The Songs Your Favorite Dance Artists Can't Stop Listening To
The most-played song on your Spotify says a lot about you. Maybe it's that guilty pleasure track you dance to while you're in the kitchen, or the one you have to listen to before going onstage.
We talked to 10 of our favorite pros about the song that's racked up the most plays on their phones—whether it's one they teach to, cross-train to, or just a song that helps them escape.
Miami City Ballet's Nathalia Arja: "Finesse" by Bruno Mars
Daniel Azoulay, Courtesy Miami City Ballet
Martha Graham Dance Company's PeiJu Chien-Pott: Stravinsky's Rite of Spring
An Rong Xu
The Washington Ballet's Ashley Murphy: "Broken But I'm Healed" by Byron Cage
Theo Kossenas, Courtesy The Washington Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet's Leta Biasucci: Mariah Carey's "Shake It Off"
Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB
B-girl and Choreographer Ephrat Asherie: "A Flower is A Lovesome Thing" by Ehud Asherie
Robert Altman, Courtesy Asherie
Pennsylvania Ballet's Sterling Baca: "Ride Out" by Schoolboy Q
Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet
Tap Dancer Caleb Teicher: "Sweet Pea" by Amos Lee
Boston Ballet's Joy Womack: "Fingertips" by One Republic, "Romantic" by Stanaj
Kyoungjin Kim, courtesy Universal Ballet
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jamar Roberts: "See You Again" (feat. Kali Uchis) by Tyler The Creator
Paul Kolnik, courtesy Ailey
Dutch National Ballet's Michaele DePrince: "I Was Here" by Beyoncé
Yvonne Rainer's Parts of Some Sextets (AKA "the mattress dance") hasn't been revived since it premiered in 1965. Nor has Rainer had any wish to do it again, to ask performers to heave 10 mattresses around while carrying out 31 tasks that changed every 30 seconds. It was an unwieldy, difficult dance. (Even the title is unwieldy.) But Emily Coates, who has danced in Rainer's work for 20 years, became curious about this piece and was determined to see it again—and to dance in it. She will get her wish November 15–17, when the mattress dance will be performed as part of the Performa 19 Biennial.
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:
"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.