Kristin Damrow and Company's Allegra Bautiste. Photo by RJ Muna, Courtesy John Hill PR

5 January Performances to Start 2019 Off Right

If one of your New Year's resolutions was "See more dance" (and really, shouldn't that be everyone's?), never fear. We picked five shows certain to get 2019 off to a brilliant start.


Twyla's Greens and Jerry's Blues

A man and a woman in green and another pair in blue form a line, standing in tendu crois\u00e9 devant with their left hand on their hips, their right linking through their neighbors elbow, palm up.

Miami City Ballet in Brahms/Handel. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami City Ballet

FLORIDA It's rare that two choreographers want to learn from each other so much that they decide to collaborate. But so it was with Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp in 1984. Tharp and Robbins chose Brahms' "Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel" and divided up the variations according to colors—his dancers wore blue and hers wore green. Luckily, they didn't hold to the color scheme for long and intermeshed the roles after the opening statement. When Brahms/Handel premiered, Anna Kisselgoff wrote in The New York Times, "The brilliant sum is greater than the parts." This month, Miami City Ballet introduces its hometown audiences to the work, on the same program as Dances at a Gathering, the Robbins masterpiece with a warm community glow. Miami, Jan. 11–13; West Palm Beach, Jan. 18–20; Fort Lauderdale, Jan. 26–27. miamicityballet.org. —Wendy Perron

When Three Makes Two More Romantic

Herman Cornejo stares impassively offstage as Alessandra Ferri lunges deeply at his feet, her hands on his hips and her head arched back.

Herman Cornejo and Alessandra Ferri. Photo by Roberto Ricci, Courtesy Richard Kornberg & Associates

LONDON A former American Ballet Theatre star with a luscious, limpid quality and a current ABT star with softly bounding energy, Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo make an exquisite romantic pair onstage. Together they will open the newly renovated Linbury Theatre in the Royal Opera House. For their TRIOConcertDance, they've teamed up with pianist Bruce Levingston to perform duets by Demis Volpi, Russell Maliphant, Wayne McGregor, Fang-Yi Sheu and Angelin Preljocaj, and a solo by and for Cornejo. Placing these dancers in this intimate setting is part of the Royal Opera House's plan to attract wider audiences of all ages. Jan. 17–27. roh.org.uk. —WP

Three Cheers for Carmen

Carmen de Lavallade. Photo by Piper Ferguson, Courtesy Jazz at Lincoln Center

NEW YORK CITY Will we ever stop celebrating Carmen de Lavallade? We certainly hope not! Jazz at Lincoln Center takes its turn to hail the beloved leading lady with a new iteration of its Life of a Legend series. Joined by dancer Maggie Small and a handful of jazz musicians, de Lavallade will speak and dance through her storied career, with a special emphasis on where it intersected with jazz music. Her famous performance in John Butler's Portrait of Billie—which, legend has it, brought Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to tears—is sure to get a nod. Jan. 24–25. jazz.org. —Courtney Escoyne

Curiosity and Awe

Johanna Bergfelt. Photo by Kristy Kennedy, Courtesy Citadel + Cie

TORONTO Choreographer William Yong has an affinity for acronyms. His company is called Zata Omm Dance Projects (Zen and the Actualization of Modern Movement), and the title of his latest work, SKOW, derives from the phrase "Some Kinds Of Wonder." Yong's fascination with performer Johanna Bergfelt and their shared interest in the way seemingly insignificant things can evoke a sense of wonder inspired the work. It's a deceptively simple-sounding concept, but Yong frequently uses spellbinding visual and technological elements to create alternate worlds onstage—if anyone knows how to leave an audience wondering, it's him. Jan. 30–Feb. 2. citadelcie.com. —CE

Bearing the Brunt

SAN FRANCISCO The hulking, monolithic structures that exemplify Brutalism served as inspiration for Kristin Damrow's latest work. The architectural style, prevalent in the 1950s and '60s, is largely associated with mid-century socialist movements and an egalitarian ethos. In IMPACT, 15 dancers chart a dystopian future ravaged by tribalism to a score by Aaron M. Gold that includes found sound recorded at iconic Brutalist buildings in the Bay Area. Jan. 31–Feb. 2. kristindamrow.com. —CE

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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

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Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

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Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

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