Need Some Inspo? Watch These 8 Great TED Talks Given by Dancers
It's no surprise that dancers make some of the best TED Talk presenters. Not only are they great performers, but they've got unique knowledge to share. And they can dance!
If you're in need of a midweek boost, look no further than these eight presentations from some incredibly inspiring dance artists.
Prumsodun Ok: Artists are magicians
Founder of Cambodia's first gay dance company, Prumsodun Ok gives a hybrid dance/speech about Khmer dance and how genocide wiped out 90 percent of its practitioners. But rather than focus only on the devastation, he delivers a message about beauty's ability to grow anywhere.
Miko Fogarty: It's never too late to reinvent yourself
Former prodigy Miko Fogarty opens up about her decision to leave the world of ballet, and the courage it takes to listen to your gut and pursue what you actually want.
Michaela DePrince: It's okay to be different
Dutch National Ballet soloist Michaela DePrince shares her story of growing up as an orphan in Sierra Leone, where she was shunned due to her vitiligo, and talks about how finding ballet helped her discover a sense of self-worth.
Wayne McGregor: Creativity is something you can teach
Choreographer Wayne McGregor is obsessed with technology—first and foremost the technology of the human body. In this presentation, he describes choreography as "physical thinking," and introduces his creative process to the audience by making a dance from scratch in real-time.
Camille A. Brown: Social dance is an expression that emerges from a community
In this viral video lesson on social dance, presented by TED-Ed, Camille A. Brown talks us through some of the biggest popular dance styles that have emerged from the African-American community throughout history.
Charlie Hodges: Every day starts with space to get better
Sharing his stories of being body shamed over and over again in the dance world, Charlie Hodges talks about how he overcame the challenge of having an atypical dancer's body to become a professional with Twyla Tharp and L.A. Dance Project, among other companies.
Merritt Moore: Share your energy
A ballet dancer who doubles as a physicist, Merritt Moore explains how her time in the lab has changed her perspective on connecting to an audience—then she shows exactly what she means in a duet with Adam Kirkham from BalletBoyz.
Bill T. Jones: Wait
In 2015, Bill T. Jones teamed up with TED Fellows Joshua Roman and Somi to improvise together as a way of offering the audience the chance to see their creative collaboration in action. They call it, "The Red Circle and the Blue Curtain," referencing the iconic red TED stage and Isadora Duncan's iconic blue backdrop. There's more dancing than talking in this TED talk, but we don't mind that one bit.
Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.
"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."
Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.
Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:
We knew that Ivo van Hove and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's production of West Side Story would challenge our preconceived notions about the show.
But a recent Vogue story gives us a taste of just how nontraditional the Broadway revival will be. Most notably, van Hove is cutting "I Feel Pretty" and the "Somewhere" ballet, condensing the show into one act to better reflect the urgency of the 48-hour plot. (The choice has been approved by the West Side Story estate, including Sondheim, who has "long been uncomfortable" with some of the "I Feel Pretty" lyrics.)
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.