Caleb Teicher's First Evening-Length Takes Place in a Sandbox
With a style that fuses tap dance, Lindy hop and vernacular jazz, Caleb Teicher has quickly proven himself a choreographic force to be reckoned with. After becoming known as a Bessie Award–winning member of Michelle Dorrance's company (and a DM "25 to Watch" pick in 2012), Teicher started his own troupe in 2015. Since then, he's presented at high-profile venues like The Joyce and Jacob's Pillow's Inside/Out stage, and last year he was commissioned by New York City Center's popular Fall for Dance festival. This month, Caleb Teicher & Company will premiere its first evening-length work, More Forever, commissioned by Works & Process at the Guggenheim.
Tell us about More Forever.
We've built a custom sandbox which is 24 feet by 24 feet, and over the course of the piece we accumulate a thin layer of sand on the floor—so the sound we're making is a leather-soled shoe meeting a wood floor, with sand in between. In a very poetic sense, the piece is about the passage of time and the relationships we make with other people, the sadness and beauty of watching people come and go in our lives.
What got you interested in sand?
I was excited by the idea of putting a group of people onstage with sand in a space where you can really move around. Most sand dancing is done on a very small platform, and it's one person dancing at a time. There are so many interesting visual and musical possibilities with sand. When you drag your foot along the floor, you can have a sustained sound, and it just opens up a whole new world. Tap is a form where you mean to make a particular sound, and in Lindy hop and vernacular jazz, sound is sort of a byproduct—stomping and clapping and footfalls. We're using all those forms so that we have a really rich palette to hear and see.
Caleb Teicher. Photo by Em Watson, Courtesy Michelle Tabnick Public Relations
How was collaborating with pianist and composer Conrad Tao?
We met through the National YoungArts Foundation—we were both finalists in 2011. I found him to be supremely talented from a technical perspective, but also so expressive. Conrad says this is his first time writing music with dance, because the dancing we're doing makes sounds. Conrad is playing piano, but he's also using some electronics and some toy piano.
Toy piano—like a Peanuts cartoon. It has a beautiful, music box kind of sound. We were trying to figure out how to get him into the sandbox with us, because he really feels like part of the group—he's not just accompanying. The easiest way to do that was to find an instrument that he could play without sitting at the grand piano. Part of how we've staged the work is to relate to Conrad as a physical presence, not just a musical one. There's also a moment in the show where he plays a grand piano and a toy piano simultaneously.
Caleb Teicher & Company performing at Fall for Dance. Photo by Em Watson, Courtesy Michelle Tabnick Public Relations
What are some of the other challenges that came up?
This company is still small and young and new, so everything feels huge. I've said recently that putting on a live performance is like planning a wedding. Our ideas are ambitious and adventurous, and kind of logistically complicated, but we're pushing through to get to this thing that we are so excited about and we really love. The work is totally worth it.
- Caleb Teicher & Co. with Conrad Tao: More Forever - YouTube ›
- CT&Co Upcoming — Caleb Teicher ›
- More Forever Trailer - Caleb Teicher & Company with Conrad Tao ... ›
- Caleb Teicher (@calebteicher) • Instagram photos and videos ›
- Caleb Teicher & Co. with Conrad Tao: More Forever ›
- Caleb Teicher is tapping his way to the top of the dance world ... ›
- Caleb Teicher ›
When a musical prepares to make the transfer from a smaller, lesser-known venue to Broadway (where theaters hold 500-plus seats), often there's a collective intake of breath from all involved. After all, a bigger house means more tickets to sell in order to stay in the black, and sometimes shows with even the most tenacious fan bases can't quite navigate such a jump. But what about the transfer from stage…to screen? Is Broadway ready to be consumed from the comfort of your couch?
The way we create and consume dance is changing every day. Now more than ever, the field demands that dancers not only be able to perform at the highest level, but also collaborate with choreographers to bring their artistic visions to life. Dancers who miss out on choreographic training may very well find themselves at a disadvantage as they try to launch their careers.
Daphne Lee was dancing with Collage Dance Collective in Memphis, Tennessee, when she received two difficult pieces of news: Her mother had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer, and her father had Parkinson's disease, affecting his mobility and mental faculties.
The New Jersey native's reaction: "I really need to move home."
Summer is almost upon us, and whether you're a student about to go on break or a pro counting the days till layoff, don't forget that with warm weather comes a very serious responsibility: To maintain your cross-training routine on your own.
Those of us who've tried to craft our own cross-training routine know it's easier said than done. So we consulted the stars, and rounded up the best options for every zodiac sign. (TBH, you should probably consult an expert, too—we'd recommend a physical therapist, a personal trainer or your teacher.)
It's not often that a promising choreographer gets to stage work in a world-class theater, on a skillfully-curated program with professional dancers, and with the possibility of winning a substantial cash prize. But at the McCallum Theatre's Palm Desert Choreography Festival, that's been the status quo for over twenty years.
Since Shea New, the festival's artistic director, founded the festival in 1998, she's worked tirelessly with McCallum's director of education and festival producer, Kajsa Thuresson-Frary, and stage manager and festival production manager Joanna Fookes to build a festival that nurtures choreographers, highlights high quality work, powerfully engages the local community and cultivates an audience base for dance in the Coachella Valley. The trio is backed by a strong team of professionals at McCallum and the brilliant volunteers from the local and national level who serve as adjudicators.
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It's become second nature in dance studios: The instant anyone gets hurt, our immediate reaction is to run to the freezer to grab some ice (or, more realistically, a package of frozen peas).
But as routine as icing our injuries might be, the benefits are not actually backed up by scientific studies. And some experts now believe icing could even disrupt the healing process.
I'm a contemporary dancer, and I'm nervous about trying to get pregnant since I can't predict if it might happen during the middle of the season. We have a union contract that is supposed to protect us. But I'm scared because several of my colleagues' contracts weren't renewed for no particular reason. Having a big belly could be a big reason to get rid of me!
—Andrea, New York, NY
When the going gets tough, the tough start dancing: That's the premise behind "Dance of Urgency," a recently opened exhibit at MuseumsQuartier Vienna that features photos, video and other documentary material relating to the use of dance as political protest or social uprising.
The groups featured in the show, largely based around clubs and electronic dance music scenes, span the globe and respond to a variety of issues—from inequality and social stratification to racial divides to crackdowns on club culture itself.
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, fabulous ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several of our faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list:
When you're a foreign dancer, gaining legal rights to work in the U.S. is a challenging process. It's especially difficult if you're petitioning to work as a freelance dancer without an agent or company sponsorship.
The process requires professional muscle along with plenty of resources and heart. "There's a real misnomer that it's super easy," says Neena Dutta, immigration attorney and president of Dutta Law Firm. "People need to educate themselves and talk to a professional."
Here are four things every foreign dancer who wants to work in the U.S. needs to know to build a freelance dance career here.
What does it take to "make it" in dance? It's no secret that turning this passion into a profession can be a struggle. In such a competitive field, talent alone isn't enough to get you where you want to be.
So what kinds of steps can you take to become successful? Dance Magazine spoke to 33 people from all corners of the industry to get their advice on the lessons that could help us all, no matter where we are in our careers.
On May 18, 1919, Margot "Peggy" Hookham was born. She would grow up to become Dame Margot Fonteyn, England's first homegrown prima ballerina. She joined the Sadler's Wells School in 1934 and was performing principal roles with the precursor to The Royal Ballet the next year. Fonteyn was a company-defining figure, dancing Aurora for the re-opening of the Royal Opera House after World War II, creating numerous roles with Sir Frederick Ashton and forging a legendary partnership with Rudolf Nureyev.
Memorial Day is notoriously one of Chicago's bloodiest weekends. Last year, 36 people were shot and seven died that weekend. In 2017 and 2016, the number of shootings was even higher.
When Garley "GiGi Tonyé" Briggs, a dance teacher and Chicago native, started noticing this pattern, she was preparing her second annual Memorial Day workshop for local youth.
The event's original aim was simple: "I wanted the youth of Chicago to have somewhere they could come and learn from different dancers and be off the streets on the South Side on this hot holiday," she says.