Courtesy Keigwin

Keigwin + Company Is On a Mission to Dance in Africa

Larry Keigwin is experiencing the best kind of culture shock right now. As he wrote on his blog yesterday about arriving in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire:

Can you remember that instant when you landed on another continent and suddenly everything was foreign? My first impression? Holy Shit it is Hot (the kind of heat that fogs up your retina)! The sights, the sounds, the light, the scent (think diesel cars and BO) and the lifestyle all seem to be of another world. But it also doesn't take long to realize that lifestyle really doesn't matter very much, that we are all a part of the human community regardless if you have a roof over your head or shoes on your feet, we all have the same needs—to love and to dance.

And dance we do. We are on a mission to dance—to dance hard, to teach, to learn, to share, to exchange our worlds and we have endless hash-tags to prove it—#dancediplomacy, #culturalexchange, #DMUSA, #KCoDMUSA.

Keigwin + Company is doing a four-week long residency in Africa this month, performing, teaching, leading workshops and dancing together with fellow artists from another continent. It's a cross-cultural exchange set up by DanceMotion USASM, a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department, produced by the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

One of three contemporary companies chosen for the sixth year of the initiative, K + C started in Cote d'Ivoire, is currently in Ethiopia, and will soon make its way to Tunisia. They shared some of the amazing footage taken on their first stop with Dance Magazine. Take a peek, and follow the company's upcoming adventures on Storify.

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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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