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By Wendy Perron
When I asked Veronika Part at our photo shoot what she misses about Russia, she immediately answered, “Russian soul.” Think of it: Ulanova, Plisetskaya, Vasiliev (both the older and the younger), Ananiashvili, Vishneva. What have they got in common? Soul. What Veronika had to figure out was how to be true to her past while dancing here in the United States. Read Laura Jacobs’ “Russian Soul” to learn how that process contributed to her becoming the passionate dancer she is.
It doesn’t help a dancer’s soul to criticize her body. But of course it happens—to all of us. Not that we need to be reminded, but the review of New York City Ballet’s Nutcracker that criticized Jenifer Ringer—whose beautifully proportioned body has graced our cover four times—got us all talking. In her case the darts came from a dance critic. In the case of three dancers we interviewed, they came from artistic directors or other dancers. Read “When Words Hurt” to learn how they’ve handled those particular darts.
Yes, the dance world has decentralized and spread out globally—and that’s a good thing. But New York is still a top destination for thousands of young dancers. We know that some of you are probably thinking about coming to the Big Apple soon—with maybe just a smidgen of anxiety. To soften your ride, we asked Jen Peters to give you the lay of the land. Reading her “New York State of Mind” will help you dive right in and find your niche in our dance-rich city.
We’re excited to introduce a new section this month that will help you navigate the burgeoning world of dance media. “Plugged In” will connect you with the best DVDs, apps, opps, books, websites and more. Also new, we are now posting all our reviews online. Yep—it’s the end of an era. We want readers to get our reviews quickly rather than wait three months. The majority of our reviews have already been posted as web exclusives, so it’s really not as big a change as it seems. If you want to get your bearings, review-wise, turn to the page at the end of “Plugged In,” where you’ll find a box telling you which companies are covered online this month.
Veronika Part in an I-love-suffering-for-my-art moment. Photo by Matthew Karas.