Curtain Up

December 16, 2010

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of our “25 to Watch,” we did something different. Instead of asking our contributing editors and writers to suggest exciting artists on the brink of success, we decided to invite past “25 to Watch”-ers to choose this year’s crop. In that way, we honor past choices at the same time that we invite dance artists to give their opinions.


After we spoke with 25 of these “25-ers”—many of whom are now famous in the dance world—I was struck with how focused they are on the mind-body connection. They care about the intelligent use of the body, the ability to invest fully in choreography, and the vitality of the dance spirit. In the case of choreographers nominated, it was about their creative process rather than the finished product. Reading these interviews, I was reminded how much dancers value the mental work that goes into every tendu, every interpretation of a role, every detail that helps a dancer evolve into an artist.


At right: Daniel Ulbricht looks on as his choice, Brittany Pollack, poses for “25 to Watch”. Photo by Matthew Karas.


This year we’re introducing a new section in our education pages. In “Technique My Way,” we’ll be talking to a different dancer each month, getting the lowdown on how they keep their bodies dance-ready to do the hard work they do. As you know, training is never over for the professional dancer. How do you keep working on your weaknesses and capitalizing on your strengths? First up is Natalie Desch, a stalwart from Doug Varone and Dancers who also teaches and coaches. She speaks frankly about her warm-up, how she works on stamina, and preventing injuries.


Also new this year: We’re digging into the treasury of our past volumes—all 84 years of them—to find some gems for a new section called “From the Vault.” The first time out, we culled a review of Balanchine’s Liebeslieder Walzer from when it premiered 50 years ago. You will see on the “Letters” page that our venerable writer Doris Hering responded with immediate enchantment to this lavishly romantic ballet.


This month, our back page “Why I Dance” has morphed into “Why I Choreograph,” which will happen occasionally throughout the year. We kick off the New Year with David Parker, whose response is—no surprise—both entertaining and edifying.