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.
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.
Sean Dorsey was always going to be an activist. Growing up in a politically engaged, progressive family in Vancouver, British Columbia, "it was my heart's desire to create change in the world," he says. Far less certain was his future as a dancer.
Like many dancers, Dorsey fell in love with movement as a toddler. However, he didn't identify strongly with any particular gender growing up. Dorsey, who now identifies as trans, says, "I didn't see a single person like me anywhere in the modern dance world." The lack of trans role models and teachers, let alone all-gender studio facilities where he could feel safe and welcome, "meant that even in my wildest dreams, there was no room for that possibility."
It's hour three of an intense rehearsal, you're feeling mentally foggy and exhausted, and your stomach hurts. Did you know the culprit could be something as simple as dehydration?
Proper hydration helps maintain physical and mental function while you're dancing, and keeps your energy levels high. But with so many products on the market promising to help you rehydrate more effectively, how do you know when it's time to reach for more than water?