Photo by Nathan Sayers

25 to Watch 2018: Leal Zielińska

There's something about Leal Zielińska that defies easy explanation. In stillness, she captivates, flirting with androgyny yet remaining unapologetically feminine, her gaze at once frank and mysterious. In motion, her fierce athleticism seems at odds with her almost-ungainly facility, contorting into positions that beggar believability and then staying there too long for comfort.

She doesn't shy away from awkwardness but instead leans into it. Somehow these paradoxes resolve into a magnetic performance quality that makes the Polish-born dancer impossible to look away from, as well as a perfect conduit for Sidra Bell's bizarre, audacious, sometimes voyeuristic work.


Find out who else made Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" list this year.

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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