These Are The Performances Our Readers Loved The Most This Year
We asked you for nominations, compiled your suggestions and let you vote on your favorites. Here's what you chose:
Best Viral Video
Winner: Andrew Winghart's "Cry Me a River"
• Kyle Hanagami's "Shape of You"
• The Kennedy Center's staff video for National Dance Day
Most Moving Performance
Winner: Alexander Ekman's Joy at the Joffrey Ballet
• George Balanchine's Jewels at Lincoln Center, featuring New York City Ballet, Paris Opéra Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet
• Bangarra Dance Theatre's Bennelong
• Jerome Robbins' Opus 19/The Dreamer at Pacific Northwest Ballet, featuring James Moore and Noelani Pantastico
• Dana Tai Soon Burgess' After 1001 Nights
Winner: NW Dance Project's Carmen, with choreography by Ihsan Rustem, sets by Luis Crespo and costumes by Michelle Lesniak
• Alonzo King LINES Ballet's Figures of Speech, with choreography by Alonzo King, score by Alexander MacSween, audio design by Philip Perkins, visual design by David Finn and David Murakami, poetry curation by Bob Holman, and costumes by Robert Rosenwasser and Colleen Quen
• MADCO's Freedom program, with choreography by Jennifer Archibald, Gina Patterson, Cecil Slaughter and Nejla Yatkin
• Monica Bill Barnes & Company and artist Maira Kalman's The Museum Workout
Best Dance Documentary
Winner: Mr. Gaga, directed by Tomer Heymann
• Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan, directed by Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger
• "At This Stage," directed by Ezra Hurwitz
• Bronx Gothic, directed by Andrew Rossi, based on the performance by Okwui Okpokwasili
• STEP, directed by Amanda Lipitz
Most Inventive New Work
Winner: Chicago Dance Crash's The Bricklayers of Oz, choreographed by Jessica Deahr
• Seeing You, co-directed by Randy Weiner and Ryan Heffington, with choreography by Heffington
• E/Space by Melissa Barak
• The Times Are Racing by Justin Peck, at New York City Ballet
• Michelle Dorrance and Nicholas Van Young's Works & Process Rotunda Project, at the Guggenheim Museum
• Raja Feather Kelly's Another F**king Warhol Production
Just hearing the word "improvisation" is enough to make some ballet dancers shake in their pointe shoes. But for Chantelle Pianetta, it's a practice she relishes. Depending on the weekend, you might find her gracing Bay Area stages as a principal with Menlowe Ballet or sweeping in awards at West Coast swing competitions.
She specializes in Jack and Jill events, which involve improvised swing dancing with an unexpected partner in front of a panel of judges. (Check her out in action below.) While sustaining her ballet career, over the past four years Pianetta has quickly risen from novice to champion level on the WCS international competition circuit.
Sean Dorsey was always going to be an activist. Growing up in a politically engaged, progressive family in Vancouver, British Columbia, "it was my heart's desire to create change in the world," he says. Far less certain was his future as a dancer.
Like many dancers, Dorsey fell in love with movement as a toddler. However, he didn't identify strongly with any particular gender growing up. Dorsey, who now identifies as trans, says, "I didn't see a single person like me anywhere in the modern dance world." The lack of trans role models and teachers, let alone all-gender studio facilities where he could feel safe and welcome, "meant that even in my wildest dreams, there was no room for that possibility."
It's hour three of an intense rehearsal, you're feeling mentally foggy and exhausted, and your stomach hurts. Did you know the culprit could be something as simple as dehydration?
Proper hydration helps maintain physical and mental function while you're dancing, and keeps your energy levels high. But with so many products on the market promising to help you rehydrate more effectively, how do you know when it's time to reach for more than water?