Curtain Up

December 31, 2012

We like to start the new year with new faces, and that’s why we bring you our “25 to Watch” in January. This year we’ve gathered dancers and groups from New York to Nashville, Vancouver to Moscow. Our cover subject, Frances Chiaverini, who shines in contemporary ballet, is currently gliding and glistening through the complex repertoire of Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project.


I felt privileged last spring to be let into the inner sanctum of the Bolshoi. Before the Benois de la Danse gala, held in the lavishly restored Bolshoi Palace (oops, I mean Theater), I saw Edwaard Liang rehearse his duet Distant Cries with ballerina Svetlana Zakharova in a huge upstairs studio. And I met with artistic director Sergei Filin in his office. As you can see from “Inside Sergei Filin’s Bolshoi Ballet,” he was delightfully candid with me. But the best part—the really giddy part—was his raucous demonstration of the wrong way for Albrecht to react to Giselle’s death. All I can say is, it was hilarious!


Has any dancer ever gone pro without at least one summer intensive? It’s the time to work, work, work and dig into the genre of your choice. This month our “Summer Study Guide” reports on three small-scale ballet intensives in New York City, including the opportunity to work directly with the legendary Gelsey Kirkland. We also found alternative programs that embrace risk-taking, like the Swamp Dance Fest at the University of Florida, and a new musical theater intensive that helps students with artistic expression as much as technique.


Even if you haven’t seen Sleep No More, you may have heard about it. Word travels like wildfire when a performance attracts this kind of cult following. This “immersive” experience in an old warehouse in Manhattan is like no other. For the audience, it’s a wild ride into the imagination. And for the performers—well, read “Harrowing Beauty,” in which we talk to three of the amazing dancer/actors who help create the magic of Sleep No More every night.

Wishing you a happy new year and some new faces in your dance house.