Mary Grace McNally's "Not for Picking" (Rachel Papo for Dance Teacher)
What's better than a competition that gives promising choreographers a whole bunch of funding? How about a competition that also puts on a must-see show as part of the process? That's the genius model of the Capezio A.C.E. Awards. Every year since 2009, the contest has brought upwards of a dozen finalists, selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants, to present their choreography in a fabulous showcase at the Dance Teacher Summit. On Saturday night, we got to see the work of no fewer than 21(!) talented finalists in this year's performance.
The judging panel—whose task we did not envy—featured boldface names Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Tessandra Chavez, and Dance Magazine Editor in Chief Jennifer Stahl. Who'd they select for the top prizes? The winners are...
She's an incredibly gifted 18-year-old student at the Kirov Academy of Ballet with lines for dayyyyys. She's also transgender. And describing her as inspiring is a bit of an understatement.
Jay began transitioning relatively recently, and has been documenting her journey on Instagram. She's an active advocate for transgender youth, the kind of role model that so many young people—inside and outside of the dance world—need right now.
Because who doesn't want their feet to look as gorgeous as Sara's? (Photo by Christopher Lane)
Ah, the quest for the perfect, foot-flattering, technique-enhancing pointe shoe: It can feel like a never-ending saga. Still on the hunt for that ideal pair? Then you won't want to miss The School at Steps' annual Pointe Shoe Workshop and Fair, happening this Sunday, April 22nd, at 6:30 pm in NYC.
As always, the event—which is sponsored by our friends at Pointe—will feature an impressive panel of experts. This year's lineup includes orthopedist Dr. Andrew Price, professional fitter Mary Carpenter, master teacher Linda Gelinas, Pointe style editor Marissa DeSantis, and New York City Ballet star Sara Mearns (eee!).
We're no strangers to Spike Jonze's delightfully dancy ads. But the brilliant director's newest video, a promotion for Apple's HomePod, could be his best yet—in no small part because it features the impressive dance skills of the equally brilliant FKA twigs.
(Fun fact: twigs was a backup dancer for the likes of Kylie Minogue and Jessie J before she became a musical sensation in her own right. She is LEGIT.)
Ashley Wallen's choreography brought The Greatest Showman to life. (Photo by Niko Tavernise, courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)
The 2018 Oscar noms are here. Which is fun and all; we'll never not get excited about a night of glitz and glamor and, when we're lucky, pretty greatdancing. But we'd be a heck of a lot more excited if the Academy Awards included a Best Choreography category. And really—why don't they?
Last year, La La Land's Oscars domination (FOURTEEN nominations) made the fact that Mandy Moore couldn't be recognized for her fantastic choreo—a huge, indisputable part of the film's success—seem especially cruel. This year, it feels weird not to recognize the dance contributions of Ashley Wallen (The Greatest Showman), Anthony Van Laast (Beauty and the Beast), and Aurélie Dupont (Leap!), to name just a few.
We may not all speak the same language, but we can all "speak" dance—an idea that's celebrated in a totally joyful new short film, "Rue Montorgueil." Featuring Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater members grooving alongside people of all different backgrounds and nationalities in one of Paris' most famous streets, the video is a beautiful illustration of dance's universal appeal.