Gretchen Smith, Jared Angle and Sara Mearns in NEW BODIES.

What Wendy's Watching: Ballet and Modern Mingle at Works & Process

The Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series is where dance artists show what they are working on and talk about it.


New York City Ballet star Sara Mearns and downtown luminary Jodi Melnick both have a larger-than-life stage presence in their separate dance genres. Mearns is used to filling the stage with grand movements, and Melnick gives style and verve to small, seemingly unconnected phrases. For this collaboration, called NEW BODIES, Melnick has guided Mearns and two other NYCB dancers to blend gesture with classical line. NEW BODIES was sold out at Works & Process last fall. This coming weekend it's being reprised with a slightly different cast: Sara Mearns, Jared Angle and Taylor Stanley, replacing the original dancer of this trio, Gretchen Smith.

Also on the program is a very unusual collaboration—a solo that Melnick created with the late Trisha Brown called One of Sixty-Five Thousand Gestures. Although Jodi never danced in the Trisha Brown Dance Company, she and Brown worked in the studio together in a conversation of shared movement. What they have in common is an interior impulse that travels through the body and is made visible by a strong sense of body design.

Catch One of Sixty-Five Thousand Gestures/NEW BODIES on Jan. 14 and 15.

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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

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Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

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Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

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