Just for Fun

#tbt: Check Out Our Beauty Advice—Featuring DIY Facelift Exercises— from 1944

A page from the December 1944 issue of Dance Magazine

Sometimes we find absolute gems in the DM Archives. And sometimes we find things that are so bizarre we couldn't have made them up if we tried. Take, for example, the opening lines of an article that appeared in the December 1944 issue of Dance Magazine:


"Dancers have a way of looking one-half their age when most people are worrying about looking fat and forty and not very fair. Of course, it's mostly a dancer's consistent daily exercise that does the trick but it is also partly psychological. Contemplation of beauty, associating yourself with beauty and continually expressing beauty in your own person all work miracles against the onslaught of age."

In "Lifting Your Own Face," we spoke to accompanist Elizabeth Gilfillan, who shared with us some of her "fifty famous face lifting exercises," including "The Mouth Rejuvenator" and "The All-Over Lift." She claimed that diligent practice of these had made her appear significantly younger and would do the same for any woman who was committed to doing the exercises regularly and correctly. (She later penned a book on the subject, now out of print.) "Oh, I wish all women would realize how important it is to keep a young face," Gilfillan told us. "Then there would be fewer husbands running afield."

A page from the December 1944 issue of Dance Magazine

We've come a long way in the last 75 years—and we certainly don't recommend that you start your day with "twenty-five dashes of cold water...[with] a thick soft washcloth in each hand to save time and cover the whole face each time," or to complete your morning routine with "The Mouth Rejuvenator":

"The exercise: Purse the lips in the whistling position, then relax their edges to spread them out like a flower, and at the same time lift the mouth until it actually bumps against the nose and meanwhile try to smile. You can't smile, but the effort will harden and lift the cheeks. Think up, up, up, everything up."

If you're searching for some 21st century skincare advice, look no further than our Active Beauty column—like these pro-tested picks from a couple of Radio City Rockettes.

Broadway
Courtesy Macy's, Inc.

As you're prepping your Thanksgiving meal, why not throw in a dash of dance?

This year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is stuffed (pun intended) with performances from four stellar Broadway shows, the Radio City Rockettes and students from three New York City dance institutions.

Tune in to NBC November 28 from 9 am to noon (in all time zones), or catch the rebroadcast at 2 pm (also in all time zones). Here's what's in store:

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Sponsored by NYCDA
Ailey II artistic director Troy Powell teaching an Ailey Workshop at NYCDA. Courtesy NYCDA

Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.

"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."

Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.

Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:

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Rant & Rave
Sergei Polunin. Photo by British Broadcasting Corporation and Polunin Ltd., Courtesy Sundance Selects.

Last week, Variety reported that Sergei Polunin would reunite with the team behind Dancer for another documentary. "Where 'Dancer' looked at his whole life, family and influences," director Steven Cantor said, " 'Satori' will focus more squarely on his creative process as performer and, for the first time ever, choreographer." The title references a poorly received evening of work by the same name first presented by Polunin in 2017. (It recently toured to Moscow and St. Petersburg.)

I cannot be the only person wondering why we should care.

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Sponsored by Harlequin Floors
Left: Hurricane Harvey damage in Houston Ballet's Dance Lab; Courtesy Harlequin. Right: The Dance Lab pre-Harvey; Nic Lehoux, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.

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