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By Siobhan Burke
National Dance Week, 50th anniversary of Judson Dance Theater, Abrons Arts Center
The Rockettes have been high-kicking in sync and dazzling audiences since 1927. In honor of their 85th anniversary, National Dance Week invites you to do the same with the “Kick It! Challenge”—essentially, a make-your-own-kickline contest. Here’s how it works: Recruit a group of people from your dance studio, dance team, college dance program, community organization, or anywhere, really; choose a place for your performance that’s “visible, safe, and legal” (half-time breaks at sporting events are encouraged); film the kickline routine; post it on YouTube; and email the link to NDW. Winners in various categories will be announced the week of Dec. 3 and receive a prize to be selected by the Rockettes. Performances must take place in November and be submitted by Dec. 1. For more details, see www.nationaldanceweek.org/kickline/2012.
Simone Forti (center) with Luke Johnson (left) and Brennan Gerard. Photo: Naokata Hiro, Courtesy Danspace
There are so many intriguing activities surrounding the 50th anniversary of Judson Dance Theater this fall, it’s hard to keep track of them. While Danspace Project’s “Platform 2012: Judson Now” is the place to see and talk about performances by Judson-era artists (and their descendents), Movement Research is offering classes with a handful of these pioneering performers and choreographers. This month, MR’s “Judson@50” series includes a workshop with Simone Forti exploring the relationship between verbal and physical communication (Nov. 11); weekly classes with June Ekman, grounded in Alexander Technique (Mondays, Nov. 5–26); and a two-day intensive with Deborah Hay, who asks, “What if our attention is not on what we do onstage but how we can be continuously enlarging our experience of dance as we dance?” (Nov. 20–21). MR is also partnering with the New Museum to present several Judson-related panels, including “ ‘Talking about my generation’: Jill Johnston and the Critic as Subject” (Nov. 4), which honors the provocative writer who both captured and contributed to the rebellious spirit of Judson. See www.danspaceproject.org and www.movementresearch.org.
The Abrons Arts Center, a multifaceted performing and visual arts organization on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, announced that its new director of education will be Robert La Fosse, former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet. Beginning the position full-time on Dec. 1, La Fosse will run the center’s dance, theater, music, and visual arts training programs, which include more than 100 classes a year, with an annual enrollment of more than 500 students. He will also direct the Abrons Dance Ensemble and Urban Youth Theater and coordinate arts-in-education programs in New York City public schools. See www.henrystreet.org.