A Dance Hall of Fame Launches in Los Angeles
With so much dance in pop culture these days—from TV shows like "Fosse/Verdon" and "Pose" to the resurgence of movie musicals to movement-rich music videos—it's not surprising that the entertainment industry has decided to tip its hat to dance.
This week, plans for a Los Angeles–based Dance Hall of Fame were announced.
The organization, helmed by Emmy-award winning director Louis J. Horvitz and Emmy-award winning choreographer Anita Mann, will recognize its inaugural Hall of Fame members at a live televised gala in fall 2020. (Given our ongoing lament that the Tonys doesn't air the presentation of its Best Choreography awards, we're delighted to hear that dance will be getting dedicated airtime. Finally!)
According to a press release, the Dance Hall of Fame will honor "dancers, choreographers, dance-related film directors, dance teams, dance visionaries and others who have made an indelible mark in the industry."
Though its founders are based in the entertainment industry, the honorees won't necessarily be limited to those who work in TV and film. The release states that the Dance Hall of Fame will "embrace and recognize all forms of dance, including ballet, hip-hop, tap, ballroom, jazz, contemporary, ensemble and solo dance for both stage and screen." The founders also confirmed that concert dance will be a consideration.
While we're certainly excited to see another platform celebrating dance, it's important to note that this isn't the first hall of fame for all genres of dance. The National Museum of Dance, based in Saratoga Springs, New York, houses its own Dance Hall of Fame, which has been recognizing past and present figures since 1987.
In addition to its awards gala, the L.A.-based Dance Hall of Fame has inherited a video archive from Kurt and Melinda Soderling. According to the organization, the Soderlings have provided thousands of hours of never-before-seen footage, including interviews and glimpses behind the scenes with legends and younger artists alike.
If "Fosse/Verdon" whet your appetite for the impeccable Gwen Verdon, then Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon is the three-course meal you've been craving. The new documentary—available now on Amazon for rental or purchase—dives into the life of the Tony-winning performer and silver-screen star lauded for her charismatic dancing.
Though she's perhaps most well-known today as Bob Fosse's wife and muse, that's not even half of her story. For starters, she'd already won four Tonys before they wed, making her far more famous in the public eye than he was at that point in his career. That's just one of many surprising details we learned during last night's U.S. premiere of Merely Marvelous. Believe us: You're gonna love her even more once you get to know her. Here are eight lesser-known tidbits to get you started.
Every dancer knows that how you fuel your body affects how you feel in the studio. Of course, while breakfast is no more magical than any other meal (despite the enduring myth that it's the most important one of the day), showing up to class hangry is a recipe for unproductive studio time.
So what do your favorite dancers eat in the morning to set themselves up for a busy rehearsal or performance day?
When it comes to dance in the U.S., companies in the South often find themselves overlooked—sometimes even by the presenters in their own backyard. That's where South Arts comes in. This year, the regional nonprofit launched Momentum, an initiative that will provide professional development, mentorship, touring grants and residencies to five Southern dance companies.
You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)
Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of: