Nagahisa in La Bayadère. Photo by Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre.

25 to Watch 2018: May Nagahisa

Not many students get the opportunity to perform a variation onstage with the Mariinsky Ballet. But in April 2016, when May Nagahisa was just 15 and training at Monaco's Princess Grace Academy, the Japanese prodigy was invited to perform the Manu dance in La Bayadère with the venerable Russian company—an unprecedented honor for a non-Vaganova student.


Mariinsky director Yuri Fateyev was impressed, and just after her graduation in Monaco last June, the 17-year-old dancer started her career as a trainee in St. Petersburg. During the Mariinsky's summer tour to London, Nagahisa was assigned variations in Paquita's grand pas and La Bayadère. Her outstanding technique and épaulement made an impression, with The Telegraph praising her "ethereally light upper body." Nagahisa may well be the Mariinsky's next standout foreign soloist: Her serene classical articulation is already at home in St. Petersburg.


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

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J. Alice Jackson, Courtesy CHRP

Chicago Human Rhythm Project's Rhythm World Finally Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

What happens when a dance festival is set to celebrate a landmark anniversary, but a global pandemic has other plans?

Chicago's Rhythm World, the oldest tap festival in the country, should have enjoyed its 30th iteration last summer. Disrupted by COVID-19, it was quickly reimagined for virtual spaces with a blend of recorded and livestreamed classes. So as not to let the pandemic rob the festival of its well-deserved fanfare, it was cleverly marketed as Rhythm World 29.5.

Fortunately, the festival returns in full force this year, officially marking three decades of rhythm-making with three weeks of events, July 26 to August 15. As usual, the festival will be filled with a variety of master classes, intensive courses and performances, as well as a teacher certification program and the Youth Tap Ensemble Conference. At the helm is Chicago native Jumaane Taylor, the newly appointed festival director, who has curated both the education and performance programs. Taylor, an accomplished choreographer, came to the festival first as a young student and later as part of its faculty.

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July 2021