Glaring White Lights: Pite and McGregor
If you are in New York City, don’t miss Thomas Adès: Concentric Paths—Movements in Music, the last production of Lincoln Center's White Light Festival. The four choreographers involved are top-flight: Karole Armitage, Wayne McGregor, Crystal Pite and Alexander Whitley.
Crystal Pite's Polaris. Photos by Andrew Lang.
The most earth-shaking piece in this bunch is bound to be Pite’s Polaris, with a huge cast of six of her Kidd Pivot dancers and 60 students from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. (Disclosure: Some of those students are in my graduate seminar at Tisch.) Last fall, when Pite was in the midst of creating Polaris for this Adès evening in London, produced by Sadler’s Wells, she said this in her “10 Minutes With…” interview: “I’m interested in working with emergent structures that appear in nature, like flocking and swarming, and also more urban images—traffic flows and that kind of thing.”
You can bet that when Crystal Pite works with the idea of flocks and swarms, it’s like no other choreographer working with those images. Her brilliance as a movement maker extends to both individuals and collectives, to both vast forms and small details. My students who are working on this piece say they’ve been super stimulated and challenged. Some of them declare that it’s been life-changing.
In this behind-the-scenes video you can get a glimpse of Pite's massive shapes and hear the excitement of the students working on it.
Wayne McGregor's Outlier
Also no slouch is Wayne McGregor’s Outlier, a stark, almost sinister piece he made for New York City Ballet in 2010 (which I wish they would bring back). The spatial pattern sometimes echoes the “concentric paths” of the music, creating a vortex of intensity. What I remember most is the lifts in which the women buckle their spines as though trying to escape.
The Adès evening, presented by Lincoln Center in association with New York City Center, is conducted and performed by Adès with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Calder Quartet. November 20–22. For tickets, click here.
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."