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.
This fall, the University of Utah's School of Dance welcomes the first class of candidates to its newly reinstated Master of Fine Arts in Ballet program, currently the only ballet-specific MFA in the country. Geared toward those with professional ballet experience, it requires courses in pedagogy, choreography and scholarly inquiry. Melonie Murray, the director of graduate studies, says, "We want to support students in understanding ballet in a deeper way."
With summer drawing to a close, companies are finalizing their rosters for the 2017–18 season. Boston Ballet announced their dancer lineup this morning, and we're more than a little excited about a number of well-deserved promotions and new company members.
As those of you on Twitter are no doubt aware, this weekend marked the second #Hamilversary, AKA the two-year anniversary of the opening of Hamilton on Broadway. And unless you've been living under a rock, you know that our resident Broadway columnist Sylviane Gold was downright prophetic when she wrote in our July 2015 issue, "the runaway off-Broadway hit of last season [is] now likely to repeat history on Broadway—and maybe make it."
Hamilton set a new record for Tony nominations (16), garnered Lin-Manuel Miranda a Pulitzer Prize and gained an unprecedented level of pop-culture recognition. Today, the show continues to dominate on Broadway and has opened a dual production in Chicago, while its first national tour just wrapped up its San Francisco performances. Meanwhile, a West End opening is expected this fall and a film adaptation is in the works. And along the way, Andy Blankenbuehler's choreography has set new standards for dance on Broadway.
Oh, and we're all just a little bit obsessed with it.
So to celebrate, here's a look back on a (very small) selection of our favorite Hamilton moments.
+/- Human, a three-week series curated by Wayne McGregor, is taking over the Roundhouse. By day, it features a new installation by artist collective Random International (a previous McGregor collaborator, not to be confused with Random Dance, the former name of McGregor's company). On Friday and Saturday nights, a new immersive dance work performed by members of Company Wayne McGregor and The Royal Ballet (the first such crossover since 2001) probes the relationship between human bodies and technological entities. Also on tap: pop-up performances, one-off immersive live-music events and a two-week intensive course for youngsters from Queens Crescent Community Association and the Roundhouse Street Circus Collective. Aug. 10–28. roundhouse.org.uk.
In the August 1977 issue of Dance Magazine, cover star Patricia McBride told us, "My first performance with [New York City Ballet] was as an apprentice in Symphony in C. It was a disaster. There's a very complicated tendu combination that the ensemble does in unison, framing the stage. I was right in front and I was so nervous I got out of sync and my foot was going out when everyone else's was going in, and of course my arms were going the wrong way, too. I thought I was going to be fired right there and then." Needless to say, that didn't happen. McBride danced at NYCB for over 30 years, with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins both creating iconic roles in their ballets for the fearless dancer, from Who Cares? to Dances at a Gathering. She continues to teach and coach, and is the recipient of a 1980 Dance Magazine Award and a 2014 Kennedy Center Honor.
It's easy to think of sculpture as a static form, but what happens when you place it in the midst of a public park and invite performing artists to inhabit it? Passerby have been finding that out since Josiah McElheny's Prismatic Park arrived in Manhattan's Madison Square Park this June. Madison Square Park Conservancy's Mad. Sq. Art partnered with Danspace Project to offer residencies to four beloved downtown dance artists to create, rehearse and perform under the public eye atop McElheny's green prismatic-glass floor. Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener already had the first go at the end of June, but Aug. 1–6 and 8–13 will see the fearless Netta Yerushalmy take on the challenge (continuing work on her Paramodernites series), followed by Jodi Melnick in September. danspaceproject.org.
Check out an excerpt from Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener's residency!
Is it just us, or are Misty Copeland and David Hallberg engaging in a friendly game of one-upmanship outside of the studio? We were (mostly) joking about it after Hallberg signed with Nike, mirroring Copeland's longstanding relationship with Under Armour (not to mention the fact that as of November, both American Ballet Theatre superstars will have added "published author" to their bios). But just last week Hallberg became one of the faces of Tiffany & Co's "One of a Kind" campaign—and this morning the ballerina announced yet another high-profile endorsement deal.
We'd love to know what it is that has Pina Bausch, Rudolf Nureyev and Gerard Violette so amused, or what Toer van Schayk (far right) is thinking here, but one thing's for certain: We're terribly envious of the journalist (second from right) who got to be there when this shot was taken in 1986.