Donald Byrd Propels DTH Into a New Place

Everybody wants DTH to regain its reputation as a Balanchine company that is versatile too. But I think they can become something more exciting than that. The last piece in Program B, Contested Space by Donald Byrd, laid bare a different kind of psychic space. Each dancer found a new, edgy self in a foreboding, roiling place. Da’Von Doane, lying on the floor, swiveled body parts you couldn’t name. A strong, rooted dancer, he looked completely different in these opening moves—almost reptilian. Alexandra Jacob’s hyperflexibility, deadpan expression, and brazen force as she twisted into and around Samuel Wilson, demanded attention. Each dancer kept their individuality throughout Byrd’s oddly awkward, harshly intimate duets. Sometimes a head seemed glued to a partner’s back, or an elbow got caught in the crook of a knee. Amon Tobin’s music clanged and swooshed and changed textures as the dancers shifted into each new section.

Bravo to Byrd for completely unsentimental, relentlessly inventive, continually engaging choreography! And Bravo to DTH’s dancers for fearlessly and fiercely confronting the challenge of Contested Space!

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CalArts dance students. Photo by Josh S. Rose, Courtesy CalArts

4 Reasons Interdisciplinary Education Can Make You a Stronger Dancer, According to CalArts

After years spent training in their childhood studio, it can be hard for dancers to realize exactly how many pathways there are toward career success. The School of Dance at CalArts aims to show its students all of them.

Built with the intention to break barriers and bend the rules, CalArts' interdisciplinary curriculum ensures that students take classes that cover an entire spectrum of artistic approaches. The result? A dance program that gives you much more than just dance.

Last week, Dance Magazine caught up with Kevin Whitmire, assistant director of admission for CalArts School of Dance, and recent alum Kevin Zambrano for the inside scoop on how an interdisciplinary curriculum can make you a stronger artist. Watch the full event below, and read on for the highlights.

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July 2021