Watch Now: Gorgeous Video for SF Ballet's Peck Premiere
Even dance lovers who live far from their favorite companies can get a taste of new ballets these days: Young choreographers like Justin Peck are creating not just premieres, but short films to go along with them, like creative versions of a trailer.
The latest one is for Peck's new piece at San Francisco Ballet, In the Countenance of Kings. The film, by Ezra Hurwitz (who previously collaborated with Peck on a Heatscape trailer for Miami City Ballet), was shot in an abandoned train station in Oakland, just across the bay from San Francisco.
The film's music, by Sufjan Stevens, and movement, by Peck, are pulled directly from the ballet. It's the first time SFB has ever produced this kind of content. Hurwitz says the company administration was only convinced to shoot it in the middle of a busy performance season because the project was spearheaded by principals Frances Chung and Dores André.
"Like most of Justin’s work, In the Countenance of Kings creates an alternate world—one that’s sentimental, youthful, surreal and yet very human," says Hurwitz. "I wanted to capture that sort of transcendent experience in a short, semi-narrative film." That "semi-narrative" is a dancer's (Dores André's) post-rehearsal daydream that's inspired by the work she's just rehearsed.
The result is a thrilling creation in itself. Personally, I'm loving this trend, and the fact that it's mostly young artists who are behind it. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets more young audiences in the house as well.
SFB premieres In The Countenance of Kings April 7–17.
Have you ever seen a performance and thought, "Wow, this was so good. Dance Magazine should really be writing about this!"? You're in luck.
We're collecting nominations for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we need your help! We'll compile our favorite nominations, and then you'll vote on what should make it into our December issue. But for now, we want to hear about the most memorable dance you've seen so far in 2017.
Throughout the summer, we've been noticing beachside views and scenic waterfalls sprinkled in with all of the usual rehearsal and performance posts we see from ballet's biggest stars. But even while enjoying some sun and relaxation, dancers like Sara Mearns and Michaela DePrince prove that they never really take a break from ballet. Ahead, check out some of the cutest vacay pictures and videos our favorite dancers have been sharing this summer. Not only will they give you some future vacation inspo, they'll also have you itching to get back in the studio.
This fall, the University of Utah's School of Dance welcomes the first class of candidates to its newly reinstated Master of Fine Arts in Ballet program, currently the only ballet-specific MFA in the country. Geared toward those with professional ballet experience, it requires courses in pedagogy, choreography and scholarly inquiry. Melonie Murray, the director of graduate studies, says, "We want to support students in understanding ballet in a deeper way."
The 2017–18 Broadway season is just getting underway! But before we look ahead to new productions, let's recall what came before. Here are a few of the sparkliest shows that opened on the Great White Way in previous Augusts.
42nd Street (1980)
The cast of the 2001 revival of 42nd Street performing at the Tony Awards
If you need an example of traditional Broadway-style tap, this couldn't be any closer. The original production of 42nd Street ran for over eight years. That's a lot of time steps.
When I saw Kele Roberson dancing at New York City Dance Alliance Foundation's college scholarship audition, I only had to watch a deep plié before writing down a 10 out of 10 on his score sheet and scribbling a giant star next to his name. Before he even had a chance to show off his incredible lines, I was mesmerized by his nuanced grace in even the simplest of movements.
He walked away from that audition with NYCDA Foundation's Dance Magazine College Scholarship worth $25,000 to the college of his choice, which happened to be Juilliard, where he was planning to attend this fall.
But shortly after winning, it turns out, his plans changed. I caught up with him earlier today to find out what happened.
Yep, you read that right.
Alpaca dance classes are a thing, thanks to 313 Farms in Manitoba, Canada. Students can take classes like "Barn Barre," "Mommy, The Alpacas, & Me" and "Poppin' Pacas" while the animals roam—and you're welcome to stop and pet them mid-class.
"Having worked in a dance studio, I had quite a few students visit the alpacas and they loved being around them," says owner Ann Patman. "Most studios have no windows and even though the class might be great, you don't get any fresh air or see what's going on outside."
Nominations for our Readers' Choice Awards are underway, and you've been sending in tons of exciting ones.
As a reminder, we're compiling nominations in seven categories:
- Best Viral Video
- Most Moving Performance
- Biggest Choreographic Breakthrough
- Coolest Collaboration
- Best Dance Documentary
- Most Inventive New Work
- Funniest Performance
We'll choose our favorites, then ask you to vote on what will make it into our December issue.
Here are some of our favs so far: