In Broadway's CATS, Giuseppe Bausilio exploded across the stage as the wild and rascally Carbucketty. With fiery exuberance, he transformed steps into drama, songs into lullabies, dosing out magic with his sheer joy of performing. He recently left his cat suit behind to join his fifth Broadway show, Hello, Dolly! Though he's only 19, he makes dreams like "originating a leading role on Broadway" sound possible.
Broadway shows: Currently in Hello, Dolly!, starting previews this month. Past shows include CATS, Aladdin, Newsies and Billy Elliot.
Television: Plays Alfie, a dancer and runaway prince, in Season 4 of "The Next Step," a Canadian teen drama about an ultra-competitive dance team
Hometown: Bern, Switzerland
Training: Began studying ballet at age 4 at his parents' school, American Swiss Ballet, in Bern and New York City
Accolades: Youth America Grand Prix silver and bronze medals, junior division; additional awards from competitions in France and Italy
Photo by Nathan Sayers
Special sauce: Bausilio credits his family for where he is today. His parents were both professional dancers and his older brother, Yannick Bittencourt, is a dancer at the Paris Opéra Ballet. "They taught me how to be a professional at a very young age," he says. "I take a ballet class every morning."
A little luck and lots of hard work: While at YAGP, a casting director spotted Bausilio and asked him to audition for the role of Billy Elliot. He barely spoke English and his only training had been ballet. Bausilio spent the summer speed-learning tap, hip hop, gymnastics and singing. "I nodded a lot and pretty much said yes to everything." It paid off. He got the role and spent two years playing Billy Elliot on tour, in Chicago and on Broadway.
An unexpected curve: Three months into CATS, Bausilio's back gave out. Doctors found a rare vascular tumor in his spinal canal and removed it during a six-hour surgery. "I think this was kind of a sign telling me, 'Giuseppe, you've got to breathe for a second.' "
"Every choreographer in NYC will be fighting over the chance
to have Giuseppe in the trenches with us!" —Andy Blankenbuehler
Bouncing back: Bausilio was out of CATS for 15 weeks and used the downtime to work on his upcoming EP and a one-man cabaret show—he's also a singer/songwriter and plays guitar and keyboard.
What Andy Blankenbuehler is saying: "Giuseppe has impeccable dance technique. He sings like a bird and is a pro at creating a character through his performing," says the CATS choreographer. "But his passion is what makes him a standout. He has a generosity of the heart that touches everyone onstage and in the audience."
What's next: The ensemble of Hello, Dolly!, starring Bette Midler. "It's insane, the people I get to work with," Bausilio says, and chants a litany of names: "Warren Carlyle, the choreographer, Jerry Zaks, multiple Tony Award–winning Broadway director. Amazing people, legends! I think I've used the words 'insane' and 'crazy' about a hundred times in this past hour. But that's really what my life has been."
Glenn Allen Sims and Linda Celeste Sims (here in Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain) are couple goals both onstage and off. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
No matter how much anti–Valentine's Day sentiment I'm feeling in a given year, there's something about dancer couples that still makes me swoon. Here's a collection of wonderful posts from this year, but be warned: Continued scrolling is likely to give you a severe case of the warm fuzzies.
Last summer's off-Broadway run of Be More Chill. Photo by Maria Baranova, Courtesy Keith Sherman & Associates
When Chase Brock signed on to choreograph a new musical at a theater in New Jersey in 2015, he couldn't have predicted that four years later, hewould be receiving fan art featuring his Chihuahua because of it. Nor could he have he imagined that the show—Be More Chill, based on the young adult novel by Ned Vizzini—would be heading to Broadway with one of the most enthusiastic teenage fan bases the Great White Way has ever seen.
It's no longer just Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and the few pointe-clad male character parts, like in Cinderella or Alexei Ratmansky's The Bright Stream.Some male dancers are starting to experiment with pointe shoes to strengthen their feet or expand their artistic possibilities. Michelle Dorrance even challenged the men in her cast at American Ballet Theatre to perform on pointe last season (although only Tyler Maloney ended up actually doing it onstage).
The one problem? Pointe shoes have traditionally only been designed for women. Until now.
Camille Sturdivant, a former member of the Blue Valley Northwest High School dance team is suing the school district, alleging that she was barred from performing in a dance because her skin was "too dark."
The suit states that during Sturdivant's senior year, the Dazzlers' choreographer, Kevin Murakami, would not allow her to perform in a contemporary dance because he said her skin would clash with the costumes, and that she would steal focus from the other dancers because of her skin color.
You wander through the grocery aisles, sizing up the newest trends on the shelves. Although you're eager to try a new energy bar, you question a strange ingredient and decide to leave it behind. Your afternoons are consumed with research as you sort through endless stories about "detox" miracles.
What started as an innocent attempt to eat healthier has turned into a time-consuming ritual with little room for error, and an underlying fear surrounding your food choices.