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By Wendy Perron
It sometimes happens that a corps dancer shines in featured roles. Said corps dancer might possess a certain flair for drama that doesn’t easily fit in with the company’s predominant style. In such a case, it might take a long time to rise to soloist level. And so it was with New York City Ballet’s Georgina Pazcoguin. She brings a certain sizzle to her roles, whether it’s a spiky new work by Mauro Bigonzetti, a jazzy Robbins ballet, or a part tailor-made for her by Peter Martins. Frustrated by the proverbial stuck-in-the-corps syndrome, Pazcoguin started freelancing on the side. So it was a special thrill to learn, last winter, that she would be promoted to soloist. Read Astrida Woods’ “A Flair for the Dramatic” to find out how “Gina” has handled her career both before and after being promoted.
Another dancer who’s breaking out is Michelle Dorrance, the current sweetheart of the tap world. Her super chops and mischievous style landed her on our cover in May 2008, and now she’s surging ahead as a choreographer. She’s taken her own flair for drama—eyes glancing sideways as though looking out for danger or fun—and extended it to her group pieces. We asked tap expert and New York Times reviewer Brian Seibert to trace her choreographic path in “Sounding Off.”
At right: “Gina” at our photo shoot. Photo by Matthew Karas.
We love to interview dance artists like Gina and Michelle at their big breakthrough moments. But what about those at the beginning of their careers? When you are just starting out you don’t have the range of choices they have, but you are hungry to dance. The question may come up, “When should you dance for free?” Siobhan Burke, former Dance Magazine associate editor (now a contributing writer), asked four freelance dancers this question. Some have flexible jobs that allow them to accept interesting dance offers that don’t pay well, while others have drawn the line and won’t accept nonpaying gigs. Ideally we would all get paid for our time and talent…but sometimes dancers just wanna dance.