Danielle Agami's edgy sensibility and intoxicating movement quality have made her troupe, Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY, one of the most sought-after on the West Coast. We spent a day with the former Batsheva dancer to see how she runs her rehearsals, what she looks for in dancers and what she does in her downtime (spoiler alert: it involves her adorable dog).
Choreographer and Gallim Dance artistic director Andrea Miller is known for visceral, imaginative work, where dancers can seem to do the impossible. She sat down with Dance Magazine editor at large Wendy Perron as part of our "Choreography in Focus" series to discuss rule-breaking, how Batsheva changed her and more:
If you want to take more risks in your partnering (or just love jaw-dropping dance videos), we found the perfect inspiration: Amir Guetta and Hemda Ben Zvi. This amazing duo from Israel specializes in an acrobatic circus technique called "hand to hand" blended with creative choreography and influences from martial arts, like capoeira.
The result is a seemingly effortless flow of weight-sharing, leaping, catching, falling and balancing, not to mention a constant questioning of how-did-they-do-that? While most of their routines are choreographed, they "listen" with their bodies in a way that's reminiscent of contact improvisation.
In Rachid Ouramdane's Tenir le temps, Annie Hanauer articulates the choreography with unforced precision, her natural demeanor and smooth transitions the perfect fit for Ouramdane's undulating, abstract patterns. Few seem to notice that there is something slightly different about her: Hanauer was born missing part of her left arm, and now has a prosthetic one.
Hanauer, 30, has achieved what many thought impossible for a performer with a disability: a thriving career in the mainstream dance world. After performing with the UK's Candoco Dance Company from 2008 to 2014, she is now an in-demand freelancer, and a tall, striking presence in the works of contemporary choreographers Emanuel Gat and Ouramdane.
Born in Minnesota, Hanauer started taking a range of classes at a local studio when she was 10. Both her family and dance teachers were supportive: "I was never excluded," she says. "It was recreational, but when I got to the age of 16, I was taking class every night."
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I have never known a life without dance. Born into a world of dancers, studios and theaters were my playground. I'm pretty sure I even listened to the scores of the ballet classics when I was still inside of my mother's belly. My mother and father often danced together, being in the same professional company.
Photo by Alexander Iziliaev
Today, they continue to work in the ballet world as teachers. My mother has her own school, which is where I started dancing. Even though at first I hated ballet, everyone predicted that I would eventually follow in their footsteps. They were right.
Rauf Yasit, aka "RubberLegz," has a style that defies categorization. He calls it "a mix of flexibility, yoga, contemporary dance and breaking." And we call it jaw-dropping.
Known for contorting his body into seemingly impossible shapes, the German dancer has worked with choreographers like William Forsythe, been a finalist on Switzerland's Got Talent and traveled the world performing on concert stages and streets alike.
The secret to his magic? Perseverance. "I started from zero and wasn't flexible at all," he says. "It took me years to reach this level."
Can you remember that instant when you landed on another continent and suddenly everything was foreign? My first impression? Holy Shit it is Hot (the kind of heat that fogs up your retina)! The sights, the sounds, the light, the scent (think diesel cars and BO) and the lifestyle all seem to be of another world. But it also doesn't take long to realize that lifestyle really doesn't matter very much, that we are all a part of the human community regardless if you have a roof over your head or shoes on your feet, we all have the same needs—to love and to dance.
And dance we do. We are on a mission to dance—to dance hard, to teach, to learn, to share, to exchange our worlds and we have endless hash-tags to prove it—#dancediplomacy, #culturalexchange, #DMUSA, #KCoDMUSA.
Keigwin + Company is doing a four-week long residency in Africa this month, performing, teaching, leading workshops and dancing together with fellow artists from another continent. It's a cross-cultural exchange set up by DanceMotion USASM, a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department, produced by the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
One of three contemporary companies chosen for the sixth year of the initiative, K + C started in Cote d'Ivoire, is currently in Ethiopia, and will soon make its way to Tunisia. They shared some of the amazing footage taken on their first stop with Dance Magazine. Take a peek, and follow the company's upcoming adventures on Storify.