Dancers Trending

GoPros: No Longer Just for Snowboarders

We all knew it was bound to happen eventually, but now it's official: GoPros have made their way onto dancers.

 

These trendy cameras that attach to bodies have recorded nearly every activity from snowboarding to off-road motorcycle racing. Now, they are being used to capture the experience of dancing. There are already some amazing (and odd) videos of dancers with GoPros up on Vimeo and YouTube. But the first performance I've heard about that's incorporating GoPros into the work itself is happening next month in Brooklyn. In NEON BRAVE, four performers from white road Dance Media will each wear a GoPro so that real-time footage can be projected onto the set while they dance. The idea is that the audience will be able to experience the piece from the dancer's point of view, and be immersed right into the middle of the choreography. Director/choreographer Marisa Gruneberg points out this will be particularly poignant during a nude solo: “There’s no better way to see the body's full expression, its vulnerabilities and beauties, its guts, than to see it nude and in motion. Being totally nude onstage is bravery in and of itself. Now the audience will experience that bravery as well.”

 

Personally, what I'd love to see is someone strap one of these on during "Black Swan." Any takers?

 

 

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News
Uri Sands leads TU Dance in rehearsal. Photo by Graham Tolbert Photography, Courtesy TU Dance

Is it any surprise a world premiere by choreographer Uri Sands and musician Justin Vernon, both renowned for the profound beauty and gorgeous musicality of their work, immediately sold out? We're hungry for creative collaborations that take reflective deep dives into what constitutes our humanity—and then there's the undeniable cool factor. Nine members of TU Dance will perform alongside Bon Iver (Vernon's band) during the evening-length piece. Presented as part of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's Liquid Music Series. April 19–21. The work will also appear at the Hollywood Bowl Aug. 5. tudance.org.

Because who doesn't want their feet to look as gorgeous as Sara's? (Photo by Christopher Lane)

Ah, the quest for the perfect, foot-flattering, technique-enhancing pointe shoe: It can feel like a never-ending saga. Still on the hunt for that ideal pair? Then you won't want to miss The School at Steps' annual Pointe Shoe Workshop and Fair, happening this Sunday, April 22nd, at 6:30 pm in NYC.

As always, the event—which is sponsored by our friends at Pointe—will feature an impressive panel of experts. This year's lineup includes orthopedist Dr. Andrew Price, professional fitter Mary Carpenter, master teacher Linda Gelinas, Pointe style editor Marissa DeSantis, and New York City Ballet star Sara Mearns (eee!).

Read the full story at dancespirit.com.

Health & Body
Jennifer Nichols performing despite a dangerous infection

Jennifer Nichols was rehearsing barefoot this winter when she got a split in the bottom of her foot. An independent choreographer, she was preparing a self-made solo to be performed as part of a new music show in Toronto, and the studio's Marley floor was usually used by winter boot–wearing musicians.

A split may not seem like a big deal. But this one led to a serious infection that would land Nichols in hospital and almost end her performing career.

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Auditions

For the first time in more than 10 years, Janet Jackson is holding an open audition for dancers.

Even better? You could land a spot in her #JTribe simply by posting a video on social media.

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Career Advice
Mia J. Chong found her place in ODC/Dance through understudying. PC Andrew Weeks Photography, Courtesy ODC/Dance

You might feel like the second choice when you look at the casting sheet, but understudies are necessary, valued team members who are regularly called off the bench to perform—even with very little prep time. "It is like the ultimate trust exercise with your director," says Mia J. Chong, who understudied many roles in ODC/Dance's The Velveteen Rabbit as an apprentice before becoming a company dancer this year. "Often, you do a lot of the homework on your own to make sure you can produce a quality performance, even if you don't have the chance to demonstrate it right away."

Here's what to expect when you're learning from the back of the room and—when you're needed—how to step into the part with confidence.

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Cover Story
Robert Fairchild is jumping into the next phase of his career feet-first. Photo by Jayme Thornton

In his final bow at New York City Ballet, during what should have been a heroic conclusion to a celebrated ballet career, Robert Fairchild slipped and fell. His reaction? To lie down flat on his back like he meant to do it. Then start cracking up at himself.

"He's such a ham," says his sister Megan Fairchild, with a laugh. "He's really good at selling whatever his body is doing that day. He'll turn a moment that I would totally go home and cry about into something where the audience is like, 'That's the most amazing thing ever!' "

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Advice for Dancers
Can you find harmony when your romantic partner is also your dance partner? Thinkstock.

I found a great boyfriend in my ballet company. I love how he understands my life as a professional dancer. The problem is we've started fighting whenever one of us gives the other a correction during partnering. Is dating him a bad idea?

—Lovesick, Toronto, Ontario

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News
A leaked survey reveals trouble at Paris Opéra Ballet. POB in Balanchine's "Emeralds." Photo by Agathe Poupeney, Courtesy Lincoln Center.

The #MeToo movement has made its way to France's biggest ballet company.

An anonymous survey recently leaked to the French press revealed major turbulence at the Paris Opéra Ballet. The Straits Times reports that the survey was conducted by an internal group representing POB's dancers. In it, there are numerous claims of bullying, sexual harassment and management issues.

Nearly all of the dancers (132 out of 154) answered the questionnaire, but they didn't know it would be made public. (Around 100 of them later signed a statement saying they didn't consent to its release.)

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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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News
Former Merce Cunningham Dance Company members Andrea Weber and Rashaun Mitchell in Antic Meet. Photo by Yi-Chun Wu, Courtesy MCDC

Merce Cunningham would have been 99 years old today, and, as a present to the dance world, the Merce Cunningham Trust has announced a dizzying array of celebrations to unfold over the next year in honor of the groundbreaking choreographer's 2019 centennial.

"Merce liked saying he didn't want to celebrate his birthday, and yet he always enjoyed when we threw parties for him," Trevor Carlson, producer of the Merce Cunningham Centennial, said in a press release. Though the Merce Cunningham Dance Company shuttered in 2011 (two years after the choreographer's death, per his wishes), plans to celebrate his legacy range from performances to film screenings to workshops to education programs to dinner parties.

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