Day in the Life
Michael Novak and Heather McGinley

After joining the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 2010, Michael Novak quickly became a critic's favorite for his quiet power onstage. But no one was more surprised than Novak when Taylor tapped him to be his successor last year, three months before the legendary choreographer died. Dance Magazine recently caught up with Novak during the company's appearances at the Orchestra of St. Luke's Bach Festival.

In The Studio
Robert Altman

Dancer/choreographer Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie's background is a melting pot of cultures from all over the world—which you can vividly see reflected in her work. But the recent Harkness Promise Awardee attributes the cross-pollination of genres in her work to more than just her background.

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Marion-Skye Brooke Logan in "Eomeoni."

This minimalistic video by Kathy Escobar features Marion-Skye Brooke Logan dancing around a dark studio through a blend of classical ballet and modern movements. Often she appears to be reveling in her instinctive contractions and repetitive bourrée. Other times it is as if she is battling something from within. The music is Violin Concerto Mouvement. IV by Unsuk Chin played by Viviane Hager.

“Eomeoni" by Marion-Skye youtu.be

Submit your video to our February contest here.

Dancer Voices
Limón Dance Company in Missa Brevis. Photo courtesy of the José Limón Dance Foundation.

Some people believe that only new dances should be supported and seen live. By extension, they question the necessity of reconstructing older works, arguing that they should remain in the vault, or saved for archival viewings.

To some extent, I see their point. Room should be made for new voices and new works.

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In The Studio
Lar Lubovitch Dance Company performing Men's Stories. PC Steven Schreiber

Since starting his company in 1968, Lar Lubovitch has stood at the forefront of modern dance—although he is hesitant to label his work as "modern."

"I've always felt I've been making dances," he says. "I've always called them dances and I've never been one to exclude any language of movement. When I'm making a dance it's sort of an essay of all the movement I have in my body of all the dance I've studied."

After 50 years of creating dances, his work is still as technical and humanistic as ever.

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John Heginbotham never walks into rehearsal unprepared. Photo by Janelle Jones, courtesy the Watermill Center

Back in 2012, after 14 years dancing with Mark Morris Dance Group, choreographer John Heginbotham ventured out on his own. Don't think of it as going solo, though.

Almost from the outset, Heginbotham has embarked on a series of fruitful collaborations with other artists, via his namesake company, Dance Heginbotham, and through a stream of independent projects. His creative partners have covered a range of talents and genres: illustrator Maira Kalman (in 2017's The Principles of Uncertainty), opera director Peter Sellars (for Girls of the Golden West, which debuted at San Francisco Opera in November), and contemporary-music luminaries such as Tyondai Braxton and Alarm Will Sound.

Here's What He Has To Say: About starting his company, his rehearsal process and why he's drawn to creative mash-ups.

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In The Studio
Dance Theatre of Harlem performing Dougla. Photo by Martha Swope, courtesy DTH.

Dance Theatre of Harlem is busy preparing for the company's Vision Gala on April 4. The works on the program, which takes place on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., reflect on the legacy of Dr. King and his impact on company founder Arthur Mitchell. Among them is the much-anticipated revival of legendary choreographer Geoffrey Holder's Dougla, which will include live music and dancers from Collage Dance Collective.

We stepped into the studio with Holder's wife Carmen de Lavallade and son Leo Holder to hear what it feels like to keep Holder's legacy alive and what de Lavallade thinks of the recent rise in kids standing up against the government—as she did not too long ago.

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What Wendy's Watching
Jaqlin Medlock rehearsing Signals, with, seated, Rashaun Mitchell, Melissa Toogood and Petronio, PC Paula Court

Stephen Petronio brings a bracing season to New York City's Joyce Theater, where he has performed almost every year for 24 years. His work is exciting to the subscription audience as well as to many dance artists. He delves into movement invention at the same time as creating complex postmodern forms. The new work, Hardness 10, is his third collaboration with composer Nico Muhly. The costumes are by Patricia Field ARTFASHION, hand-painted by Iris Bonner/These Pink Lips. Petronio's work still practically defines the word contemporary.

Stephen Petronio Company also continues with its Bloodlines series. That's where he pays homage to landmark works of the past that have influenced his own edgy aesthetics. This season he's chosen Merce Cunningham's playful trio Signals (1970), which will be performed with live music from Composers Inside Electronics.

Completing the program is an excerpt from Petronio's Underland (2003), with music by Nick Cave. Video footage courtesy of Stephen Petronio Company, filmed by Blake Martin.

Dancers Trending
PC Lydia Daniller, Courtesy Dorsey

I love being transgender. It's an important part of the story of why I choreograph. Although I loved dance from a very young age, I grew up never seeing a single person like me in dance. So how could I imagine a future for myself there?

The enormous barriers I had to overcome weren't internal: I didn't struggle with feelings of dysphoria, and I wasn't locked down by shame.

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What Wendy's Watching
Jamar Roberts, PC Paul Kolnik

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jamar Roberts, one of the most riveting of dancers anywhere, is making a new piece for the season that is now in full swing at New York City Center.

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In The Studio
Photo by Julie Lemberger of Stephen Petronio's Untitled Touch (2017) at The Joyce Theater

For the past 3 years, choreographer Stephen Petronio has been reviving groundbreaking works of postmodern dance through his BLOODLINES project. This season, although his company will be performing a work by Merce Cunningham, his own choreography moves in a more luxurious direction. We stepped into the studio with Petronio and his dancers where they were busy creating a new work, Hardness 10, named for the categorization of diamonds.

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Dancers Trending
Smith dancing with Batsheva in Bobbi Jene

Elvira Lind's documentary Bobbi Jene took the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival by surprise last spring, sweeping the awards for Best Documentary, Best Editing and Best Cinematography. For those of us who have watched Batsheva and Bobbi Jene Smith's career, the film's success is not unexpected. It is a validation of what we already know: Bobbi Jene is absolutely fascinating.

She is the dance equivalent of a method actor, like a Daniel Day Lewis who lives inside his characters for months or years. Seeing her choreographic process first-hand reveals there is no trying to portray emotion through dance, what we see is true emotion as a result of dance.

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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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Dancers Trending
Jon Lowenstein, Courtesy YBCA

Chief of program and pedagogy at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Q: How has your role evolved since joining YBCA five years ago?

"I bring a social practice ethic to performance. You could call me the architect of a program that connects communities to the work that we present."

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