Could Break Dancing Be Added to the Olympics?
You might still be thinking wistfully of the figure skating choreography at the 2018 Winter Olympics or already looking forward to the gymnastics competition at next summer's games, but we're officially marking our calendars for Paris 2024. Why? There's an excellent chance that break dancing will make its Olympic debut.
The head of the planning committee for the Paris 2024 games, Tony Estanguet, announced today that break dancing was one of the four new proposed events. Its inclusion is contingent upon approval from the International Olympic Committee, which is expected to make a decision after the conclusion of the Tokyo 2020 games. The other three new proposals for Paris—skateboarding, climbing and surfing—will debut as medal events next summer.
If you're wondering how a break-dancing competition can be organized to result in three clear medalists, the model used at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires provides a possible road map. There were three categories: men's breaking, women's breaking and mixed-team breaking, which featured one man and one woman. (If approved, it's expected that the mixed-team category will be dropped for Paris 2024).
The youth competition was broken into three phrases: an individual performance that narrowed the field, a round-robin series of one-on-one battles, and a final knockout battle round between the top four remaining competitors. The "Trivium Value System" the judges used to evaluate competitors assesses physical quality, interpretive quality and artistic quality.
If break dancing does get the go-ahead to debut as an Olympic sport in 2024, we're curious to see how the judging system is codified, and how it might change the form. (Just take a look at the way figure skating shifted its priorities for program composition after the current scoring system became mandatory at all international competitions, including the Olympics, in 2006.) And while break dancing already has a robust infrastructure of competition circuits to help make the transition seem natural, might its inclusion pave the way for of other genres of dance?
In the meantime, we'll be mentally crafting our dream crew to represent Team USA in 2024. Which rising break dancers would you want to see?
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As you're prepping your Thanksgiving meal, why not throw in a dash of dance?
This year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is stuffed (pun intended) with performances from four stellar Broadway shows, the Radio City Rockettes and students from three New York City dance institutions.
Tune in to NBC November 28 from 9 am to noon (in all time zones), or catch the rebroadcast at 2 pm (also in all time zones). Here's what's in store:
Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.
"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."
Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.
Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:
Last week, Variety reported that Sergei Polunin would reunite with the team behind Dancer for another documentary. "Where 'Dancer' looked at his whole life, family and influences," director Steven Cantor said, " 'Satori' will focus more squarely on his creative process as performer and, for the first time ever, choreographer." The title references a poorly received evening of work by the same name first presented by Polunin in 2017. (It recently toured to Moscow and St. Petersburg.)
I cannot be the only person wondering why we should care.
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.