Eric Beauchesne, photo by Tim Summers
The person who best explains it is Eric Beauchesne, one of Kidd Pivot’s terrific dancers. Having grown up hunting and fishing, Eric is passionate about making the dance field ecologically responsible. And he has the wit—and stamina—to convince us. It’s kind of fun and a bit alarming to watch his 11-minute lecture on the subject. He jumps in first position for an unnerving amount of time, admitting every dancer’s wish to fly. While getting exhausted, he tells us of his epiphany about how all the traveling he does as a performer releases tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. In striving for sustainability, he came up with this idea of offsetting the damage done, which often involves buying an equal amount of renewable energy.
When Beauchesne gave this brilliantly bounding lecture at SFDI last year, Velocity decided to take up the challenge. This year they have pledged to offset all the greenhouse gas emissions involved in making SFDI happen.
Jennifer Monson, photo by Yi-CHun Wu
Seattle is the right city to try this in. It's one of the few large cities that has already lowered it greenhouse emissions. And this is the right dance faculty to kick off SDDI's pledge. Jennifer Monson has long been dedicated to the environment while developing her amazing approach to improvisation. “My hope in doing this,” says Velocity artistic director Tonya Lockyer, “is to increase awareness as well as reduce our footprint.”
To register for the festival, click here. And while you’re at it, check out the Strictly Seattle Festival, with local all-stars like Pat Graney, Zoe Scofield, and KT Niehoff right before SFDI on July 24 and 25.
"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.