From Jerome Robbins to Lucinda Childs to Doug Elkins to Jirí Kylián, it's not easy to name a choreographer who hasn't taken on one of Philip Glass' propulsive scores. Dance Magazine is honoring the prolific composer on December 9 with a 2013 Dance Magazine Award*; other awardees are Mats Ek, Martha Clarke, Patricia Wilde and Yuan Yuan Tan. Glass will be the first composer since Aaron Copeland (in 1979) to receive this award.
Einstein on the Beach, Glass' 1976 collaboration with Andy DeGroat, Lucinda Childs and director Robert Wilson, was one of the first operas that put Glass on the radar of other choreographers. The epic, 5-hour work continues to be remounted at various venues worldwide; it was most recently performed by the LA Opera in October. Take a look at this video to watch a conversation between Childs and Glass (moderated by Mark Swed) at University of California–Berkeley. Here's an excerpt of the piece, performed in Mexico City:
Houston Ballet in Tharp's In the Upper Room Photo by Amitava Sarkar
Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room (1986) is a classic Glass ballet with true staying power. Miami City Ballet's Jennifer Kronenberg described performing it in 2009: "It was tough to get at it and through it—like learning to take a deep breath and relax in the middle of a storm." Here is a glimpse of Miami City Ballet performing In the Upper Room:
Muriel Maffre and Pierre-François Vilanoba in Robbin's Glass Pieces Photo by Erik Tomasson
One of my favorite dance pieces set to Glass is Jerome Robbins' Glass Pieces (1983). In the video (below) from 2010, you'll see clips of Pacific Northwest Ballet rehearsing the work. And for some performance footage, click here to watch New York City Ballet's video, which features Georgina Pazcoguin and Adrian Danchig-Waring discussing it.
Most recently, Glass created a new piece just this year for the Memphis jooker Lil Buck. Staged by Damiam Woetzel, the work premiered at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge in April, accompanied by cellist Yo Yo Ma. On Monday December 9, Woetzel will present the Dance Magazine Award to Glass.
*The awards ceremony at The Ailey Citigroup Theater in NYC is open to the public with a reception immediately following. Tickets are available for $50; contact Ashley Mathus at 212-979-4872 or email@example.com.
Fox produced a live broadcast of Rent in January—but could an original musical be next? Photo by Kevin Estrada, Courtesy Fox
When a musical prepares to make the transfer from a smaller, lesser-known venue to Broadway (where theaters hold 500-plus seats), often there's a collective intake of breath from all involved. After all, a bigger house means more tickets to sell in order to stay in the black, and sometimes shows with even the most tenacious fan bases can't quite navigate such a jump. But what about the transfer from stage…to screen? Is Broadway ready to be consumed from the comfort of your couch?
Hive by Boston Conservatory student Alyssa Markowitz. Photo by Jim Coleman
The way we create and consume dance is changing every day. Now more than ever, the field demands that dancers not only be able to perform at the highest level, but also collaborate with choreographers to bring their artistic visions to life. Dancers who miss out on choreographic training may very well find themselves at a disadvantage as they try to launch their careers.
Daphne Lee was dancing with Collage Dance Collective in Memphis, Tennessee, when she received two difficult pieces of news: Her mother had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer, and her father had Parkinson's disease, affecting his mobility and mental faculties.
The New Jersey native's reaction: "I really need to move home."
Summer is almost upon us, and whether you're a student about to go on break or a pro counting the days till layoff, don't forget that with warm weather comes a very serious responsibility: To maintain your cross-training routine on your own.
Those of us who've tried to craft our own cross-training routine know it's easier said than done. So we consulted the stars, and rounded up the best options for every zodiac sign. (TBH, you should probably consult an expert, too—we'd recommend a physical therapist, a personal trainer or your teacher.)
Last year's winner: Manuel Vignoulle's EARTH. Jack Hartin Photography, Courtesy McCallum Theatre
It's not often that a promising choreographer gets to stage work in a world-class theater, on a skillfully-curated program with professional dancers, and with the possibility of winning a substantial cash prize. But at the McCallum Theatre's Palm Desert Choreography Festival, that's been the status quo for over twenty years.
Since Shea New, the festival's artistic director, founded the festival in 1998, she's worked tirelessly with McCallum's director of education and festival producer, Kajsa Thuresson-Frary, and stage manager and festival production manager Joanna Fookes to build a festival that nurtures choreographers, highlights high quality work, powerfully engages the local community and cultivates an audience base for dance in the Coachella Valley. The trio is backed by a strong team of professionals at McCallum and the brilliant volunteers from the local and national level who serve as adjudicators.
I'm a contemporary dancer, and I'm nervous about trying to get pregnant since I can't predict if it might happen during the middle of the season. We have a union contract that is supposed to protect us. But I'm scared because several of my colleagues' contracts weren't renewed for no particular reason. Having a big belly could be a big reason to get rid of me!
When the going gets tough, the tough start dancing: That's the premise behind "Dance of Urgency," a recently opened exhibit at MuseumsQuartier Vienna that features photos, video and other documentary material relating to the use of dance as political protest or social uprising.
The groups featured in the show, largely based around clubs and electronic dance music scenes, span the globe and respond to a variety of issues—from inequality and social stratification to racial divides to crackdowns on club culture itself.
When you're a foreigndancer, gaining legal rights to work in the U.S. is a challenging process. It's especially difficult if you're petitioning to work as a freelance dancer without an agent or company sponsorship.
The process requires professional muscle along with plenty of resources and heart. "There's a real misnomer that it's super easy," says Neena Dutta, immigration attorney and president of Dutta Law Firm. "People need to educate themselves and talk to a professional."
Here are four things every foreign dancer who wants to work in the U.S. needs to know to build a freelance dance career here.
What does it take to "make it" in dance? It's no secret that turning this passion into a profession can be a struggle. In such a competitive field, talent alone isn't enough to get you where you want to be.
So what kinds of steps can you take to become successful? Dance Magazine spoke to 33 people from all corners of the industry to get their advice on the lessons that could help us all, no matter where we are in our careers.
Still of Fonteyn from the 1972 film I Am a Dancer. Photo courtesy DM Archives
On May 18, 1919, Margot "Peggy" Hookham was born. She would grow up to become Dame Margot Fonteyn, England's first homegrown prima ballerina. She joined the Sadler's Wells School in 1934 and was performing principal roles with the precursor to The Royal Ballet the next year. Fonteyn was a company-defining figure, dancing Aurora for the re-opening of the Royal Opera House after World War II, creating numerous roles with Sir Frederick Ashton and forging a legendary partnership with Rudolf Nureyev.
Memorial Day is notoriously one of Chicago's bloodiest weekends. Last year, 36 people were shot and seven died that weekend. In 2017 and 2016, the number of shootings was even higher.
When Garley "GiGi Tonyé" Briggs, a dance teacher and Chicago native, started noticing this pattern, she was preparing her second annual Memorial Day workshop for local youth.
The event's original aim was simple: "I wanted the youth of Chicago to have somewhere they could come and learn from different dancers and be off the streets on the South Side on this hot holiday," she says.