Alvin Ailey Is Getting the Full Hollywood Treatment
Here's some Monday news to rock your soul: An upcoming Fox Searchlight film about the life of Alvin Ailey just got even more enticing—Barry Jenkins, the filmmaker who won an Oscar for Moonlight, has signed on as director.
In addition to big Hollywood names, the movie will have serious dance cred.
Not only is it is being made in full cooperation with the Ailey company, producers are working closely with both Battle and artistic director emerita Judith Jamison to tell Ailey's story—and bring his choreography to life. Which hopefully means we'll get to see some gorgeous Ailey dancers doing their thing onscreen.
The script, being written by Julian Breece, will be based on dance writer Jennifer Dunning's book Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance. And, just to throw in a dash of celebrity, Alicia Keys is on board as one of the producers.
This seems to be prime time for major dance biopics. On top of recent releases about the lives of Rudolf Nureyev and Carlos Acosta, plans are also in the works for films about Michaela DePrince (directed by none other than Madonna) and, of course, Misty Copeland.
We're already getting our popcorn ready.
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?