25 to Watch 2018: Alice Klock
Densely dimensional, unpredictable, strangely graceful and wild, Alice Klock's dances are like elegant ribbons caught in hopelessly tangled knots. In 2018, she'll choreograph more works than she did the year before, extending a trajectory that's continued throughout her still-brief career.
While her early premieres were in-house affairs at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, where she also dances, Klock is increasingly sought-after as a guest choreographer. She has recently added to her resumé the International Beethoven Project, Neos Dance Theatre, the Nexus Project, NW Dance Project, Visceral Dance Chicago and, later this year, Whim W'Him.
Hubbard Street asked the willowy wunderkind, now 29, to be its second-ever Choreographic Fellow beginning last fall. She and Hubbard Street artistic director Glenn Edgerton redesigned the position, orginated by Alejandro Cerrudo, to allow Klock greater flexibility in pursuing freelance opportunities while fulfilling her performance duties during her seventh season with the company.
"I'm excited to grow that position and to do everything I can with it," she says, while noting that her other two titles—dancer and (prolific) painter—remain just as important.
"Strangely enough, those three facets of my artistic self feel like very different beings," says Klock, who shares her artwork on klockonian.com. "Each of them uses its own part of my creativity, but they all perfectly triangulate each other, which keeps me balanced."
Michele Byrd-McPhee's uncle was a DJ for the local black radio station in Philadelphia, where she was born. As a kid she was always dancing to the latest music, including a new form of powerful poetry laid over pulsing beats that was the beginning of what we now call hip hop.
Byrd-McPhee became enamored of the form and went on to a career as a hip-hop dancer and choreographer, eventually founding the Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival and directing the New York City chapter of Everybody Dance Now!. Over the decades, she has experienced hip hop's growth from its roots in the black community into a global phenomenon—a trajectory she views with both pride and caution.
On one hand, the popularity of hip hop has "made a global impact," says Byrd-McPhee. "It's provided a voice for so many people around the world." The downside is "it's used globally in ways that the people who made the culture don't benefit from it."
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
Every dancer knows there's as much magic taking place backstage as there is in what the audience sees onstage. Behind the scenes, it takes a village, says American Ballet Theatre's wig and makeup supervisor, Rena Most. With wig and makeup preparations happening in a studio of their own as the dancers rehearse, Most and her team work to make sure not a single detail is lost.
Dance Magazine recently spoke to Most to find out what actually goes into the hair and makeup looks audiences see on the ABT stage.