Parsons Dance Honors DanceMedia Owner Frederic M. Seegal
Last night at Parsons Dance's 2019 gala, the company celebrated one of our own: DanceMedia owner Frederic M. Seegal.
In a speech, artistic director David Parsons said that he wanted to honor Seegal for the way he devotes his energy to supporting premier art organizations, "making sure that the arts are part of who we are," he said.
In addition to owning DanceMedia and serving as managing director, vice chairman of investment banking at Cowen and Company, Seegal has served on the boards of New York City Center, Gallim Dance, American Ballet Theatre and several other arts organizations from the San Francisco Symphony to the Neuberger Museum of Art. He is currently chair of the board of trustees of the James Beard Foundation.
While accepting the honor last night, Seegal said he was thrilled for two reasons:
1. Because he loves Parsons. "He's talented, creative
, and will someday figure out how to make drones dance," said Seegal, adding that he knew of no happier company than Parsons. "One of Paul Taylor's greatest accomplishments was David Parsons becoming a leader in the dance world."
2. Because he loves dance. "That's why I bought DanceMedia. Not to get good tickets. I could already get those," he joked. "But the dance field is losing voices. Most publications don't cover dance. Even The New York Times doesn't review dance regularly anymore. Dance is the most unappreciated, underfunded of the art forms. It truly needs to be awarded and applauded." He told the crowd that he's proud of the fact that everyone who works for DanceMedia was a dancer, and our publications are a truly independent voice for dance in this country.
Parsons Dancer Zoey Anderson in Trey McIntyre's "Eight Women" (which will be performed in full at the Joyce Theater next month)
"Some of my greatest moments have been with dance," Seegal said, telling the story of the time he and his wife Robin visited their daughter at cooking school in Milan, and caught a Parsons performance while they were there. "I've never seen an audience as enthusiastic as that one—it was like Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger were onstage together. After the show, David found the only pizzeria still open and we all went out to celebrate."
Parsons then played a message from collaborator Ephrat Asherie, one of the inaugural Harkness Promise Awardees, a new addition to the Dance Magazine Awards that Seegal initiated in conjunction with the Harkness Foundation for Dance a couple years ago. Asherie thanked Seegal for everything he does, but specifically for his "belief that the arts are what we need as human beings."
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When a musical prepares to make the transfer from a smaller, lesser-known venue to Broadway (where theaters hold 500-plus seats), often there's a collective intake of breath from all involved. After all, a bigger house means more tickets to sell in order to stay in the black, and sometimes shows with even the most tenacious fan bases can't quite navigate such a jump. But what about the transfer from stage…to screen? Is Broadway ready to be consumed from the comfort of your couch?
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The New Jersey native's reaction: "I really need to move home."
Summer is almost upon us, and whether you're a student about to go on break or a pro counting the days till layoff, don't forget that with warm weather comes a very serious responsibility: To maintain your cross-training routine on your own.
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Since Shea New, the festival's artistic director, founded the festival in 1998, she's worked tirelessly with McCallum's director of education and festival producer, Kajsa Thuresson-Frary, and stage manager and festival production manager Joanna Fookes to build a festival that nurtures choreographers, highlights high quality work, powerfully engages the local community and cultivates an audience base for dance in the Coachella Valley. The trio is backed by a strong team of professionals at McCallum and the brilliant volunteers from the local and national level who serve as adjudicators.
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It's become second nature in dance studios: The instant anyone gets hurt, our immediate reaction is to run to the freezer to grab some ice (or, more realistically, a package of frozen peas).
But as routine as icing our injuries might be, the benefits are not actually backed up by scientific studies. And some experts now believe icing could even disrupt the healing process.
I'm a contemporary dancer, and I'm nervous about trying to get pregnant since I can't predict if it might happen during the middle of the season. We have a union contract that is supposed to protect us. But I'm scared because several of my colleagues' contracts weren't renewed for no particular reason. Having a big belly could be a big reason to get rid of me!
—Andrea, New York, NY
When the going gets tough, the tough start dancing: That's the premise behind "Dance of Urgency," a recently opened exhibit at MuseumsQuartier Vienna that features photos, video and other documentary material relating to the use of dance as political protest or social uprising.
The groups featured in the show, largely based around clubs and electronic dance music scenes, span the globe and respond to a variety of issues—from inequality and social stratification to racial divides to crackdowns on club culture itself.
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, fabulous ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several of our faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list:
When you're a foreign dancer, gaining legal rights to work in the U.S. is a challenging process. It's especially difficult if you're petitioning to work as a freelance dancer without an agent or company sponsorship.
The process requires professional muscle along with plenty of resources and heart. "There's a real misnomer that it's super easy," says Neena Dutta, immigration attorney and president of Dutta Law Firm. "People need to educate themselves and talk to a professional."
Here are four things every foreign dancer who wants to work in the U.S. needs to know to build a freelance dance career here.
What does it take to "make it" in dance? It's no secret that turning this passion into a profession can be a struggle. In such a competitive field, talent alone isn't enough to get you where you want to be.
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On May 18, 1919, Margot "Peggy" Hookham was born. She would grow up to become Dame Margot Fonteyn, England's first homegrown prima ballerina. She joined the Sadler's Wells School in 1934 and was performing principal roles with the precursor to The Royal Ballet the next year. Fonteyn was a company-defining figure, dancing Aurora for the re-opening of the Royal Opera House after World War II, creating numerous roles with Sir Frederick Ashton and forging a legendary partnership with Rudolf Nureyev.
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When Garley "GiGi Tonyé" Briggs, a dance teacher and Chicago native, started noticing this pattern, she was preparing her second annual Memorial Day workshop for local youth.
The event's original aim was simple: "I wanted the youth of Chicago to have somewhere they could come and learn from different dancers and be off the streets on the South Side on this hot holiday," she says.