Troy Schumacher on Premiering Two Ballets in Just Four Weeks
Troy Schumacher is on a roll. The 31-year-old was recently promoted to soloist after almost 12 years with New York City Ballet, but that's nothing compared to what he has going on this month. Over the course of a few weeks he will premiere two ballets of his own creation: his third work for NYCB (Sept. 28) and another for the ensemble he founded back in 2010, BalletCollective (Oct. 25), using colleagues from NYCB, including his wife, Ashley Laracey. We spoke with him just as he was gearing up for this choreographic marathon.
What is it like working on commissions while planning for your own company's season?
I'm loving being so busy, working on multiple projects, all extremely different from each other. It's like when you're dancing a lot of ballets at once, and you're warm, both physically and mentally. You can get back into rehearsals and performances much more easily.
How about your new work for BalletCollective—what will your approach be this time around?
I've been finding, with everything that's going on in the country and in the world, that I've been enjoying peaceful moments, like looking out on a field or looking at a piece of art. So I wanted to create something that was a little more meditative than usual. I commissioned this great singer and composer Julianna Barwick, whose music is almost mantra-like. The whole thing takes place inside an immersive projection installation by Sergio Mora-Diaz. You can't really see the dancers' faces, just their silhouettes; it's interesting how your impression changes when the body becomes more abstracted. We're basing our ideas on the science fiction writer Ken Liu, who wrote this amazing collection called The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories. The whole season is organized around the idea of translation.
With BalletCollective, you've developed a creative process that involves in-depth collaborations with young, cutting-edge composers, visual artists and writers. What excites you about this approach?
Every time I come out of one of these projects, we learn something that we wouldn't have learned just working on our own. You give feedback to other art forms and other forms give feedback to you.
For the first time, BalletCollective is commissioning a work from another choreographer, Gabrielle Lamb. How did that come about?
It's always been in the back of my mind that I wanted to share this process with more people. It's such a valuable learning tool to work closely with a bunch of artists and composers. You're really creating something together. And I felt that Gabrielle was the ideal candidate, because she thinks a lot about her work, and she's never had the chance to commission a score before. It really excites me that the organization is at a point that we're able to start doing that.
What do Percy Jackson, Princess Diana and Tina Turner have in common? They're all characters on Broadway this season. Throw in Michelle Dorrance's choreographic debut, Henry VIII's six diva-licious wives and the 1990s angst of Alanis Morissette, and the 2019–20 season is shaping up to be an exciting mix of past-meets-pop-culture-present.
Here's a look at the musicals hitting Broadway in the coming months. We're biding our time until opening night!
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
Ah, stretching. It seems so simple, and is yet so complicated.
For example: You don't want to overstretch, but you're not going to see results if you don't stretch enough. You want to focus on areas where you're tight, but you also can't neglect other areas or else you'll be imbalanced. You were taught to hold static stretches growing up, but now everyone is telling you never to hold a stretch longer than a few seconds?
Considering how important stretching correctly is for dancers, it's easy to get confused or overwhelmed. So we came up with 10 common stretching scenarios, and gave you the expert low-down.