News
Maria Kochetkova in Helgi Tomasson's Trio // © Erik Tomasson

San Francisco Ballet star Maria Kochetkova just announced that she'll be leaving the company at the end of this season, after the much-anticipated Unbound Festival. The exact date will be announced later.

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Dancers Trending
The George Mason University students dancing the leads in Lar Lubovitch's A Brahms Symphony connected with the dancers who originated the roles. Photo by Clayton Willis, Courtesy George Mason University

A watershed moment. That's how choreographer Lar Lubovitch recently described his now-classic A Brahms Symphony. Now, a group of 16 George Mason University dance majors are having their own watershed moment with that jubilant work: They will dance it at the venerable Joyce Theater in New York City, where they will close the 50th anniversary season of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company on April 22. It's such a big deal the college president, Angel Cabrera, likened it to when the basketball team made it to the NCAA Final Four.

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Screenshot via Vimeo

Last Tuesday, the Bay-Area public radio station KQED released the first of eight videos in a web series titled "If Cities Could Dance"—and folks, it's a stunner. Following three charismatic voguers around San Francisco as they #werk and eloquently describe what their artform means personally and historically, it's a three-minute turboshot of serious inspiration, a painless dance history lesson, and a poetic ode to how environment catalyzes creativity.

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News
Alicia Graf Mack becomes Juilliard's director of dance in July. Photo Courtesy Webster University.

July 1 marks an exciting new era for The Juilliard School. Vail Dance Festival director and former New York City Ballet principal Damian Woetzel steps into the role of president, and the dance division will also have a new leader: Alicia Graf Mack, 39, will take over from Taryn Kaschock Russell, acting artistic director for the current school year.

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Dancers Trending
Bobbi Jene Smith in rehearsal for A Study on Effort. PC Jim Carmody, courtesy Bobbi Jene Smith.

I dance to remember.

I dance to forget.

I dance to contain.

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Breaking Stereotypes
Photo via Instagram, Kien Quan Photography

There's a tradition in hip-hop culture of reclaiming negative words as positive ones. That's why you might hear things like "nasty" or "bad" as compliments. The same goes for ILL-Abilities, a breaking crew comprised of differently-abled dancers:

"The 'ill' does not refer to 'sick' or 'unwell' but rather to incredible, amazing, intricate, talent," they write on their website. "Rather than seeing the negative limitations of 'disability,' this crew focuses on their positive, or 'ill,' abilities."

A new video for NOWNESS, directed by 2018 25 to Watcher Jacob Jonas, shows just how "ill" these dancers are:

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Popular
Kathryn Manger in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet.

During Kathryn Manger's very first Nutcracker season with Pennsylvania Ballet in 2015, an injury and a hunch prompted artistic director Angel Corella to cast her in the role of Sugarplum Fairy. She learned it overnight. "That's all quite rare for an apprentice," says assistant artistic director Samantha Dunster, who has known the dancer since her student days in Connecticut. Now a fastidious member of the corps de ballet, Manger has performed principal roles in Cinderella and Don Quixote, connecting deeply with her partner as well as the audience.

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Dancers Trending
PC Erik Tomasson, courtesy San Francisco Ballet

Since the beginning, when I first started dancing at 6 years old, I loved it. I never really thought of the hard work and long hours as a sacrifice because ballet always brought me joy and happiness.

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