Watch Tapper Sarah Reich's Latest Collab With Postmodern Jukebox
Sarah Reich. Photo by Jeremy Jackson, Courtesy SILLAR Management
What's one way to drum up interest in tap dancing? Team up with an uber-popular band whose YouTube channel racks up views by the millions, and whose videos are no stranger to Facebook feeds of many non-dancers. That's just what tapper Sarah Reich did for her latest collaboration with Postmodern Jukebox. The band has made a name for itself by covering everything from Beyoncé to Aerosmith to the Star Wars score, so you can imagine how varied their fan-base is.
"Evolution of Tap Dance
," loosely riffs off the 2006 YouTube hit "Evolution of Dance," which cataloged mainstream dance moves through the years. While it makes for a catchy name, PMJ's video is more of a history of pop songs from 1899 to present day, set to tap dancing. (We'd like to see an actual evolution of tap in under five minutes. Anyone up for the challenge?) Nonetheless, Reich gives an impeccable performance, morphing her dancing to match each song's genre and era as PMJ cycles through ragtime, big band swing, lounge jazz, funk, EDM and more.
What's most impressive is Reich's versatile musicality. During Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag," she matches every note of the piano's quick, jangling tune. At the beginning of the epic, electronic song that is "Sandstorm," the band drops out and Reich becomes the sole music maker. Many times throughout the video, she rides above the music, adding a satisfying layer of complexity to the band's melody or baseline.
If YouTube is what it takes to get tap into more people's homes (or smartphones or laptops), we're all for it. Hopefully, it inspires some to even head to a live dance performance. Reich and Anissa Lee, who have both danced with Syncopated Ladies, are currently part of PMJ's world tour.
We'd love to know what it is that has Pina Bausch, Rudolf Nureyev and Gerard Violette so amused, or what Toer van Schayk (far right) is thinking here, but one thing's for certain: We're terribly envious of the journalist (second from right) who got to be there when this shot was taken in 1986.
It's the end of a long rehearsal day for the dancers of Abraham.In.Motion. They're reviewing phrases of a new work, Dearest Home. It's a pretty typical rehearsal scene. Some dancers cluster around a laptop trying to piece together steps learned long ago. Others review choreography together, working to figure out who remembered which arms correctly.
What isn't typical: The company's director and choreographer, Kyle Abraham, is nowhere to be seen.
That's because while the company is based in New York City full-time, Abraham spends most of his year teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he joined the faculty last September. It's an unconventional model for a single-choreographer–led troupe, almost functioning like a repertory company in which choreographers drop in for a week to set a piece, leaving it up to the rehearsal directors and dancers to keep the momentum going.
La Scala Ballet has a knack for snagging exceptional guest artists, and the company's rare West Coast appearance this weekend at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is no exception. Principal dancer étoile Roberto Bolle will partner both Misty Copeland and Marianela Nuñez in Giselle. And in an extra international twist, they'll be accompanied by the Mikhailovsky Orchestra for the engagement. July 28–30. scfta.org.
Serious dancers interested in musical theater face a difficult choice when applying to college: Should you major in dance or musical theater? "You can make a career following either pathway," says Lynne Formato, associate professor of performing arts at Elon University. If you choose to go the musical theater route, find a program that will challenge your dance technique:
The 2017 Princess Grace Award winners have just been announced! Over the years, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA has demonstrated a knack for picking out future stars in the dance world, so it should be no surprise that several of the honorees are familiar names.