Curtain Up

July 29, 2007

As a young choreographer, I felt the pull between trying to run a dance company in New York City and teaching at a college in Vermont. Because of my academic schedule, I could never put enough time into my choreography, and because of my involvement in New York, my fellow faculty members resented my off-campus creative efforts. I loved teaching, but the responsibilities of being on a faculty were so pressing that I sometimes had to put my choreographic career on hold. These days college dance departments are making more of an effort to give choreographers time to create. But what’s the trade-off for the choreographer? In “The Ivy-Covered Studio,” we hear from four acclaimed choreographers about their experiences in academia. For students, working directly with today’s choreographers plunges them into the creative soup in a way that a repertory class cannot.


The Jazz Dance World Congress is back in the saddle. After a one-year hiatus, the master classes, performances, and choreographic competition are in full swing this month in Chicago, hosted by Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. (That’s the company on our cover with their latest installment of dynamite dancing). As the Congress has continued to evolve, hip hop has played a larger role. In fact, some dancers interested in the commercial scene are now under the impression that they can just study hip hop and ditch the jazz. But is this a wise course? In “Bump vs. Break” we hear from 12 major figures, including Mia Michaels, Reginald Ray-Savage, Elizabeth Parkinson, and Shane Sparks, on where they stand on this subject.


Are we experiencing another dance boom? Millions of people are falling in love with dance-and dancers-from watching Fox’s
So You Think You Can Dance
. The teachers we talk to say their enrollment is spiking because so many kids want to dance after seeing the show. Anyone who has tuned in knows that the mastermind behind SYTYCD is executive producer and head judge, Nigel Lythgoe (aka “Nasty Nigel”). What you may not know is how far back and how deep his love of dance goes. Read Victoria Looseleaf’s profile, “A Man, A Plan, A Wildly Successful TV Show,” to find out how dance was an anchor in Lythgoe’s success story.


Wendy Perron

Editor in Chief

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