Jennifer has worked on Dance Magazine since graduating from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in dance and journalism. A former senior editor of Pointe, she has also written for The Atlantic, Runner's World and other publications. As a dancer, she performed with California's Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Israeli choreographer Gali Hod and for Cirque du Soleil's 25th-anniversary celebration.
What's better than getting into the summer intensive of your dreams? Getting in with a scholarship, of course!
Hundreds of dancers entered our Video of the Month contests over the past three months, vying for a chance to win a scholarship to one of the Joffrey Ballet School's summer programs. We scoured so many videos, saw tons of amazing talent and are super excited to announce the final winners.
Michelle Quiner took home the grand prize: a one-year housing and tuition scholarship to the school's year-round trainee program in New York City. Check out her winning video:
All of the other winners each received a one-week scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School intensive of their choice.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been seriously getting into dance lately. But now it's taking its love affair one step further: Gallim Dance director/choreographer Andrea Miller was just named the museum's artist in residence for the 2017-18 season—the first dance artist ever chosen for that distinction!
We caught up with Miller to find out exactly what this means.
Gallim Dance at the Temple of Dendur. Photo by Ani Coller, courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art
Congratulations on being named artist in residence! How did this come about?
I was offered an opportunity to create a work in progress for a private event at the Temple of Dendur last September. It was a really great experience. I was learning about ancient Egyptian dance and art and music. I got to meet archaeologists and work with the curators and the Met Live Arts team. I think they thought it might be a relationship to develop with a residency.
What did you like about working at the Met?
For a while now I've been enjoying working outside of the proscenium theater. The conversations and the restrictions are different. What you can do, what you can't do. Having new set of variables intrigues me—it pushes my craft further.
What does it mean to you to be the first dance person named artist in residence at the Met?
Dance hasn't always been welcomed into these homes for art, but it makes a lot of sense for a museum to be thinking about dance as art. I'm so happy to be running with my ideas in these halls. They are really open about working with me and thinking really closely with me about what could be possible and letting me direct quite a bit what I'd like to do there.
And what do you plan to do?
First, I'm going to build the Temple of Dendur piece into an evening-length work, to premiere in October. That's called Stone Skipping. It has some scenes about the environment and climate change, thinking about the journey of the temple from the Nile to the museum.
The next piece is going to happen during museum hours, a durational work throughout the day. It's very exciting to me because it's going to completely break with the start-and-stop, beginning-and-end setup of most traditional dance.
One of the things I'm trying to do is think about what is "Met-only" about these works. How am I engaging with the Met and its permanent collections and its architecture, making work that is housed in that space?
But the third work will be treating the dance as its own art. Taking art off the walls, into the gallery space, observing dance in a similar way you do with visual art.
We'll also have open rehearsals and workshops.
What do you think this residency will mean for your company?
I definitely hope that there will be a definitive time before the Met, and after the Met. The imprint of this experience is going to be inextricable from my future creative language and process.
How do you see your aesthetic meshing with the museum's very formal, reverential atmosphere?
I think some of it is gonna fly and some of it is gonna be difficult, and maybe a little controversial. I imagine a lot of it will have to do with the curators of the areas I'm working in, and how they see other elements defining the existing art, and how they interact with each other. My aesthetic is very raw and can sometimes feel wild; there's a sense of abandonment. That's very different from how a lot of art is experienced at the Met. Even if the content has that same level of fierce rawness or extreme expression, that only stays within the canvas—everything else is super controlled. We're taking that out into the space.
Ballet lovers everywhere are dreaming of DC this week: Ballet Across America is taking over the Kennedy Center with help from two of ballet's favorite stars, Misty Copeland and Justin Peck.
But no matter where you are, you can still catch a taste of the festival. In addition to all the live performances, the Kennedy Center also commissioned a pair of short films by filmmaker (and former Miami City Ballet dancer) Ezra Hurwitz. Both premiered during the opening night celebration on Monday.
We love how the first, choreographed by Marcelo Gomes, explores the regal expansiveness of the iconic performing arts center by capitalizing on the gorgeous movement of five stars from American Ballet Theatre.
The second is a moving glimpse into the lives of some top students from ABT's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School as they rehearse for their Kennedy Center debut (which also took place on Monday) and struggle to "make it" in the ballet world.
Many dance companies and physical therapy offices are jumping in on a new trend: recovery boots. But what are they? And, more importantly, how can dancers benefit from them?
The Royal Ballet's Olivia Cowley in a pair of recovery boots
We asked Gregory Retter, clinical director at The Royal Ballet, which recently invested in its own set.
How do recovery boots work?
Through sequential compression; it's an idea that's been around awhile, but the boots make it accessible. They have four chambers—foot, calf, mid-thigh, upper thigh—that gradually fill up with pressure to help flush metabolic waste from the muscles. It's almost like squeezing a tube of toothpaste.
When should dancers use them?
Whenever you need to recover. They're particularly useful after a day of rehearsals before an evening performance to feel fresh again. We also use them to reduce any swelling from injury in the legs.
How long should dancers have them on?
20 to 45 minutes.
Is there anything dancers need to do while wearing them?
These boots are part of a whole recovery strategy. We encourage dancers to sip electrolyte-replacement fluids while lying back in a reclined position in the boots, and to zone out for some psychological recovery, too. We also encourage dancers to wear compression garments afterwards, to maintain the positive effects of compression while they're walking around.
As you might have noticed, there's now more to dancemagazine.com than ever before. Our writers and editors have been scouring the dance world for the most eye-opening stories, the most gorgeous dance videos and the most helpful advice.
But we're always looking for more!
Do you have a short dance film that you think deserves to be featured? Do you want to write about your unique experience in the dance world?
Send us a note! Email me at email@example.com. We're looking for smart, original stories and footage that will appeal to dance professionals across the country. It could be a personal essay on a challenge you've faced, a spotlight on a new trend and why it matters, well-researched advice from experts, a thoughtful critique, insight from a unique corner of the dance world or just something that's mesmerizing to watch.
Dance Magazine reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. We'll get in touch if your story or video is being considered for publication.
I can't wait to see what you have to share.
Looking for some guilty pleasure procrastination? Dance Magazine's got you covered. We're hosting two great livestreams at the end of this week.
Thursday, April 6 at 7 PM:
First up is a two-part performance hosted by the Martha Graham Dance Company at its headquarters in New York City. Swedish choreographer/filmmaker Pontus Lidberg is working on a new dance film project, and he's tapped Kaitlyn Gilliland and Christopher Adams to perform a few excerpts from it live tomorrow night. Afterward, he'll sit down for an interview about the film and his work with MGDC artistic director Janet Eilber.
Later that same night, we'll also stream an in-studio performance of the Graham dancers in Lidberg's Woodland, the 2016 commission that first brought Lidberg and MGDC together.
Tune in to our Facebook page Thursday night to catch both parts.
Friday, April 7, All Day:
To close out the week, Ebony Williams is giving us a peek into a day in her life—in real time. The Cedar-Lake-Contemporary-Ballet-star-turned-commercial-dancer has a lot going on these days. Between dancing for Beyoncé and choreographers like Francesca Harper, Williams stays busy working on her own short dance film and shopping for fabrics as she develops EbonySkin.
Williams is also an eternal student: "Even though some younger dancers see a vision of a dancer who may have made it," she says, "it's a continuous struggle to stay in shape, do research and learn. I am always taking classes and private lessons."
All you have to do is tune in to our Facebook page on Friday as she shares the many activities that make up her day.
Choreographers often don't ask for much to create their work. Their primary needs are pretty simple:
- Studio space
Now, Wayne McGregor is helping out London's dance community with the second of those two resources.
His new multi-million dollar studio in east London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park just opened on Friday. And he's pledged to give away 5000 hours of rehearsal time there for free every year.
Studio Wayne McGregor, via waynemcgregor.com
Finding affordable studio space can be a major roadblock for choreographers in big cities like London and New York.
"We have tried not only to create a space for Wayne and company but to respond to what is going on in the wider dance world," executive director Rebecca Marshall announced, as reported by The Stage. "There is an overwhelming need for appropriate and affordable space in London and we want to create a place people can come together and think about the wider context of what they are doing."
The program, called FreeSpace, will be available to artists at all stages in their career. The hope is to give choreographers more time to experiment and take risks, without any demand to create a final product.
There's just one—genius—catch:
For each week of free rehearsal space, artists have to spend one day on outreach, offering "creative interactions and engagement projects," to give back to the local community.
Well played, McGregor.
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