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What to Listen to: Our Top 3 Dance Podcast Picks

What's better on your morning commute than listening to a podcast, you ask? We'd say, listening to a dance podcast!

Lucky for us, there are more dance podcasts than ever. We're here to provide a guide to our current top dance podcast picks.


Conversations on Dance

Started just over three years ago, Conversations on Dance, hosted by former Miami City Ballet dancers Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Breeden, provides a thoughtful look into the ballet world. On a close to weekly basis, the pair interviews "the ballet world's best and brightest," including choreographers, dancers, critics, designers, teachers, artistic directors and more.

Conversations on Dance also has close relationships with Vail Dance Festival and The Kennedy Center, and has recorded a number of episodes live at both. At Vail this year, King Ferraro and Breeden spoke with festival artistic director Damian Woetzel; ballet stars from either side of Lincoln Center's plaza including Herman Cornejo, Roman Mejia, Tiler Peck and James Whiteside; and choreographer Pam Tanowitz.

Dance and Stuff

For a lighthearted, insider look into the dance world, tune in to Dance and Stuff. Reid Bartelme and Jack Ferver, both multi-hyphenates of the dance world who have known each other since their high school days at Interlochen, host the show. While they can tend to talk more about the "stuff" than the "dance," this doesn't make the podcast any less enjoyable (especially if you like movies, which they discuss a lot).

When they get down to business, their candor, combined with Reid's rich knowledge about the ballet world and Ferver's social commentary, leads to compelling conversations about the worlds of dance and performance. With a diverse network of communities between them, from the downtown performance art scene to the uptown classical ballet ecosystem, their guests bring a wide range of experiences, insights and stories.

PillowVoices: Dance Through Time

As podcasts grow ever more popular, some dance institutions are bringing them in-house. For over a year, The Joyce Theater has been offering episodes featuring conversations with guests either performing on or choreographing for the Joyce stage on its podcast Still Spinning. Earlier this summer, Jacob's Pillow launched its own: PillowVoices: Dance Through Time.

PillowVoices shakes up the typical host and guest structure, allowing various Pillow people to shape their own episodes and curate a sampling of archival recordings from the Pillow's collection to share. So far, episodes have been thoughtfully assembled by director of preservation Norton Owen, associate archivist Patsy Gay and scholar-in-residence Brian Schaefer, and include audio featuring dance greats Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham and Ohad Naharin.

These days it's easy to access these podcasts on a number of platforms, so start listening!

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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

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Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

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Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

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