NYC Dance Week = Free Classes

Today marks the start of NYC Dance Week, a 10-day event of free and discounted dance, somatics and fitness classes at studios citywide (including the outer boroughs). Mark Morris Dance Center is this year’s partner studio, although other participating studios include The Ailey Extension, Power Pilates, Peridance Capezio Center, Ballet Academy East and Dancewave. (The list of is lengthy—check it out here for free and discounted classes). Registration is needed for Dance Week Passes, which can be printed out and brought to the studios, and some classes require an RSVP.

In addition, the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries is hosting two informative events: an Injury Prevention Seminar at Peridance Capezio Center today at 2:30, and a Health and Wellness Q&A Session on June 23 at Gibney Dance Center. Attendees can also sign up for free injury prevention assessments during the festival. And don’t miss NYC10 at Dixon Place on June 25, where 10 emerging companies have 10 minutes to showcase new works.

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.

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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:

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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."

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