News

5 January Performances to Start 2019 Off Right

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

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

Day in the Life

Most people may know Derek Dunn for his impeccable turns and alluring onstage charisma. But the Boston Ballet principal dancer is just as charming offstage, whether he's playing with his 3-year-old miniature labradoodle or working in the studio. Dance Magazine recently spent the day with Dunn as he prepared for his debut as Albrecht in the company's upcoming run of Giselle.

Dance Training
Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy Mark Morris Dance Group

You know compelling musicality when you see it. But how do you cultivate it? It's not as elusive as it might seem. Musicality, like any facet of dance, can be developed and honed over time—with dedicated, detailed practice. At its most fundamental, it's "respect for the music, that this is your partner," says Kate Linsley, academy principal of the School of Nashville Ballet.

Keep reading... Show less
The USC Kaufman graduating class with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Gus Ruelas/USC

Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.

Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:

Keep reading... Show less
In Memoriam
Ross Parkes, right, teaching in Shanghai in 1983. Lan-Lan Wang is at left. Courtesy Lan-Lan Wang.

Notable dancer and beloved teacher, Ross Parkes, 79, passed away on August 5, 2019 in New York City. He was a founding faculty member at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, where he taught from 1984 to 2006. Lin Hwai-min, artistic director of Cloud Gate Dance Theater, said: "He nurtured two generations of dancers in Taiwan, and his legacy will continue."

About his dancing, Tonia Shimin, professor emerita at UC Santa Barbara and producer of Mary Anthony: A Life in Modern Dance, said this: "He was an exquisite, eloquent dancer who inhabited his roles completely."

Keep reading... Show less

mailbox

Get Dance Magazine in your inbox