Without directors and administrators, dance simply could not thrive. And the new documentary Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter tells the story of one of the greatest behind-the-scenes champions of modern and contemporary dance, Martha Hill. Though she may be best known as the founder of the Bennington School of the Dance (the formative summer program where Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, and Hanya Holm were on faculty), Miss Hill tells the lesser-known details of her lengthy career. For example, in 1952, she became the founding director of The Juilliard Dance Division, a position she held until 1985. 

 

The documentary from First Run Features is rich with archival footage of such luminaries as Graham, Humphrey, José Limón, Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham, George Balanchine and Antony Tudor. Plus, interviews with Robert Battle, Ohad Naharin and others connect Hill's legacy to the current chapter of dance.

 

Miss Hill opens this Friday, January 23, at Quad Cinemas in New York City. But even if you're not in the area, you can check out the trailer here.

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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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