Lindsay Thomas

Secrets from a Star: Day in the Life of Noelani Pantastico

This fall, Dance Magazine followed Noelani Pantastico for a day as she was rehearsing "Emeralds" and performing "Diamonds" in George Balanchine's Jewels. It was the start of the principal's third season back at Pacific Northwest Ballet, returning to the company she grew up in after a seven-year journey dancing with Jean-Christophe Maillot's Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo.

Here are a few of our favorite images and insights from the day:


Lindsay Thomas

"I always eat breakfast, or else by class I feel loopy," says Pantastico. "I love bananas, mangoes and Hawaiian papayas if I can find them. I most likely have a starch, like toast or oatmeal. Sometimes I'll go on a yogurt or smoothie kick. I just listen to what my body wants."


Lindsay Thomas

In August, Pantastico choreographed for the first time for a site-specific event at the Olympic Sculpture Park. "I think every dancer should try being on that side at least once," she says. Although she loved the experience, she wants to focus her energy on dancing for now.


Lindsay Thomas

To get going before pliés, she rolls out her muscles using several different-sized balls and a foam roller. "As soon as I get to work, I change into something warm and loose so my body feels at ease."


Lindsay Thomas

Pantastico tapes every toe with contractor masking tape. "If I don't, I'm likely to get a blister on that naked toe!"


Lindsay Thomas

"When dancing 'Emeralds,' I visualize Violette Verdy as a dancer and as the person I saw in her interviews (thoughtful and giving)."


Lindsay Thomas

"For 'Diamonds' I think of the relationship between Suzanne Farrell and Mr. Balanchine: Only they know what they experienced with each other, but I love to imagine that their relationship was a lot like the central pas de deux."


Lindsay Thomas

How did her European experience change her? "I'm much more thoughtful with my body and with what I am dancing," she says. "I've always cared about things, I just care more than ever now." And her outlook on dance has also evolved: "Living two different perspectives made things a lot clearer for me about how I want to represent the art form, and how I can help it progress."

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What Copyright Protections Do Choreographers Have Over Their Work?

When choreography is created, is it protected by copyright? Yes and no.

JaQuel Knight is facing this question today in his journey to copyright his iconic choreographic work with artists like Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion. Thanks to U.S. copyright law, the process has not been easy. Through a partnership with the Dance Notation Bureau, Knight has been working with Lynne Weber to put his work into Labanotation. On July 9, 2020, he received an approved registered copyright for his "Single Ladies" choreography, making him the first commercial choreographer in pop music to succeed in copyrighting his work.

Understanding the challenges in making this happen requires a close look at the history of U.S. copyright law. Here's what dancemakers should know about the background of copyright, how they can register their work and what more could be done to legally protect dance.

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February 2021