Dancers Trending

We're Dying to See What This New Ryan Heffington/Spike Jonze Collab Will Look Like

Courtesy Heffington

Whether he's choreographing bizarre music videos for Sia, an immersive dance show on the High Line or soundtrack-synchronized moves for the summer blockbuster Baby Driver, Ryan Heffington's dances keep popping up in unexpected places. His latest project? Choreographing a "dance story" for Opening Ceremony during New York Fashion Week.


If you're wondering what a "dance story" is, you're not the only one. According to the recent announcement on Opening Ceremony's Instagram, it sounds pretty cool, though: For starters, the live dance event, called Changers, will be written and directed by none other than Spike Jonze (Think Her, Where the Wild Things Are, Being John Malkovich). It won't be your typical runway show—the venue is downtown dance theater La MaMa. OC describes the event as "a story of love and relationships [told] through movement and dance." That could mean just about anything, but if Jonze and Heffington's previous collab (this delightfully wacky KENZO World perfume short) is any indication of what's in store, we're on board.

Changers premieres during Fashion Week on September 10 and will then run as a ticketed show open to the public for four additional nights.


Career Advice
Audrey Rachelle recommends not drawing on personal experience when performing difficult roles. Aeric Meredith-Goujon, Courtesy Rachelle

Even though it's been a year since he took his last bow in the piece, Kidd Pivot dancer Jermaine Maurice Spivey still feels the aftermath of touring in Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young's Betroffenheit. The harrowing piece chronicles Young's own journey through tragedy, with dancers embodying his grief, trauma, guilt, addiction, euphoria and glee. "We endured an emotional negotiation each night because of how much the show cost. It was a weird kind of dread, because you wanted to pay the full cost. Otherwise you couldn't do the show justice."

Dance psychologist JoAnne La Fleche says there's little research on the emotional fallout from challenging performances like Betroffenheit, but dancers with poor self-care may be at risk of developing secondhand trauma or PTSD-like symptoms. These can range from fatigue, anxiety and depression to flashbacks and panic episodes.

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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.

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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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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