Curtain Up

July 24, 2007
This month we’re taking you on a tour of different places, genres, and states of mind. In the feature pages you can join Charlotte d’Amboise on her Broadway roller coaster ride, admire the energy and versatility of the Hubbard Street dancers in Chicago, and be a fly on the wall when ballerinas meet their pointe shoe makers. In “Dance Matters” we get the scoop on the sudden change in leadership at the Martha Graham Center and cruise the set of a new Hollywood movie by John Turturro. In “Attitudes” we visit Moscow with Clive Barnes, and in “Teacher’s Wisdom” we go to Cincinnati for a ballet class with the cherished Devon Carney. In “Reviews & Previews” we get an overview of the winter/spring San Francisco Ballet season and a glimpse of William Forsythe’s new company in Germany (and there are more reviews at “On the Rise” takes us to Portland, Oregon, where Leann Underwood has reached an astonishing level of artistry at the age of 16.
“On the Rise,” by the way, is an incarnation of a Dance Magazine column called “Dancers You Should Know” from the ’50s and ’60s. As a hopeful young dance student, I always turned first—with mouth-watering dance lust—to that section, which profiled Eric Bruhn, Paul Taylor, Peter Genarro, Yuriko, Jillana, Judith Jamison, Donald McKayle, Carmen de Lavallade, and Martine van Hamel at the dawn of their careers. Who knew then that they would each make a huge contribution to the art of dance?
Examples of this popular series are now displayed as part of an exhibit at Jacob’s Pillow called “Lost, Found, Restored.” But the exhibit (open for the entire Pillow season) is more than a nostalgia-fest. It also includes a section called “Masters of Movement,” taken from Rose Eichenbaum’s new book of the same title which includes, as it happens, Taylor, de Lavallade, Jamison, and McKayle. So, in a single visit, you can catch very different moments in the long lives of these beloved artists and mentors.
Which of today’s young “On the Rise” subjects will become treasured “masters” in the future—Prince Credell, who elicits gasps when he dances with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet?  Michelle Dorrance, whose name is on the tip of the tongues of tap insiders? Polina Semionova, who is now acknowledged as
ballerina of the Berlin State Ballet? It’s impossible to know. What is inspiring is that these young people are causing excitement onstage right now. Whether they eventually become recognized as great and timeless artists is part of the mystery and joy of the dance world.
Wendy Perron
Editor in Chief