Dancers Trending
Whoever told Emma Portner not to move to NYC probably feels silly now. Photo by Quinn Wharton

Raise your hand if you've received bad advice from well-meaning friends or family (or strangers, tbh) who don't know anything about what it really takes to be a dancer.

*everyone raises hands*

Sometimes it's even dance insiders whose advice can send you down the wrong path. We've been asking pros about the worst advice they've ever received in our "Spotlight" Q&A series, and rounded up some of the best answers:

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Breaking Stereotypes
Pat Birch on the set of Grease, choreographing the legendary Hand Jive scene, with Olivia Newton John and John Travolta. Photo courtesy Birch

Forty years ago, the movie musical Grease introduced audiences around the world to Grease lightning and an iconic hand jive. Would anyone guess now that all those unforgettable rock-n'-roll style dances were choreographed by a former Martha Graham Dance Company soloist? (Was John Travolta actually in a contraction?)

Choreographer Patricia Birch, better known as Pat, says "I was always attracted to Broadway, even when I was dancing with Martha."

After Grease's sensational success, Birch continued choreographing and directing, working nonstop for five decades and counting. She directed and choreographed numerous Broadway productions (Candide, A Little Night Music), was resident choreographer for the first six years of Saturday Night Live, choreographed HBO's Boardwalk Empire, and is currently working on touring her musical production, Orphan Train.

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Dance As Activism
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs Revelations. Courtesy of Knight Foundation

At a time when the political climate is increasingly divisive, it's no wonder people want to compartmentalize. Some want their pirouettes separate from their politics, and can be quick to protest when dancers challenge that both on and off the stage.

Most recently, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston was scrutinized when she shared this post on her Instagram.

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Dancers Trending
Miami City Ballet's Nathalia Arja, PC Alexander Iziliaev

We love learning new things about our favorite dancers through our "Spotlight" Q&A series (like Sterling Baca's obsession with spiders!). One of the questions we always ask is: What's the biggest misconception about dancers?

After a while, we began to sense a pattern in the responses. Here's how five dancers answered the question (warning: this may make you hungry!):

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News
Lar Lubovitch's Men's Stories: A Concerto in Ruin. Photo by Phyllis A. McCabe, Courtesy Lar Lubovitch Dance Company

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.

News
PeiJu Chien-Pott in Lamentation, © Hibbard Nash Photography

Google's headquarters sounds like a pretty sweet place to work. But for dancers? Tech nerds (no offense) hovering over computers and algorithms doesn't seem like the most natural place for artistic exploration.

But the Martha Graham Dance Company is getting an opportunity to work with said tech nerds at Google's New York City offices, as part of a collaboration with Google Arts & Culture to explore some of the tech giant's latest projects.

The Graham Company—along with Graham 2 and Teens@Graham students—will be in residence at Google for two weeks, beginning April 30. Visual artist SoHyun Bae, media artist Tyler Henry, filmmaker Nancy Stevens and Google technologist Tom Small will also be collaborating with the dancers.

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In The Studio
Leslie Andrea Williams and Lorenzo Pagano in Martha Graham's "Embattled Garden"© Hibbard Nash Photography

The much-anticipated Martha Graham Dance Company season at New York City Center is upon us. From April 11–14, the company will present classics like Chronicle, the sly melodrama Embattled Garden and of course Graham's visceral masterwork The Rite of Spring. This season also includes works by internationally acclaimed choreographers Lucinda Childs, Lar Lubovitch and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

We sat down with Graham artistic director Janet Eilber to talk about bringing back older Graham works, working with new choreographers and what Martha would have to say about today's wave of feminism.

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Dance in Pop Culture
Mantle features current and former Graham dancers. Photo Courtesy Barneys New York.

Department store Barneys New York has teamed up with Samsung and the Martha Graham Dance Company for what's possibly the most intriguing dance-meets-fashion collaboration to date. Today through April 8, you can visit select Barneys stores or their website to experience Mantle, a surreal 11-minute virtual reality experience featuring current and former Graham company members in eerie choreography by Cynthia Stanley.

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Dancers Trending
Chicago's Auditorium Theater

For most dancers, walking into the theater elicits a familiar emotion that's somewhere between the reverence of stepping into a chapel and the comfort of coming home. But each venue has its own aura, and can offer that something special that takes your performance to a new level. Six dancers share which theaters have transported them the most.


GLENN ALLEN SIMS

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Glenn Allen Sims in Alvin Ailey's Masekela Langage. Photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy AAADT

Favorite theater: Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain

Royal details: "The theater is gorgeous and ornate, with deep red upholstery and gold trim. There is a huge royal box in the center, which takes you back to when kings and queens were watching performances there."

Impressive facilities: Even the dressing rooms are a sight to see: Amenities for the dancers include large, carpeted rooms, and towel service.

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Popular
Photo curtesy of Abdiel Jacobsen

Abdiel Jacobsen is a jack of all trades. A member of the Martha Graham Dance Company since 2011, Jacobsen dances principal Graham roles and performs in works by Nacho Duato, Robert Wilson, Sonya Tayeh and Luca Veggetti, to name a few.


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Popular
Photo Courtesy AAADT

Believe it or not, dance fashion has not always been a thing. Rehearsal wear used to consist of a leotard, tights and legwarmers—that's it. But today, dancewear has exploded with the rise of athleisure, and rehearsals have become a place where dancers can show their individual style. Almost anything goes, from fun socks to running pants to beanies. Here's a look at how three iconic companies have evolved their rehearsal fashion over the years.

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Dance Training
Tracy Inman teaching Horton technique at the Ailey School. PC Eduardo Patino

In a competitive dance world where students train to conquer the next big thing, it can feel like historic modern techniques—from Graham to Horton to Cunningham—just aren't a priority. But the truth is, these styles are just as relevant today as when they were created.

University of Taipei students in José Limón's work. PC Yi-Chun Wu

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Dancers Trending

Looking for some guilty pleasure procrastination? Dance Magazine's got you covered. We're hosting two great livestreams at the end of this week.

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Magazine
How do dancers get by on a first-year paycheck? Three new professionals told us how they make it work.

When dancers sign their first contract, they envision themselves working with star choreographers and performing in foreign theaters. But the logistical realities of a career in the performing arts can quickly overshadow the excitement of life as a dancer—especially when you're trying to survive on a first-year salary. To support themselves without relying on parents or going into debt, new professionals quickly learn how to stretch a paycheck, dancer-style.

Charlotte Landreau

Job: Martha Graham Dance Company, dancer

Age: 22

Hometown: Strasbourg, France

Joined: 2012

Salary: About $900/week

Benefits: Full year-round health coverage

Weeks of Work: Almost 40

The Reality Check: Before moving to New York City, Landreau got a bank loan of $30,000, “so I wouldn't have to work like crazy." Regardless, to get by once there, she nannied for a French family and lived on a couch for a year.

Rent: $300. Sharing a bedroom and having four roommates in the apartment keeps the cost unusually low for New York City.

Utilities: $15/month for internet and electricity. She still uses her French phone for free communication: “I use WhatsApp, Viber and Skype with my fiancé, who is a Béjart dancer in Switzerland."

Food: $200/month

Splurge: “When I want to enjoy life and not think too hard about money, first, I check if I can buy an airplane ticket to see my fiancé in Europe. My second favorite thing is having the time to enjoy a hot coffee (no sugar, no milk) with blueberry/chocolate pancakes. And, I do love shopping: Finding things that I can wear in and out of rehearsals, looking for the item that makes me more me!"

Money-Saving Trick: Mix one expensive and one cheap shampoo to avoid constantly buying pricey brands. “Also, at many gyms, usually the first three classes are free. You can try a lot of different places this way!"

Advice She Wishes She'd Received: “I wish I'd known that it's hard to eat well without money. But if you don't eat well, you get injured, and if you get injured, you don't have a job."

Above: Landreau and Lloyd Knight rehearsing Martha Graham's The Rite of Spring. Photo by Brigid Pierce, Courtesy Graham.

Jennifer Grace

Job: Tulsa Ballet, corps member

Age: 18

Hometown: Bozeman, Montana

Joined: 2014

Salary: Around $665/week

Benefits: Health insurance, 40 pairs of pointe shoes per year, on-site physical therapist and massage therapist, gym membership and nutritionist

Weeks of Work: 40

The Reality Check: Coming straight from high school, Grace was surprised by the business of adult life: “The biggest thing was learning how to live in my own apartment: Keep it clean, make meals, keep gas in my car, pay for it all."

Rent: $550/month. “The first thing I do is write my rent check before I put aside $150 for gas."

Utilities: $30/week for gas to drive to work, church, the grocery store and theater. Grace's utilities and WiFi are included in her rent, and she didn't set up cable, using her computer for entertainment instead.

Food: $200–$240/month. “I try not to eat out, and spend most of my money on fruits and veggies. The very first month, I thought, Oh, it's just one sweet cereal that's expensive. But that didn't fill me up or give me energy. Now I buy more nutritious, often less expensive foods to get me through my work day."

Splurge: “I treat myself during production week: Starbucks latte!"

Money-Saving Trick: “I write menus for the week so I only buy the ingredients I need." Grace is able to save about $500 each month, which she hopes to use on college courses.

Advice She Wishes She'd Received: To be picky with the money spent on dancewear, making sure items weren't too slippery or baggy for partnering.

Above: Grace as Hermia in Christopher Wheeldon's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Nick Rashad Burroughs

Job: Kinky Boots on Broadway, a featured Angel and understudy for a lead

Age: 21

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

Joined: 2014

Salary: About $2,000/week

Benefits: Health insurance, physical therapist, massage therapist

Weeks of Work: Year-round, until the show closes. Burroughs can take up to two weeks of vacation.

The Reality Check: “You have to make yourself better every day to get the job—and keep the job." Since Broadway runs are commercially driven and reflect audience demand quite immediately, dancers have to be constantly ready to get back in the audition room if a show closes.

Rent: $500/month. Burroughs saves by living with a friend in an affordable area, Washington Heights.

Utilities: $50–$70/month on internet and electricity. Though his mother still has his phone on contract, Burroughs helps her with payments, recently sending $200.

Food: $400/month. “I don't eat out. I grew up without a ton of money, so I'm used to saving."

Money-Saving Trick: “My mother always told me to set a limit for how much you spend per week. Buy what you need, not what you want in a momentary urge."

Advice He Wishes He'd Received: How expensive New York City is. “Just paying for the subway, deli items—you spend money every day here."

Above: Burroughs in Jesus Christ Superstar. Photo by Steven Ross, Courtesy Burroughs.

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Health & Body

At home and on tour, this Martha Graham Dance Company principal stays centered with yoga––on her iPad.

 

 

Chien-Pott in Nacho Duato’s Depak Ine. Photo by Yi-Chun Wu.

 

PeiJu Chien-Pott doesn’t have much time for cross-training. As a principal with the Martha Graham Dance Company, plus a wife and a mother to a 4-year-old daughter, her schedule quickly fills up. So even though her ideal workout is Bikram yoga—she likes the feel of the heat on her muscles and joints after intense rehearsals—taking class is a rare luxury.

 

Her solution? A 15-minute sun salutation or an hour-long strengthening practice at home with the Yoga.com Studio iPad app. Year-round Graham movement stresses her lower back and knees, so she relies on downward dogs and child’s poses to find relief. “When I don’t practice yoga, my muscles get very tense and blocked,” she says.

 

Without a live instructor to guide her, Chien-Pott takes extra care to tune in to her body: “I stop if something doesn’t feel right—it’s not worth getting injured.” Generally she avoids poses that uncomfortably strain her knees, such as Virasana, or “hero pose,” which requires kneeling with the knees together but the feet on the outsides of the hips.

 

In addition to helping her achieve muscular balance, yoga also helps Chien-Pott clear her head. She has come to truly enjoy the solitude of her private practice alone with her iPad: “The breathing exercises calm me down, focus my concentration and bring me back to myself.”

 

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Magazine

Paul Taylor re-envisions PTDC; Graham Company archives its work.

 

Paul Taylor in rehearsal with his PTDC. Photo by Whitney Browne.

The last time a modern dance visionary announced plans for the future of his company, it was Merce Cunningham. The strategy: to let his troupe go out with a bang—and then disband—when he died.

Paul Taylor is taking a different approach. In March, he and his board announced a major restructuring of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, which has solely danced his work for 60 years. Beginning in 2015, the newly named Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance will have a three-pronged mission: to dance new and old Taylor repertoire; to restage classics by pioneers like Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey; and to present new work by current choreographers.

“I think Paul Taylor is looking to become more engaged in the entire art form of American modern dance,” says executive director John Tomlinson. “Rather than just putting his head down and creating the best work he can, he wants to take on some of the responsibility of curating and preserving the art form across all of its many differences.”

Tomlinson could not confirm which new choreographers would be working with the company, though he did mention that it has found a potential creative ally in New York City Ballet’s Peter Martins. At a press conference at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater, home to PTDC’s New York seasons since 2012, the 83-year-old Taylor stated, “I like movement and dance steps. I’m not wild about a lot of talking and high-tech effects. I like dancing. That’s my taste. And I want to push that.” A through-line of the initiative, Tomlinson added, will be the use of live music when possible, a “mark of excellence” that Taylor has insisted on.

While broader in scope and perhaps better funded (with a projected $10 million funding it as of March), Taylor’s new structure resembles what has emerged at Martha Graham Dance Company, which has reimagined itself since Graham’s death. MGDC repertoire includes Graham masterpieces, seminal mid-century works by choreographers like Jane Dudley and Mary Wigman, and commissions. “We have these masterpieces, which we see as our core collection,” said executive director LaRue Allen, “just as the Picasso Museum in Paris has its core of Picasso works.” In February, the company announced that it received $1 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to digitize archival materials, from videos to programs to stage maps. When complete, online “toolkits” will be available for educational and research purposes.

Tomlinson said that while he values preservation, Taylor’s priority is to ensure the continued life—onstage—of great modern dance: “Whether it be a new or old work or his work, he wants them seen.”

Magazine

Reshaping Graham for new audiences

 

When Martha Graham formed her company in 1926, it was the start of a dance revolution. But for those dedicated to keeping the Graham flame alive—namely Janet Eilber, artistic director of Martha Graham Dance Company—the foremost question is, How can a company formed 87 years ago be relevant today?

“You have to make decisions,” says Eilber at the Graham company’s West Village studios in Westbeth, formerly home to the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Take Eilber’s current undertaking: to cut Graham’s 1958 two-act masterpiece Clytemnestra down to one hour.

Right: Katherine Crockett in Satyric Festival Song. Photo by Nathan Sayers.

“I don’t see that as really losing anything,” she says. “I see that as traveling through time. You do have to strip things away as you move forward and accept the fact that they’re no longer relevant. That’s the great thing about the Graham legacy: the core of it is so relevant.”

When Eilber took over as artistic director in 2005—joined by LaRue Allen, who remains the company’s executive director—she had immediate crises to deal with. The company, previously led by the two foremost Graham interpreters of the 1980s and ’90s—Terese Capucilli and Christine Dakin—was in substantial debt. Dancers were full of doubt. It seemed like the company had a better chance of folding than rediscovering itself.

The turnaround has been an evolution. “We started with a $5 million debt and used this whole trajectory of starting with simple, inexpensive creative programs that gave us a foundation to build on,” Eilber explains. The organization has been in the black for eight years, and its budget more than doubled since 2006.

For Tadej Brdnik, who joined in 1996, the success comes down to artistic vision. “The biggest mistake after Martha’s death is that nobody actually sat down and said, Who are we? How can we make this legacy thrive past the years of Martha Graham?” he says. “It was kind of like sucking on a lollipop: Nobody noticed there was nothing left on it.”

Eilber danced with the Graham company from 1972 to 1980. Martha trusted her so much with her own roles that she invited her back as a guest artisteven while Eilber was in Los Angeles, where she was acting in films like Whose Life Is It Anyway? Eilber has lost none of her statuesque polish, yet while she may evoke the blond coolness of Grace Kelly, there is heat in her, too. Her eyes sparkle with passion whenever she shares a thought about how an aspect of Graham’s world could be disseminated. It’s almost as if she’s built a web and shooting from its center are silken pathways showing all the ways Graham’s work can live on.

Left: Blakeley White-McGuire in costume for Diversion of Angels. Photo by Nathan Sayers.

Eilber’s first mission was to shorten programs so that there would be one intermission instead of two. She initiated audience-access experiments in the form of online video competitions like the “Clytemnestra Remash Challenge” and “On the Couch,” which was part of that season’s “Inner Landscape” theme. Eilber, who is greatly inspired by museum curation, adores themes. They give her a sense of structure; from there, her imagination can run wild. Currently, the organization is enmeshed in “Myth and Transformation,” but she’s starting to cook up “Shape and Design,” which will address Graham’s place in American modernism.

Yet Eilber also stays in the present. Lamentation Variations is an ongoing series in which short works—created in reaction to Graham’s extraordinary 1930 solo—are commissioned for a range of choreographers. (The list includes Larry Keigwin, Aszure Barton, and Doug Varone.) “It’s easier in Lamentation Variations to open the door to any style, but for a larger work we need somebody who can stand up next to Martha Graham,” she says.

In February, Nacho Duato will begin his second piece for the company. His first was Rust, a devastating male quintet exploring ideas about torture. “Even before he finished the piece, he volunteered to come back and do another one as soon as possible,” says Brdnik, laughing. “I could feel him in the studio—he was really happy because he was tapping into a part of his imagination that maybe wasn’t being fulfilled with different kinds of dancers.” (Duato, who mainly works with classical dancers, is the artistic director of the Mikhailovsky Ballet in St. Petersburg.)

Above: Doug Varone's Lamentation Variation with, from left to right, Tadej Brdnik, Lloyd Knight, Abdiel Jacobsen, and Maurizio Nardi. By Costas, courtesy MGDC.

Eilber also hopes to bring contemporary classics into the mix, like Merce Cunningham’s Winterbranch and Jerome Robbins’ Watermill; she would love to have, as museums do, an acquisition fund. “A work by Pina Bausch for the Graham company?” she asks in wonderment. “Pina was so influenced by Martha. There are so many people out there who are grandchildren of Martha Graham. Matthew Bourne. It’s the emotional narrative: Remember the duet in his Swan Lake between the son and his mother? It’s like a Graham duet. As you can tell, I dream…”

But her ideas are doubly exciting when the current crop of Graham dancers have so much to offer. If Katherine Crockett is the company’s incandescent bombshell—she was Cate Blanchett’s dance double in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for a reason—Blakeley White-McGuire is its drama queen. Her performances become more ravaged and haunting—without the melodrama, if you can believe it—with each passing season.

“What has been gained is a vibrancy and an unleashing of the spirit of the artist that made all of this,” White-McGuire says. “I didn’t know Graham as a personality. What Janet has done, in a way, is made that OK. She has opened up the possibility of it going forward.”

And Xiaochuan Xie, a soloist from China, is proof that the company is still attracting talent. A dancer of startling luminosity (see “On the Rise,” Sept. 2011), she will be featured in The Rite of Spring during the company’s New York City Center season this March. Having joined the company in 2010, she’s still learning; White-McGuire is her idol.

“She has a special intensity, which I think I’m lacking,” Xie says. “I see myself as a weak person. That’s also why I came to Graham: I want to be strong. When I came here, it was a new experience for me to really think, What’s in me? I still ask myself that question every day.”

Xie describes Eilber in one word: “Brave.” It takes a few seconds for Xie’s peals of laughter to die down. “I couldn’t do those things. It’s an older company with all this reputation and probably a lot of stereotypes from the audience.”

She recounts how one spectator complimented her dancing in a Graham duet, but referred to the other more contemporary piece on the program in a derogatory way. “There are probably a lot of people who say things like that to her face,” Xie says. “It’s hard to get all those opinions, but at the same time, you still need to say, This is what I want to do and I’m doing it.”

For Crockett, the company now has a greater openness. “Things change and they should change, because we have new people in the company and the world is changing,” she says. “The beauty is to understand the impulse of the technique and to understand that technique is not the style, but how to shift the body from the pelvis, how to spiral from the back, how to find the impulse of the contraction shooting you through space. If you project that into everything you do, it will still live, it will still be pure.”

 

Right: Blakeley White-McGuire in costume for Cave of the Heart, set by Noguchi. By Nathan Sayers

 

In a way, Eilber is creating a highly technical repertory company with a secret weapon: a Graham base. “These works will resonate,” she says, “and can be disassembled and reassembled in many different configurations.”

Falling under the category of what she calls “creative curation,” Eilber is experimenting with ways to reframe the Graham repertoire. In 2011 she collaborated with Italian theater director Antonio Calenda for a production about Picasso in which dancers performed remixed sections from Graham works. Another Italian venture featured 10 members of the company in casts of Prometheus Bound and The Bacchae.

 

“That was a great experience in deciding which Graham phrases to manipulate,” Eilber says. “Prometheus Bound had the dancers flying down this huge staircase, and we used moves from the white lady from Diversion of Angels for the whole group. Later, they had a more angry section; we used the solo Deep Song, but turned it into a group dance. It was amazing. I want to do it again!”

 

Another of Eilber’s dreams is to collaborate with an opera director to give a production a Graham look using, say, characters from the Trojan War. “What if scenes from all of these dances could be seen and the audience could walk through them?” she asks. “A film artist could create projections while you saw the sacrifice of Iphigenia, and then soldiers would lead you into a town square, and you’d see Cassandra’s crazy scene. You’d turn the corner and see Clytemnestra murdering Agamemnon.”

 

Eilber’s eyes, it should be noted, have that special sparkle again.

 

“These are the sorts of things that I figure if you don’t think about them they’ll never happen,” she says. But it also comes down to what she’s been handed: the Graham legacy.

 

“If you’re going to curate something, curate something that’s limitless.”

 

Gia Kourlas is the dance editor of Time Out New York and writes about dance for The New York Times.

 

Xiaochuan Xie in costume for The Rite of Spring. Photo by Nathan Sayers for DM.

 

Magazine

Flying High at 10

Donald Byrd’s 10th season at Spectrum Dance Theater has been chock-full: a national tour of his Theater of Needless Talents, Byrd’s homage to artists who perished in the Holocaust; the premiere of A Meeting Place last winter; and a DanceMotion USA goodwill trip to Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. This month, the Seattle-based company reprises A Cruel New World/the new normal, Byrd’s first piece for Spectrum after becoming director, about post-9/11 America. www.spectrumdance.org.

 

A Cruel New World/the new normal. Photo by Nate Watters, Courtesy Spectrum.

 

 

See the Music

Oregon Ballet Theatre’s artistic director departed at the end of 2012, in response to the board-supported new direction for the company (see “Transitions,” p. 58). But Christopher Stowell’s vision for the season lives on, and this month’s American Music Festival is but one example of his progressive leadership. Both Trey McIntyre and Pontus Lidberg have been commissioned. McIntyre’s feel-good choreography will be set to music by Pacific Northwest band Fleet Foxes, and Lidberg has chosen Portland-born composer Ryan Francis. The company also performs Matthew Neenan’s At the Border, set to music by John Adams and made for Pennsylvania Ballet. April 18–27. www.obt.org.

 

Alison Roper in McIntyre’s Just. Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert, Courtesy OBT.

 

 

 

 

All That Jazz

In a pair of tributes to legendary jazz musicians, River North Dance Chicago will celebrate Eva Cassidy and Cuban jazz this month. The Cassidy premiere runs April 4–6 at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philly. On April 13, the company combines forces with Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and the Auditorium Theatre in a co-commissioned work titled “The Cuban Project.” www.rivernorthchicago.com.

 

 

Monique Haley of River North Dance Chicago. Photo by Marc Hauser, Courtesy RNDC.

 

 

One Starry Night

After hundreds of budding ballet dancers have competed, the trophies have been awarded, and the tears have dried, Youth America Grand Prix puts on a spectacular gala. Joining dancers from American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet, and Ballet West’s Beckanne Sisk (a YAGP alumna), flying in for “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” will be Dorothée Gilbert, one of Paris Opéra Ballet’s most fetching étoiles, and from Ballet Nacional de Cuba, balancing queen Viengsay Valdés and Osiel Gounod, the company’s promising new principal. April 18. www.yagp.org.

 

Viengsay Valdés of Ballet Nacional de Cuba. Photo by Matthew Karas.

 

Repping for Vets

Repertory Dance Theatre honors the women who have served in the United States military in “Women of Valor: In the Spirit of Service.” Featuring choreography by Joanie Smith, Bill Evans, and Susan Hadley, the April 11 performance will raise proceeds to help fund the Utah Women’s Military Memorial at the Fort Douglas Museum. April 11–13 at the Jeanne Wagner Theatre. www.rdtutah.org.

 

Katherine Winder. Photo by Scott Peterson, Courtesy RDT.

 

 

 

A Toast to Trisha

UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance fetes Trisha Brown and her legacy this month in “Trisha Brown Dance Company: The Retrospective Project.” On April 4, the company performs Astral Converted in an outdoor amphitheater on campus. Set and Reset and Spanish Dance, among other works, come to Royce Hall on April 5 and 7. UCLA students, coached by company members, will perform the groping-through-clothing Floor of the Forest at the Hammer Museum, and two performances of Roof Piece on April 6 at the iconic J. Paul Getty Museum round out the weeklong celebration. www.cap.ucla.edu.

 

Brown’s Spanish Dance. Photo by Alfredo Anceschi, Courtesy CAP.

 

 

The Rite Moves

Companies around the world continue to perform tributes to Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps on the occasion of the ballet’s centennial:

 

Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre dances Michael Keegan-Dolan’s The Rite of Spring at Sadler’s Wells in London.

GroundWorks DanceTheater performs director David Shimotakahara’s new Rite of Spring with the Akron Symphony Orchestra.

Meryl Tankard’s Oracle appears in Urbana, IL; Austin, TX;  and Syracuse, NY.

Tanztheater Wuppertal performs Pina Bausch’s Das Frühlingsopfer in Taiwan and at the Bolshoi Theatre.

At Carolina Performing Arts: Nederlands Dans Theater dances Medhi Walerski’s Chamber, inspired by Le Sacre; Martha Graham Dance Company revives Graham’s Rite of Spring (1984); and students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts perform Shen Wei’s Rite of Spring.

 

Nederlands Dans Theater in Medhi Walerski’s Chamber. Photo by Rahi Rezvani, Courtesy NDT.

 

 

 

Contributors: Kathleen Dalton, Kina Poon

 

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