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?
- Breaking: Can dance make the Olympics more urban? - BBC News ›
- Break dancing among new events proposed for 2024 Olympics ... ›
- Get Ready for Olympic Break Dancing - The New York Times ›
Capezio, Bloch, So Dança, Gaynor Minden.
At the top of the line, dancers have plenty of quality footwear options to choose from, and in most metropolitan areas, stores to go try them on. But for many of North America's most economically disadvantaged dance students, there has often been just one option for purchasing footwear in person: Payless ShoeSource.
When Sonya Tayeh saw Moulin Rouge! for the first time, on opening night at a movie theater in Detroit, she remembers not only being inspired by the story, but noticing the way it was filmed.
"What struck me the most was the pace, and the erratic feeling it had," she says. The camera's quick shifts and angles reminded her of bodies in motion. "I was like, 'What is this movie? This is so insane and marvelous and excessive,' " she says. "And excessive is I think how I approach dance. I enjoy the challenge of swiftness, and the pushing of the body. I love piling on a lot of vocabulary and seeing what comes out."
Back when Robbie Fairchild graced the cover of the May 2018 issue of Dance Magazine, he mentioned an idea for a short dance film he was toying around with. That idea has now come to fruition: In This Life, starring Fairchild and directed by dance filmmaker Bat-Sheva Guez, is being screened at this year's Dance on Camera Festival.
While the film itself covers heavy material—specifically, how we deal with grief and loss—the making of it was anything but: "It was really weird to have so much fun filming a piece about grief!" Fairchild laughs. We caught up with him, Guez and Christopher Wheeldon (one of In This Life's five choreographers) to find out what went into creating the 11-minute short film.
When Hollywood needs to build a fantasy world populated with extraordinary creatures, they call Terry Notary.
The former gymnast and circus performer got his start in film in 2000 when Ron Howard asked him to teach the actors how to move like Whos for How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Notary has since served as a movement choreographer, stunt coordinator and performer via motion capture technology for everything from the Planet of the Apes series to The Hobbit trilogy, Avatar, Avengers: Endgame and this summer's The Lion King.
Since opening the Industry Dance Academy with his wife, Rhonda, and partners Maia and Richard Suckle, Notary also offers movement workshops for actors in Los Angeles.