On the Rise: Alexandra Karigan Farrior
With her ability to make people laugh and cry, often at the same time, Alexandra Karigan Farrior takes dance theater to a new level. As muse and most frequent partner of Joshua L. Peugh, artistic director of up-and-coming Dallas troupe Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, she navigates his world of whimsy and internal turmoil with a confident finesse. Though she only joined the company in 2014, she fully inhabits Peugh’s offbeat characters, while managing to make his bizarre partnering look easy.
Farrior is one half of Dark Circles’ most dynamic duo. Here, in Peugh’s Slump. Photo by Chadi El-Khoury, courtesy Farrior.
Company: Dark Circles Contemporary Dance
Hometown: Dallas, Texas (Born in Toronto, Ontario)
Training: Chamberlain School of Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater School, BFA in dance performance from Southern Methodist University
Breakout career moment: Right out of college, Farrior landed a job with Amy Marshall Dance Company in New York City. It was a huge validation for her. In a strange coincidence, her landlord knew Marshall. “I cold-called her and she invited me to an intensive,” Farrior says. “We clicked immediately.” With Marshall, she performed at Jacob’s Pillow and toured Europe and Asia.
Dallas/New York/Dallas: Farrior’s husband transferred to a Texas law school in 2012 so she could enroll in Texas Christian University’s MFA program in classical and contemporary dance. In Dallas, she reunited with fellow SMU alum Peugh at Bruce Wood Dance Project. He then asked her to join his new company, Dark Circles, where they are well on their way to becoming Dallas’ most prominent partnership.
What she’s working on: Onstage, Farrior continues to plumb the tricky nuances in Peugh’s work. “Joshua encourages me to pursue precision and virtuosity, but also keep my curiosity alive,” she says.
What Peugh is saying: “In performance, Alex is so absorbed in the work. She has great instincts and sensitivity; she reacts to what’s happening around her onstage and also what’s happening beyond the proscenium.”
On the horizon: Because Peugh is traveling more often to create for other companies, Farrior has taken a leadership role at Dark Circles, teaching company class and running rehearsals. She will be featured in Peugh’s The Rite of Spring, premiering in March, and in Italian choreographer Fabio Liberti’s new work for the company in April.
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.
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:
Last month, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled Create NYC: A Cultural Plan for All New Yorkers. Stemming from two years of research into arts organizations throughout the five boroughs and feedback from over 200,000 New Yorkers, the plan seeks to diversify cultural institutions and increase funding within underserved communities.
So what does this entail for dance artists? While there is nothing specifically dance-related in the plan, many dance companies and artists within marginalized and lower-income communities stand to benefit from increased funding.
Performance Spaces for the 21st Century (aka PS21) is possibly the best-kept secret on the route from New York City to Jacob's Pillow. In Chatham, New York, PS21 has quietly built an annual dance festival with a diverse array of excellent groups. A small but adventurous center dedicated to presenting dance, theater, music and film, it is currently in the midst of its 12th annual Chatham Dance Festival.
My orthopedist says I need hip arthroscopy to repair a torn labrum from doing an upside-down split in a contemporary piece. He says I'll most likely be able to dance again, but I'm worried. My best friend had the same surgery and wasn't able to perform ballet afterwards. How risky is this operation? I'm only 28!
—Katie, New York, NY