Broadway
Courtesy Macy's, Inc.

As you're prepping your Thanksgiving meal, why not throw in a dash of dance?

This year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is stuffed (pun intended) with performances from four stellar Broadway shows, the Radio City Rockettes and students from three New York City dance institutions.

Tune in to NBC November 28 from 9 am to noon (in all time zones), or catch the rebroadcast at 2 pm (also in all time zones). Here's what's in store:

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Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet

There are Nutcracker socks, Nutcracker ugly sweaters and even Nutcracker LEGO sets. And now, for that moment when you want even more Nutcracker in your life, there's Nutcracker beer.

Ohio's local Taft's Brewery Company is collaborating with Cincinnati Ballet to create a Nutcracker Ale that seems to be taken straight out of the Land of the Sweets, with flavors like cinnamon, vanilla and ginger.

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Sonia Calero-Alonso gives notes to the cast, which includes ABT principals Cory Stearns and Sarah Lane. Photo by Matt Stamey, Courtesy Santa Fe College

A ballet once banned in the USSR is set for an historic revival this November in Gainesville, Florida.

In 1948, Alberto Alonso, along with his brother Fernando and sister-in-law Alicia, co-founded what became the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. During a 1966 company tour to Russia, legendary Bolshoi ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, impressed by Alonso's choreography, asked him to create a Carmen-themed ballet for her. It was the first time the Soviet-era Bolshoi Ballet had engaged a foreign choreographer.

When Carmen Suite premiered, Soviet authorities deemed it a scandalous travesty. Alonso's erotically charged, expressionistic choreography, incorporating elements of Spanish and Cuban dance, pushed the classical vocabulary to physical extremes. And as Alora Haynes, chair of fine arts at Santa Fe College, explains, the ballet's story of personal defiance and individual freedom was inherently unsettling for Kremlin officials.

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Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy Michelle Tabnick PR

Our editors' performance picks this month are all about taking what's expected and turning it on its head.

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Paul B. Goode, Courtesy Paul Taylor Dance Company

The last year and a half has seen profound change at the Paul Taylor Dance Company. The most dramatic event, of course, was the death of Paul Taylor, the man who founded the company in 1954, creating almost 150 works over the ensuing six decades. He died in August of last year, only months after selecting the then-35- year-old company dancer Michael Novak as his successor. The choice was a surprise, both to Novak himself and to the world of Taylor fans.

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Karolina Kuras, Courtesy NBoC

On Friday, National Ballet of Canada announced that artistic director Karen Kain will step down in January 2021 to become artistic director emeritus.

Kain, who has served as artistic director since 2005, joined NBoC as a dancer in 1969 and went on to become one of the company's most beloved stars, often dancing alongside Rudolf Nureyev.

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Bydwell in The Michaels. Joan Marcus, Courtesy The Public Theater

After earning a dance degree from Juilliard and accumulating a resume of professional dance experience, Charlotte Bydwell grew tired of the professional dancer grind. "I had become encumbered by the conservatory training and the challenges of having a professional career," she says. For the past several years, Bydwell has been focused on acting instead.

But her latest project—The Michaels, a new play at The Public Theater by writer/director Richard Nelson—has reawakened Bydwell's relationship with dance. No, it's not a musical, or even a dance-theater work, but a play about a fictional choreographer named Rose Michael and her family. Bydwell plays Rose's daughter, Lucy, who is a also a dancer and choreographer.

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Left: Wendy Whelan in The Day at Lumberyard. Alon Koppel, Courtesy Lumberyard. Right: Lumberyard's state-of-the-art hydraulics grid system. Niva Dorrel, Courtesy Lumberyard

Just last year, the previously Rockville, Maryland-based American Dance Institute—now called the Lumberyard Center for Film and Performing Arts—moved to a 30,000-square foot-former lumberyard in Catskill, New York, spending 5 million dollars to renovate the building.

Now, the organization needs to raise 1 million dollars by the end of 2019, or risk having to shut down their pre-premiere technical rehearsal program.

What happened between last May, when the much-talked-about facility opened its doors, and today, when Lumberyard's signature program faces potential closure?

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Amber Star Merkens, Courtesy Mark Morris Dance Group

There's always been something larger than life about choreographer Mark Morris. Of course, there are the more than 150 works he's made and that incisive musicality that makes dance critics drool. But there's also his idiosyncratic, no-apologies-offered personality, and his biting, no-holds-barred wit. And, well, his plan to keep debuting new dances even after he's dead.

So it should come as little surprise that his latest distinction is also a bit larger than life: The New York Landmarks Conservancy is adding Morris to its list of "Living Landmarks."

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Dinita Clark. Photo courtesy Cultural Counsel

Philadelphia's Pew Center for Arts & Heritage announced its 2019 grantees Monday evening, and the list included a couple of familiar names: Dinita Clark and David Gordon.

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Stella Abrera in Le Corsaire. Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre announced today that, after 24 years, beloved principal dancer Stella Abrera will retire from the stage this coming summer. Her farewell performance will be June 13, 2020, at the Metropolitan Opera House, dancing the title role in Giselle.

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Photo by Gabriel Davalos, Courtesy Valdés

For decades the name Alicia Alonso has been virtually synonymous with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the company she co-founded in Havana in 1948. Alonso died on October 17, just shy of what would have been her 99th birthday. In recent years, she had stepped back from day-to-day decision-making in the company. As if preparing for the future, in January, the company's leading ballerina, 42-year-old Viengsay Valdés, was named deputy director, a job that seems to encompass most of the responsibilities of a traditional director. Now, presumably, she will step into her new role as director of the company. Her debut as curator of the repertory comes in November, when the troupe will perform three mixed bills selected by her at the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso. The following has been translated from a conversation conducted in Spanish, Valdés' native tongue.

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Rauf "RubberlLegz" Yasit and Parvaneh Scharafali. Photo by Mohamed Sadek, courtesy The Shed

William Forsythe is bringing his multi-faceted genius to New York City in stripped down form. His "Quiet Evening of Dance," a mix of new and recycled work now at The Shed until October 25, is co-commissioned with Sadler's Wells in London (and a slew of European presenters).

As always, Forsythe's choreography is a layered experience, both kinetic and intellectual. This North American premiere prompted many thoughts, which I whittled down to seven.

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Courtesy NBC

"Law & Order: SVU" has dominated the crime show genre for 21 seasons with its famous "ripped from the headlines" strategy of taking plot inspiration from real-life crimes.

So viewers would be forgiven for assuming that the new storyline following the son of Mariska Hargitay's character into dance class originated in the news cycle. After all, the mainstream media widely covered the reaction to Lara Spencer's faux pas on "Good Morning America" in August, when she made fun of Prince George for taking ballet class.

But it turns out, the storyline was actually the idea of the 9-year-old actor, Ryan Buggle, who plays Hargitay's son. And he came up with it before Spencer ever giggled at the word ballet.

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Lauren Anderson teaching at a Houston high school. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy MoBBallet

MoBBallet, an organization founded by Dance Magazine contributing editor Theresa Ruth Howard in 2015 to preserve and promote the legacy of black dancers in ballet, hosts its first symposium October 11–13 at Pennsylvania Ballet. Offering separate courses for intermediate to pre-professional students, dance educators and the greater Philadelphia dance community, the pilot aims to foster community and fortify the studio-to-company pipeline for black ballet students. Faculty includes luminaries such as Lauren Anderson, Debra Austin and Robert Garland; workshops cover topics from ballet history to social media usage to pointe shoe doctoring.

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Photo by Catalina Kulczar, Courtesy Parson

A master of cross-pollination, Annie-B Parson pulls material from dance, film, music, literature, theater and more into deeply satisfying dialogues. And she has a busy fall: Her new book is being published in November. Big Dance Theater, the company she leads in partnership with Paul Lazar, brings three works to the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts November 8 and 9. And American Utopia, the acclaimed concert tour she choreographed for David Byrne and an ensemble of musicians, appears on Broadway from October through January.

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Greta Hodgkinson. Photo by Karolina Kuras, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada

Here are the latest promotions, appointments and transfers, plus notable awards and accomplishments from the last month.

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Getty Images

There are a number of new dance titles hitting bookstores this fall, and there seems to be something for everyone. Practical advice from Twyla Tharp and Annie-b Parson? Check. Enticing biographical entries featuring writing by the likes of Jerome Robbins and Mark Morris? Check. Gorgeous coffee table books and distillations of academic research? Check and check. Here are the six books we cannot wait to see in print.

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The Joffrey Ballet's Fabrice Calmels in Lar Lubovitch's Othello. Photo by Cheryl Mann, Courtesy The Joffrey Ballet

From an indie rock collaboration to major anniversary celebrations to yet another retelling of the Orpheus myth, the fall performance season has fully hit its stride. Here are the six shows we have on our calendars.

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Matthew Brush, Courtesy Jacob Jonas

Nigel Lythgoe put his foot in his mouth last year. He and Debbie Allen were on a panel at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and Lythgoe started saying that what the Los Angeles scene needed was a dance festival. "I was shouted down and told, 'Well, we have got a dance festival!' " recalls the "So You Think You Can Dance" producer, with a laugh.

He apologized, but he knew that if he hadn't heard of it, the festival probably wasn't getting the publicity it deserved. So he and Allen started hatching a plan to launch their own.

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Frank Chaves in rehearsal with Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company. Photo by Mike Strong, Courtesy Mershon & McDonald, LLC

For choreographer and former River North Dance Chicago director Frank Chaves, this weekend is a reemergence. Since 2005, Chaves has managed syringomyelia, a degenerative spinal cord disease which results in spasticity, chronic pain and loss of mobility. The first major work he choreographed while using a wheelchair full-time was In the End—his last before retiring in 2015 from River North, the company he had led since 1993 and which folded unceremoniously about a year after he left. Now, he's created a new work on Kansas City's Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company as part of New Dance Partners, a platform curated by Michael Uthoff in which local KC companies are matched with notable choreographers commissioned to create world premieres. Ahead of the work's debut, I met up with him in Kansas City and asked him about the end of River North and the adjustments he's made as he has learned to choreograph differently.

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