These Are the Performances Our Readers Loved the Most This Year

We asked you for nominations, compiled your suggestions and had you vote on your favorites. Here's what you chose:


Best Viral Video

Winner: "Kids Meet a Ballerina," featuring Pacific Northwest Ballet's Elle Macy

Other Nominees:

• Syncopated Ladies' "Everybody Mad" Beychella cover

• Ballet Nacional de España's performance at Oteyza fashion show

• "Doomed," featuring RubberLegz and James Gregg

Most Moving Performance

DESCENT. Photo by Jay Newman, courtesy Kinetic Light

Winner: Alice Sheppard/Kinetic Light in DESCENT

Other Nominees:

• Dance Theatre of Harlem and artists from Collage Dance Collective in

Geoffrey Holder's Dougla

• National Ballet of Canada in John Neumeier's Nijinsky

• The Royal Ballet in Liam Scarlett's Swan Lake

Coolest Collaboration


Winner: TU Dance and Bon Iver's Come Through

Other Nominees:

• Menil Collection, Houston Ballet and the Merce Cunningham Trust's Merce Cunningham Dance and Concert, Arrivals and Departures: Cage, Cunningham, and Johns

• Sonya Tayeh and The Bengsons' you'll still call me by name

• The Joffrey Ballet and Lyric Opera of Chicago's Orphée et Eurydice

Best Dance Documentary


Winner: Ballet Now, directed by Steven Cantor

Other Nominees:

Gravity Hero, directed by Trey McIntyre

Bobbi Jene, directed by Elvira Lind

Most Inventive New Work

Winner: Odeon, by Ephrat Asherie Dance

Other Nominees:

GAY GUERRILLA/for julius, by MADBOOTS DANCE

Paramodernities, by Netta Yerushalmy

Silent Scream, by Olivier Wevers; performed by Whim W'Him

• Keone and Mari Madrid's e-book, Ruth

Latest Posts


Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West

How Do Choreographers Bring Something Fresh to Music We've Heard Over and Over?

In 2007, Oregon Ballet Theatre asked Nicolo Fonte to choreograph a ballet to Maurice Ravel's Boléro. "I said, 'No way. I'm not going near it,' " recalls Fonte. "I don't want to compete with the Béjart version, ice skaters or the movie 10. No, no, no!"

But Fonte's husband encouraged him to "just listen and get a visceral reaction." He did. And Bolero turned into one of Fonte's most requested and successful ballets.

Not all dance renditions of similar warhorse scores have worked out so well. Yet the irresistible siren song of pieces like Stravinsky's The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, as well as the perennial Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, seem too magnetic for choreographers to ignore.

And there are reasons for their popularity. Some were commissioned specifically for dance: Rite and Firebird for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; Boléro for dance diva Ida Rubinstein's post–Ballets Russes troupe. Hypnotic rhythms (Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel) and danceable melodies (Bizet's Carmen) make a case for physical eye candy. Audience familiarity can also help box office receipts. Still, many choreographers have been sabotaged by the formidable nature and Muzak-y overuse of these iconic compositions.

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