When has a First Lady ever started something that was this much fun? Last year Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign asked MFA student Callie Lyons and her teacher, NYU’s Dance and New Media director Paul Galando, to make a film in support of the campaign. The wonderful short film he made in response was shown at the Dance on Camera Kickoff Gala last Wednesday.
Galando decided to collaborate with Lyons and five other grad students at NYU Tisch and with dance photographer Lois Greenfield. The final product, which gives each dancer a solo while also showing Greenfield’s skill in shooting stills, is bursting with urban energy. It jumps back and forth between the dancers improvising on a rooftop in Long Island City and posing on a seamless for the famed photographer. It’s fun, it’s real, and it’s a peek into Greenfield’s process. The students are a diverse group of six spirited dancers, and Galando catches their energy.
At the gala, Dance Films Association (producer of Dance on Camera) honored Lois Greenfield with its Dance in Focus award. It projected 80 of her photos from the last few decades. Watching these rich, provocative images flash by, I realized how constantly innovative she has been over the decades. She has transformed dance photos from mere documents into a kind of performance of their own. As Elizabeth Streb said when she presented the legendary photographer with the award, “Lois and her subjects were wildly choreographing together.”
Just now posted: The terrific five-minute Galando/NYU/Let's Move film (co-produced and choreographed by Callie Lyons with the dancers), just got posted on YouTube. Each of the NYU students has a different style, and Galando's snappy editing allows each to shine in quick spurts. Click here to see the Let's Move NYU Tisch Dance film.
Photo: Lois Greenfield on the set of NYU's Let's Move film, photo by Paul Galando.
"I don't cook for just one or two people," says James Whiteside, stirring a pot on his stove. "My mom taught me to cook and she had five kids. So when I do cook, I go in!"
Aside from breakfast (usually bacon, egg and cheese on an English muffin), the American Ballet Theatre principal rarely cooks for himself during ABT's seasons. He prefers to "forage" for his lunch and go out or order in for dinner, saving the real cooking for when he has friends or colleagues to feed. "I like to have a lot of people tell me my food is delicious," he quips.
We're not sure what we did to deserve the livestream generosity the dance world is giving us these days, but this weekend, it's getting even better.
PC Joe Toreno
L.A. Dance Project, Benjamin Milliepied's trendsetting contemporary troupe, has been in residence at The Chinati Foundation for the past few days. This weekend, they're showing us what they've come up with—for three days straight.
To create great work, choreographers need the freedom to tackle difficult subjects and push physical limits. But when your instruments are human beings, is there a limit to how far you should go? Five choreographers open up about where they draw the line.
Restaurants have always been a great source of survival gigs for dancers. But today's top chefs aren't just looking for waiters to carry dishes to the table. They're hiring choreographers to give the staff dance-like skills and compose a sort of choreography for the dining room.
Leslie Scott, artistic director of dance theater company BODYART, is one of those choreographers. After working in more typical food industry jobs for 10 years, she's been tapped by top restaurants in both New York City and Los Angeles to lead workshops that finesse servers' non-verbal communication and navigation of tight spaces.
Back in 2002, dancer and choreographer Jonah Bokaer founded an art space in Brooklyn called Chez Bushwick. As Manhattan and Brooklyn were quickly becoming unaffordable, and many studio spaces were closing, Bokaer seized upon "creative placemaking"—the idea that the arts can play an integral role in community-building—before it became a buzzword. "We have been sustaining and maintaining one of the most affordable dance studios in New York State since the very beginning of my career," he says.
Fifteen years later, the challenges for choreographers in expensive urban centers continue unabated, and Bokaer has found his original mission magnified. While Chez Bushwick remains a haven for the next generation, there is also a growing number of young dancemakers who have been inspired to create their own residencies, communities and, ultimately, opportunities.
The New York City premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's sugary sweet story ballet, Whipped Cream, made for one of the most exciting spring galas at American Ballet Theatre yet. While we're usually in awe of the gowns the dancers sport on the red carpet beforehand, this time around, it was all about Whipped Cream's colorful and over-the-top costumes by Mark Ryden—and, okay, a few major dress moments, too. Ahead, check out what went on behind-the-scenes.