Dance History

#tbt: Our 10 Favorite Frederic Franklin Photos from the DM Archives

Frederic Franklin in Valerie Bettis' A Streetcar Named Desire (1952). Photo courtesy DM Archives

In the June 1974 issue of Dance Magazine, our cover subject was the endlessly charming Frederic Franklin, then 60 years old. After declaring at the age of 4 that he was "going to be in the theater," the Liverpool-born dancer spent a lifetime doing exactly that.


He had his professional debut at 17, bouncing between cabarets, music revues and corps de ballet work before landing first with the Markova-Dolin Ballet and then the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, where he formed a famed partnership with Alexandra Danilova. His work as a ballet master and director at companies across the U.S. (notably at Cincinnati Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem and the now-defunct National Ballet) left an indelible mark on the development of American ballet. "I believe that talent is like a piece of elastic," he told us. "One has to stretch it. And we must always return to our roots, not simply to the barre every morning, but to the true spirit of the dance—to the magical aspect of theater. That magic exists in all great dancers and they sustain each other, with this wisdom and genius." The beloved teacher and performer continued to appear in character roles until the age of 95.

Constantine, Courtesy DM Archives

Alexandra Danilova and Franklin

Breaking Stereotypes
Lindsay Martell at a class performance. Courtesy Martell.

More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:

"Is your daughter the dancer?"

"Actually," I say, "I am."

"Wow!" they enthuse. "Who do you dance with? Or have you retired...?"

"I don't dance with a company. I'm not a professional. I just take classes."

Insert mic drop/record scratch/quizzical looks.

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Taylor Stanley in Apollo. Photo by Erin Baiano, Courtesy New York City Ballet

You nominated your favorite dance moments so far in 2019, and we narrowed them down to this list. Now it's time to cast your vote to help decide who will be deemed our Readers' Choice picks for the year!

Voting is open until September 17th. Only one vote per person will be counted.

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The USC Kaufman graduating class with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Gus Ruelas/USC

Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.

Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:

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News
Teaċ Daṁsa in Michael Keegan-Dolan's Loch na hEala. Photo by Marie-Laure Briane, courtesy Walker Art Center

The 2019–20 season is here, and with it more performances than any one person could reasonably catch. But fear not: We polled our writers and editors and selected the 31 most promising tickets, adding up to one endlessly intriguing year of dance.

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