Curtain Up

February 23, 2009

Right in step
with the rest of the country, dancers are looking for jobs. You can get gigs through websites, bulletin boards, or word of mouth. But nowhere else will you find the sheer quantity of possibilities that we offer in our fourth annual Jobs Guide listings—more than 180 in all.


Los Angeles is still a destination for dancers looking for work. Hollywood studios have discovered how popular dance is and they’re churning out more dance movies than ever. Choreographers in L.A. are also casting dancers in TV shows, industrials, and music videos. Get a head start and read the advice of some very busy choreographers in “Don’t Get Lost in Los Angeles.”


One of the busiest is hip hop guru Shane Sparks. Equally a master of hard-hitting routines and love ballads, he has taken hip hop to new places on So You Think You Can Dance and in the movie You Got Served. And, as you’ll learn when you read Emily Macel’s “Breakin’ Out,” he’s revving up to choreograph his first Broadway musical, Dreamgirls.


As all of you know, it takes teamwork to accomplish anything in the dance world, and this month’s cover shoot is no exception. Art director Hanna Varady, writer/editor Emily Macel, web editor Alison Feller (check out her nifty video of the cover shoot at, and Shane himself were snapped (at right) by our trusty cover photographer, Matthew Karas.

On the other end
of the dance spectrum, there’s been a wave of Cinderellas in the last few years. Although some of these productions predate the recent economic slump, it seems like the right time for this story ballet to Prokofiev’s music. It’s more than a fairy tale about a neglected girl who overcomes her dreary circumstances beyond her wildest dreams. It’s also about confidence, inner nobility, and transformation. In “The Glass Slipper Diaries,” read what five ballerinas say about playing the role in productions by a range of choreographers from Ashton to Kudelka to Nebrada.

I am pleased
to announce that our dancer-written column “From the Heart: Why I Dance” now appears on the back page. We figure, what better way to end each issue than to remind us why we love doing what we do? And, for icing on the cake, the first back-page “Why I Dance” is written by one of today’s great ballerinas, Wendy Whelan.