25 to Watch 2018: Alston Macgill
The most interesting dancers are the ones who aren't quite knowable. Watch New York City Ballet corps member Alston Macgill in Peter Martins' blazing Fearful Symmetries, and you might peg her as the kind of speed-demon powerhouse who's most lethal in contemporary works. Watch her as the high-flying third-movement soloist in Balanchine's Symphony in C, and you'll notice a grander, more majestic sweep to her dancing, an easy command of the stage that feels inherently classical. She's a natural "leotard ballet" dancer; she's a natural "tutu ballet" dancer. She's just a natural.
Macgill with Harrison Ball in Symphony in C. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB
Macgill, who has only been in the corps for a year and a half, has already built an impressive roster of roles. (In fact, she first danced the Symphony in C soloist part as an apprentice.) A favorite of choreographers, she has originated parts in Nicholas Blanc's Mothership and Lauren Lovette's For Clara. Look for her to expand her repertoire—and show us as-yet-undiscovered sides of her artistry.
William Forsythe is bringing his multi-faceted genius to New York City in stripped down form. His "Quiet Evening of Dance," a mix of new and recycled work now at The Shed until October 25, is co-commissioned with Sadler's Wells in London (and a slew of European presenters).
As always, Forsythe's choreography is a layered experience, both kinetic and intellectual. This North American premiere prompted many thoughts, which I whittled down to seven.
"Law & Order: SVU" has dominated the crime show genre for 21 seasons with its famous "ripped from the headlines" strategy of taking plot inspiration from real-life crimes.
So viewers would be forgiven for assuming that the new storyline following the son of Mariska Hargitay's character into dance class originated in the news cycle. After all, the mainstream media widely covered the reaction to Lara Spencer's faux pas on "Good Morning America" in August, when she made fun of Prince George for taking ballet class.
But it turns out
, the storyline was actually the idea of the 9-year-old actor, Ryan Buggle, who plays Hargitay's son. And he came up with it before Spencer ever giggled at the word ballet.
Just hearing the word "improvisation" is enough to make some ballet dancers shake in their pointe shoes. But for Chantelle Pianetta, it's a practice she relishes. Depending on the weekend, you might find her gracing Bay Area stages as a principal with Menlowe Ballet or sweeping in awards at West Coast swing competitions.
She specializes in Jack and Jill events, which involve improvised swing dancing with an unexpected partner in front of a panel of judges. (Check her out in action below.) While sustaining her ballet career, over the past four years Pianetta has quickly risen from novice to champion level on the WCS international competition circuit.