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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
The revival of everything '90s has been in full-swing for a while now—we saw Destiny's Child reunite at Coachella, Britney Spears is headed back on tour, and the Spice Girls miiight be performing at the Royal wedding next month. But Hollywood saved the best '90s moment for last, bringing *NSYNC back together to receive their official star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 30.
Because we love a good dance #TBT, we're reliving five of the boys' best dance moments.
"I Want You Back"
The band's first single from their self-titled debut album in 1998, "I Want You Back," was the start of their takeover (and their choreographed dance moves).
Looking for your next audition shoe? Shot at and in collaboration with Broadway Dance Center, Só Dança has launched a new collection of shoes working with some pretty famous faces of the musical theater world! Offered in two different styles and either 2.5" or 3" heels, top industry professionals are loving how versatile and supportive these shoes are! Pro tip: The heel is centered under the body so you can feel confident and stable!
When I wrote about my struggle with depression, and eventual departure from dance because of it, I expected criticism. I was prepared to be challenged. But much to my relief, and horror, dancers from all over the world responded with support and stories of solidarity. The most critical response I saw was this one:
"Dance isn't for everyone."
This may as well be a mantra in the dance world. We have become entrenched in the Darwinian notion that the emotionally weak will be weeded out. There is no room for them anyway.
Growing up in a family-owned dance studio in Missouri had its perks for tap dancer Anthony Russo. But it also earned him constant taunting, especially in high school.
"There was a junior in my sophomore year health class who was absolutely relentless," he says. "I'd get tripped on my way to the front of the classroom and he'd say, 'Watch out, twinkle toes.' If I raised my hand and answered a question incorrectly, I'd hear a patronizing 'Nice one, Bojangles.' "
Gina Gibney runs two enormous dance spaces in New York City: Together they contain 23 studios, five performance spaces, a gallery, a conference room, a media lab and more. Gibney is now probably the largest dance center in the country. It's not surprising that Dance Magazine named Gina Gibney one of the most influential people in dance today.
One of the biggest myths about ballet dancers is that they don't eat. While we all know that, yes, there are those who do struggle with body image issues and eating disorders, most healthy dancers love food—and eat plenty of it to fuel their busy schedules.
Luckily for us, they're not afraid to show it:
What does a superstar like Carlos Acosta do after bidding farewell to his career in classical ballet? In Acosta's case, he returns to his native country, Cuba, to funnel his fame, connections and prodigious energies back into the dance scene that formed him. Because of its top-notch, state-supported training programs and popular embrace of the art of dance, Cuba is brimming with talented dancers. What it has been short on, until recently, are opportunities outside of the mainstream companies, as well as access to a more international repertoire. That is changing now, and, with the creation of Acosta Danza, launched in 2016, Acosta is determined to open the doors even wider to new ideas and audiences.
There's so much more to the dance world than making and performing dances. Arts administrators do everything from raising money to managing companies to building new audiences. With the growing number of arts administration programs in colleges, dancers have an opportunity to position themselves for a multifaceted career on- or offstage—and to bring their unique perspective as artists to administrative work.
While Solange was busy helping big sis Beyoncé give Coachella its best performances of all time, an equally compelling project was quietly circulating on Instagram:
New York City Ballet continues its first year without Peter Martins at the helm as our spring season opens tonight.
When he retired at the start of the new year, we plunged headfirst into unknown, murky waters. Who would the new director be? When would we know? Would we dancers get some say in the decision? Who would oversee the Balanchine ballets? Who would be in charge of casting? Would a new director bring along huge upheaval? Could some of us be out of a job?