Maria Kochetkova's first season as a freelancer has been a whirlwind.
A year after leaving San Francisco Ballet, she's already guested in Oslo, Berlin and London. Now, she's got something exciting in the works: From July 16-20, New York City's Joyce Theater will present her first solo program, Maria Kochetkova: Catch Her If You Can.
Mounting such a production took a lot of time, self-development and courage, she says—but she's up for the challenge.
Maria Kochetkova knows you can't have everything. So the international ballet star is prioritizing one thing: Freedom.
"The perfect company doesn't exist," she says. "For me, it is most important to have freedom as an artist. Our career is so short and I want to have opportunities that exist outside of companies. I want to know and learn everything about my craft from classical to contemporary."
The fall performance season continues at breakneck speed with everything from an international ballet company making its U.S. debut to a retrospective on one of New York City's most iconic dancemakers—not to mention more than a few intriguing new works. Here's what we've got pencilled in.
As the fall performance season kicks into high gear, we've been cramming as much excellent dance on our calendars as possible. But if you're feeling overwhelmed by all the options, we've got you covered: From rare U.S. appearances by one of our 2018 "25 to Watch" to an autumn mainstay for New Yorkers, Romeo and Juliet to The Handmaid's Tale, here's what caught our eye.
In late March, The Joyce Theater's annual gala performance included a last-minute substitution: Blueprint, by choreographer Pam Tanowitz. The trio took the place of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Faun, after two Paris Opéra Ballet dancers were unable to secure visas to appear onstage in the U.S.
"It was a shock," says Linda Shelton, executive director at The Joyce Theater. "In all 25 of my years here, I think we'd only been turned down once before. That was ages ago and we already had a feeling that dancer wouldn't be approved anyway, because of an issue with their passport. This was just a big, big surprise."
This year has been a time to commemorate Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino's huge contributions to American dance, as 2018 marks the 30th and 10th anniversaries of their deaths, respectively. On June 10, The Joffrey Ballet brought Arpino's neo-romantic Round of Angels (1983) to the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS, where Joffrey chaired the jury for years. A Joffrey master class and lecture took place on June 18. Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami, the young company founded by former Miami City Ballet stars Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra, brings Arpino's boldly sensual Light Rain to The Joyce Theater June 26–27. arpinofoundation.org.
This week, New York City's Joyce Theater presents two companies addressing LGBTQ+ issues.
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New York City–based dancers know Gibney. It's a performance venue, a dance company, a rehearsal space, an internship possibility—a Rubik's Cube of resources bundled into two sites at 280 and 890 Broadway. And in March of this year, Gibney (having officially dropped "Dance" from its name) announced a major expansion of its space and programming; it now operates a total of 52,000 square feet, 23 studios and five performance spaces across the two locations.
Six of those studios and one performance space are brand-new at the 280 Broadway location, along with several programs. EMERGE will commission new works by emerging choreographic voices for the resident Gibney Dance Company each year; Making Space+ is an extension of Gibney's Making Space commissioning and presenting program, focused on early-career artists. For the next three years, the Joyce Theater Foundation's artist residency programs will be run out of one of the new Gibney studios, helping to fill the gap left by the closing of the Joyce's DANY Studios in 2016.
Some dancers move to New York City with their sights set on a dream job: that one choreographer or company they have to dance for. But when Maggie Cloud graduated from Florida State University in 2010, she envisioned herself on a less straightforward path.
"I always had in mind that I would be dancing for different people," she says. "I knew I had some kind of range that I wanted to tap into."
Lar Lubovitch has made more than 110 dances for his troupe, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. For the celebration of its 50th anniversary, the choreographer has programmed his bracing Men's Stories: A Concerto in Ruin (2000) as well as a premiere titled Something About Night, set to choral music by Schubert. The inclusion on the program of The Joffrey Ballet in a quartet from his Othello (1997) and the Martha Graham Dance Company in Legend of Ten (2010) testifies to Lubovitch's command of both ballet and modern dance idioms. Young choreographers would do well to study his craft and passion. April 17–22. joyce.org.
The crown jewel of flamenco in New York City is Soledad Barrio, star of Noche Flamenca. A 2015 Dance Magazine Award recipient, Barrio unleashes a pride so fierce it tips over into anger, arms that curl sinuously around her head and heels that jab into the floor at impossibly high speeds. In the new show Intimo, choreographed by her husband, artistic director Martin Santangelo, Barrio and the company perform a variety of short, dramatic pieces interacting with—of course—magnificent musicians from Spain. Olé! Feb. 13–25. joyce.org.
The coming weeks see not one, but two companies that can best be described as French cultural mash-ups landing at New York City's Joyce Theater.
The dancers of Dresden Semperoper Ballet have a reputation for applying exceptional classical technique to challenging contemporary choreography with aplomb. Audiences at the company's New York City appearances can expect a whirlwind of impressive, emotionally stirring dancing. It's a great opportunity to catch works by British choreographer David Dawson, whose fluid, hyperphysical movement vocabulary turns elegiac in On the Nature of Daylight (score by Max Richter) and delightfully virtuosic in 5 (excerpted from his Giselle). Also on the program are Stijn Celis' Vertigo Maze and a new ballet from company member and native New Yorker Joseph Hernandez. Oct. 31–Nov. 4. joyce.org.
Maguy Marin, one of France's major choreographers, has a knack for taking us right up to the brink of cruelty. When she brought her startling—and at times bizarre—Umwelt to the Joyce in 2009, some audience members couldn't take it and walked out. Stoked by a pounding electronic score and accelerating rhythmic steps, in BiT the six dancers of Compagnie Maguy Marin work themselves into a frenzy. This new work may go beyond the brink, judging from the warning that has been issued: "This performance contains depictions of sexual violence." Proceed at your own risk. Oct. 25–29. joyce.org.
Summer festival season has arrived! From Bill T. Jones to Michelle Dorrance, Monica Bill Barnes to Marcelo Gomes, we got the inside scoop on where your faves will be appearing this year.
It's fitting that choreographer Benjamin Millepied named a recent work On the Other Side. After a difficult two-year tenure as artistic director of the Paris Opéra Ballet, he is happily settled in Los Angeles and reemerging with big plans for L.A. Dance Project, the contemporary company he founded there in 2012.
Today, his ambitious vision is redefining what an independent dance company can do: grow into an online dance platform and a lifestyle brand, host a building and performance space, and build an international presence.
Find out what exactly dance companies are looking for and book your next gig.
During my company's fledgling years, I remember emailing a promising venue in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, hoping to include them in my plans for an upcoming tour. Unfamiliar with the typical process of getting presented, I had no idea what I was in for. I hadn't anticipated that it would take almost two years of persistent follow-ups to confirm their interest, finalize a date and discuss logistics. And that was just for a one-night appearance!
For emerging dance companies, booking a gig can seem even more daunting than choreographing a new work. With so many ensembles vying for a limited number of performances each season, the competition can be overwhelming. Finding the right venue can feel like an impossible match. And while juggling artistic, financial and logistical elements, it feels all too easy to overlook an important detail that might cost you a booking. This month, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters' annual conference will connect eager companies to decision-makers from venues all over the country. But what are they looking for? Dance Magazine talked to top presenters about their pet peeves, dos and don'ts, and advice for helping a company get noticed—and get jobs.