work for members of ABT's Studio Company and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School will also take place during select performances. But more surprising than the lateness of the addition is where it will take place: on the theater's promenade during intermission. Entitled Counterpoint for Philip Johnson, the new work will pay homage to the architect of the theater, according to the company's press release. It marks the first time that ABT will perform outside of the traditional proscenium stage at the Koch.
Back in July, the Bolshoi Ballet grabbed international headlines after canceling the scheduled premiere of a new full-length ballet just three days before opening night. The ballet was Nureyev, and, as it was centered on the life of an openly gay male dancer who defected from the Soviet Union, it was widely speculated that the decision was an act of censorship.
Further theories of political motivations arose as Kirill Serebrennikov, the project's already-controversial director, was being questioned in connection with an embezzlement investigation. But according to the Bolshoi, the ballet was pulled due to it simply not being ready, and was not canceled but postponed; a tentative premiere was set for May 2018.
But it looks like Russian audiences will be getting to see the new ballet far sooner than they might have hoped.
No, you didn't miss the Emmy Awards telecast. (It's next weekend.) The Creative Arts Emmys, on the other hand, were awarded yesterday, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography. Among the nominees were "Dancing With the Stars" favorite Derek Hough, "So You Think You Can Dance?" contestant-turned-choreographer Travis Wall, surprise contender Fred Tallaksen for comedy "The Real O'Neals" and commercial dance juggernaut Mandy Moore, who grabbed two nominations for both "DWTS" and "SYTYCD."