Choreographer Janis Claxton Has Died
Australian choreographer Janis Claxton passed away this morning after a brief battle with lung cancer, which was diagnosed this spring. She was 53.
In addition to being a prolific and wide-ranging choreographer and producer, Claxton was outspoken about issues of gender inequality in dance. Though less well-known in the U.S., her company, Janis Claxton Dance, made history this summer as only the second Scottish company to ever be invited to perform at Jacob's Pillow. Much of her work focused on making dance less intimidating, and on finding an "accidental audience," such as in POP-UP Duets (fragments of love), the 2016 work her company brought to the Pillow this summer. In it, four dancers in numerous pairings emerge from public spaces to perform short duets, each presenting a different snapshot of a relationship.
I was fortunate enough to catch the work during Lincoln Center Out of Doors last month. The work is so beautifully, intelligently composed as to be intriguing for the dance aficionado, but bite-sized and approachable enough that random passersby were drawn in, pausing to stay still and watch for a time. It's hypnotic, enchanting and entertaining, and impossible not to be moved by. Circling the fountain to watch the various duets emerge around the plaza stands as my favorite performance experience I've had this summer.
Janis Claxton Dance is currently on tour with POP-UP Duets and will continue, as scheduled, with its next engagement in November.
Our thoughts are with her family and friends.
- Janis Claxton Dance: POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) - Jacob's ... ›
- Pop-Up Duets ›
- POP-UP DUETS (fragments of love) - YouTube ›
- POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) – Janis Claxton ›
- Janis Claxton Dance Performs at The Clark | Jacob's Pillow ›
- POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) on Vimeo ›
- Janis Claxton (@janisclaxton) | Twitter ›
- Janis Claxton – Choreographer ›
By the Sunday evening of a long convention weekend, you can expect to be thoroughly exhausted and a little sore. But you shouldn't leave the hotel ballroom actually hurt. Although conventions can be filled with magical opportunities, the potential for injury is higher than usual.
Keep your body safe: Watch out for these four common hazards.
For a Broadway dancer, few opportunities are more exciting than being part of the creation of an original show. But if that show goes on to become wildly successful, who reaps the benefits? Thanks to a new deal between Actors' Equity Association and The Broadway League, performers involved in a production's development will now receive their own cut of the earnings.
Jellicle obsessives, rejoice: There's a new video out that offers a (surprisingly substantive) look at the dancing that went down on the set of the new CATS movie.
When Dr. Mae Jemison was growing up, she was obsessed with space. But she didn't see any astronauts who looked like her.
"I said, Wait a minute. Why are all the astronauts white males?" she recounts in a CNN video. "What if the aliens saw them and said, Are these the only people on Earth?"