Dance in Pop Culture
Rudolf Nureyev. Courtesy Spotlight Cinema Networks.

What's better than one film about Rudolf Nureyev? Two films about Rudolf Nureyev!

We're excited to share that a feature-length documentary titled Nureyev is slated to make its North American premiere next month. Nureyev will be shown in major U.S. cities starting April 19, giving you just enough time time to brush up on your Nureyev history before the Ralph Fiennes directed biopic, The White Crow, hits U.S. theaters on April 26.

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Dancer Voices
Passing dance history on to the next generation is a bit like handing down the family jewels, says Wendy Whelan, seen here teaching. Photo by Christopher Duggan, courtesy Whelan.

When I was a young dancer in Louisville, Kentucky, my ballet teacher used to speak a lot about Merrill Ashley. She brought neoclassical technique to exquisite new heights under Balanchine, and as a technician, she famously paved the way for today's balletic whiz kids. (Later, when I was a teenager, I was lucky enough to have her as a teacher.) Today, as I travel around the country giving master classes, I often find myself bringing up the names of quintessential American ballerinas, dancers like Merrill. But now, if I mention her name, I can't help but notice my students' eyes widening as they look to each other wondering who exactly this famous ballerina named Merrill is.

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Dance History
Rambert Dance Company in Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun. PC Alice Pennefather

We can all relate to the feeling: You go see a new dance work that you absolutely love, and when you get home, you have no choice but to create a bronze sculpture depicting the performance.

Okay, maybe not. But in 1912, that's exactly what Auguste Rodin did after seeing the premiere of Vaslav Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun.

And for a short time, the iconic sculptor's depiction of Nijinsky, as well as his cast plaster for the piece, are on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as part of a Rodin exhibition.

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Dancers Trending
Delores Brown, photo via mobballet.org

When we're talking about the history of black dancers in ballet, three names typically pop up: Raven Wilkinson at Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Janet Collins at New York's Metropolitan Opera and Arthur Mitchell at New York City Ballet.

But in the 1930s through 50s, there was a largely overlooked hot spot for black ballet dancers: Philadelphia. What was going on in that city that made it such an incubator? To answer that question, we caught up with Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet founder (and frequent Dance Magazine contributor) Theresa Ruth Howard, who yesterday released her latest project, a video series called And Still They Rose: The Legacy of Black Philadelphians in Ballet.

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Popular
American Ballet Theatre dancers arrive in Washington, DC, to protest, 1973. Photo by Louis Peres, Courtesy DM Archives.

It's our 90th anniversary! To celebrate, we excavated some of our favorite hidden gems from the DM Archives—images that capture a few of the moments in time we've documented over the decades.

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Dancers Trending
Photo Courtesy Seet Dance

We're not ashamed to admit it: The Dance Magazine staff is a big bunch of dance history nerds. But we also know that, sometimes, learning about our art form's past via textbook can feel stale. That's why we completely lost it (in a good way) when Seet Dance, a contemporary school in Sydney, Australia, contacted us about their special take on dance history. As part of their curriculum, they recreate scenes from famous modern and contemporary works with Legos.

Yes. You read that right. With Legos! Who doesn't love Legos?

And the level of detail—from the figures' positions to their costumes and the accompanying sets—shows a keen understanding of these iconic moments.

Browse through some of Seet Dance's set-ups below, and put your own dance history knowledge to the test. How many do you recognize? Scroll to the bottom for the choreographer and name of each work, and links to clips of these memorable performances.

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All photos Courtesy Seet Dance

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