In the Studio: The DASH Ensemble Prepares for Jacob's Pillow
As usual, the calendar at Jacob's Pillow this month is overflowing with exciting artists and events. Tomorrow evening, The DASH Ensemble, led by choreographer Gregory Dolbashian and composed of four electric dancers, will take to the Inside/Out stage to perform a semi-new work. Titled Ways to Handle, the piece originated last year during a residency at the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center but has since evolved for the company's performance at the Pillow. Dolbashian says the work is inspired by "how people respond to the different facets of life: love, loss, determination."
We caught up with Dolbashian and his company before they left for the Pillow to get an inside look at their collaborative rehearsal process.
Every person in this company is such a natural mover. How much of the material given during rehearsal is taught and how much is task-based?
"Greg directs us in many formats and then he allows us to make a choice," says dancer Elena Valls. "He pushes us to be as three-dimensional and as expansive as possible."
"We work a lot with improvisation and then it will turn into movement invention, and then it will turn into something set," says dancer Lauren Santos.
Gregory Dolbashian with dancers Chris Ralph, Isaies Santamaria, Elena Valls and Lauren Santos. Photo by Kelsey Grills
The idea of giving and receiving between choreographer and dancer is so clear. How important is that in making the rehearsal flow smoothly?
"To have such wonderful people so ready and committed when they enter the space gives me the inspiration to commit myself to them and create a work that they can be proud of," says Dolbashian.
"We trust each other. We respect each other. There's no pressure or expectation when we come to rehearsal," says dancer Isaies Santamaria.
"I've been in many processes where we say it's a safe space but we know it's not," says dancer Chris Ralph. "I know when I come to this room with these people that it is. I feel safe to explore different ideas and be as silly or vulnerable as need be."
What do Percy Jackson, Princess Diana and Tina Turner have in common? They're all characters on Broadway this season. Throw in Michelle Dorrance's choreographic debut, Henry VIII's six diva-licious wives and the 1990s angst of Alanis Morissette, and the 2019–20 season is shaping up to be an exciting mix of past-meets-pop-culture-present.
Here's a look at the musicals hitting Broadway in the coming months. We're biding our time until opening night!
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
Ah, stretching. It seems so simple, and is yet so complicated.
For example: You don't want to overstretch, but you're not going to see results if you don't stretch enough. You want to focus on areas where you're tight, but you also can't neglect other areas or else you'll be imbalanced. You were taught to hold static stretches growing up, but now everyone is telling you never to hold a stretch longer than a few seconds?
Considering how important stretching correctly is for dancers, it's easy to get confused or overwhelmed. So we came up with 10 common stretching scenarios, and gave you the expert low-down.