Dance Magazine Award Spotlight: Philip Glass

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

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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.


Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

Enter Our Video Contest