The Epiphany That Made Unity Phelan An NYCB Soloist
Just before a Sleeping Beauty matinee this February, Peter Martins announced the promotion of eight dancers at New York City Ballet. For devoted Dance Magazine readers, one name jumped out: Unity Phelan, who appeared on the cover of our January "25 to Watch" issue.
For regular NYCB-goers, her promotion to soloist came as no surprise. She has exuded confidence and assurance in the past year's performances. And she has brought esprit and refinement to all her roles.
Phelan explains that, in the summer of 2015, while dancing at the Vail International Dance Festival and with a group of NYCB dancers in East Hampton, she had an epiphany.
"When I joined the company as a corps member in 2013, I wanted to emulate the turns of this dancer or the bourrées of that dancer," she says. "That summer  I was persuaded by the ballet masters I worked with not to compare myself to anyone else. Or to compete with anyone else. Or even to compete with myself! Instead, I was encouraged to spread my own wings. So I discarded the mold and colored outside the lines. I said to myself 'Okay, let's see Unity.'"
Was that a bit scary?
"It was terrifying! But it was also liberating—and fun. And the timing was perfect. I feel it definitely contributed to my getting the promotion. It also made me realize that trying to find yourself in ballet is a lifelong goal."
See Phelan's upcoming performances as a soloist—including her debut in the role Wendy Whelan originated in Christopher Wheeldon's Polyphonia—during NYCB's spring season starting April 18.
As Dance Magazine editors, we admittedly spend more time than we'd like sifting through stock photography. Some of it is good, more of it is bad and most of it is just plain awkward.
But when paired with the right caption, those shots magically transform from head-scratchers to meme-worthy images that illustrate our singular experience as dancers. You can thank the internet for this special salute to dancer moods.
It's no surprise that dancers make some of the best TED Talk presenters. Not only are they great performers, but they've got unique knowledge to share. And they can dance!
If you're in need of a midweek boost, look no further than these eight presentations from some incredibly inspiring dance artists.
The Primetime Emmy Award nominations are out! Congrats to the seven choreographers who earned nods for their exceptional TV work this year. Notably, that work was made for just two shows, "So You Think You Can Dance" and "World of Dance."
And there was a particularly remarkable snub: While the dance-filled hit "Fosse/Verdon" earned 17 nominations across many of the major categories, Andy Blankenbuehler's fabulous Fosse remixes weren't recognized in the Outstanding Choreography field.
Here are all the dance routines up for Emmys:
"Dancers can do everything these days," I announced to whoever was in earshot at the Jacob's Pillow Archives during a recent summer. I had just been dazzled by footage of a ballet dancer performing hip hop, remarkably well. But my very next thought was, What if that isn't always a good thing? What if what one can't do is the very thing that lends character?