The First Ones to Watch
In 2001, Dance Magazine published its first edition of "25 to Watch," with this introduction: "From our far-flung correspondents, here they are: the dancers, choreographers, troupes and trends we'll be watching in 2001 and for years to come."
Thirteen years may not seem exceptionally long ago—especially given that Dance Magazine has been featuring up-and-coming dancers since 1927. But what's so astounding is that the world hasn't stopped watching many of our original 25. And we're sure they'll be watching the breakout stars of 2014 for years to come, too.
Here are a few of the standout names from that 2001 list:
"Daniel Ulbricht, Big Fish in a Great School"
"Ballet has a budding superstar in Daniel Ulbricht, a 17-year-old student at the School of American Ballet...he is a remarkably compact package of burgeoning pyrotechnics and innate musicality." —Harris Green
(Photo by Costas.)
"Wayne McGregor, Virtual Virtuoso"
"The choreography of Wayne McGregor is reaching a gratifying maturity...Equally adept with toe shoes and bare feet, [McGregor] is offering nothing less than the next step in the evolution of new dance at one of the world's premier dance institutions." —Donald Hutera
"Ashley Bouder: An Apprentice's Sorcery"
"Ashley Bouder is all of 17, an apprentice at the New York City Ballet, winner of the School of American Ballet's prestigious Mae L. Wien Award—and fabulously talented...She's a born performer, lighting up the stage from the moment she steps out...Her dream: to become a New York City Ballet principal." —Lynn Garafola
(Bouder in George Balanchine's Stars and Stripes. Photo by Paul Kolnik.)
"Marcelo Gomes, ABT's Man from Rio"
"At age 20, American Ballet Theatre soloist Marcelo Gomes has been dancing for thirteen years. Born in Brazil, he knew at age 7 he'd be a dancer...Matinee-idol handsome, Gomes is exuberant onstage, whether in the classics or ABT's growing modern repertoire. In person, he's a charmer—friendly, confident and generous with his colleagues." —Gus Solomons jr
(Photo by Mira, Courtesy Rosalie O'Connor.)
"Caroline Rocher, Dance Theatre of Harlem's Rising Star"
"Sleek and sexy in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue and soft and dreamy as the Dark Angel in Serenade, Caroline Rocher has made her mark at Dance Theatre of Harlem. At 23, she has just been promoted to principal dancer." —Wendy Perron
Does the second tapper from the right look familiar? He might if you're a fan of "So You Think You Can Dance": It's Adé Chiké Torbert, then 13 and a member of The Young Hoofers, which in 2001's "25 to Watch" was profiled by Jane Goldberg as "The Future on Tap."
(The Young Hoofers from left: Sekou Torbert, Sheldon Gordon, Lance Liles, Jamal Brown, Calvin Booker, Adé Chiké Torbert, Shakir Torbert. Photo by Traci Mann.)
If "Fosse/Verdon" whet your appetite for the impeccable Gwen Verdon, then Merely Marvelous: The Dancing Genius of Gwen Verdon is the three-course meal you've been craving. The new documentary—available now on Amazon for rental or purchase—dives into the life of the Tony-winning performer and silver-screen star lauded for her charismatic dancing.
Though she's perhaps most well-known today as Bob Fosse's wife and muse, that's not even half of her story. For starters, she'd already won four Tonys before they wed, making her far more famous in the public eye than he was at that point in his career. That's just one of many surprising details we learned during last night's U.S. premiere of Merely Marvelous. Believe us: You're gonna love her even more once you get to know her. Here are eight lesser-known tidbits to get you started.
Every dancer knows that how you fuel your body affects how you feel in the studio. Of course, while breakfast is no more magical than any other meal (despite the enduring myth that it's the most important one of the day), showing up to class hangry is a recipe for unproductive studio time.
So what do your favorite dancers eat in the morning to set themselves up for a busy rehearsal or performance day?
When it comes to dance in the U.S., companies in the South often find themselves overlooked—sometimes even by the presenters in their own backyard. That's where South Arts comes in. This year, the regional nonprofit launched Momentum, an initiative that will provide professional development, mentorship, touring grants and residencies to five Southern dance companies.
You ever just wish that Kenneth MacMillan's iconic production of Romeo and Juliet could have a beautiful love child with the 1968 film starring Olivia Hussey? (No, not Baz Luhrmann's version. We are purists here.)
Wish granted: Today, the trailer for a new film called Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words was released, featuring MacMillan's choreography and with what looks like all the cinematic glamour we could ever dream of: