Vital Signs

A Storm of Movement

Crystal Pite, that master of rigor and recklessness, kicks off the tour of her latest creation, The Tempest Replica, for Frankurt/Vancouver–based Kidd Pivot this month. Exploring the themes of revenge/forgiveness and reality/imagination that run through Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the piece engages a dual cast of characters: Dancers dressed in street clothes and the “replicas,” clothed in all white with covered faces. Replica appears at the Power Center in Ann Arbor, MI, Sept. 21–22 and Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Theatre Sept. 27–28, and will travel to Halifax, Nova Scotia; Montreal; Vancouver; and NYC through the fall.


Eric Beauchesne with Peter Chu, Jiri Pokorny, Yannick Matthon, and Jermaine Maurice Spivey in The Tempest Replica. Photo by Jörg Baumann, Courtesy UMich.



OK Adventurous

A midsized company with big dreams, Tulsa Ballet opens its season with ambitious fare: the return of Jorma Elo’s furiously fast Slice to Sharp, the company premiere of Edwaard Liang’s Age of Innocence, inspired by the novels of Jane Austen, and Wayne McGregor’s PreSentient. The last, set to the music of Steve Reich, is a U.S. debut, with TB joining only a handful of stateside companies to which the choreographer has entrusted his overstretched, highly kinetic movement. Sept. 14–16.


Alfonso Martin and Sofia Menteguiaga in Liang’s Age of Innocence. Photo by Julie Shelton, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.




Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary of putting experimental art front and center. In the festival’s first year under the direction of Angela Mattox, a former curator at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, interdisciplinary performances will take over warehouses and streets, as well as theaters. TBA:12 welcomes back Faustin Linyekula and Miguel Gutierrez, while Nora Chipaumire makes her first appearance in Miriam, a world premiere that grapples with popular expectations of femininity. Another sociopolitical piece comes courtesy of Bay Area–based Keith Hennessy, with his Turbulence (A Dance About the Economy). Sept. 6–16.


Okwui Okpokwasili and Nora Chipaumire in Miriam. Photo by Antoine Tempé, Courtesy PICA.



New Choreo in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Ballet has commissioned three pieces from female dancemakers for its Kaplan New Works Series, all of whom have local roots as alumni of Cincy’s School for Creative and Performing Arts.Paige Cunningham Caldarella, assistant professor at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago and a former Cunningham dancer; Bay Area–based choreographer Amy Seiwert; and Heather Britt, on faculty at Northern Kentucky University will contribute the premieres, while Jessica Lang’s Baroque-influenced La Belle Danse rounds out the program. Sept. 6–16.


Joshua Bodden in Heather Britt’s Blind Man’s Map at the Kaplan New Works Series 2011. Photo by Peter Mueller, Courtesy CB.



Going Viral

Noémie Lafrance’s work, in which dancers have scaled buildings, performed in empty swimming pools, and “melted” while perched on a brick wall, evokes a visceral response. Her latest project, Choreography for Audiences, uses technology to incorporate the public into the performance. When reserving tickets to the concert (Sept. 15–16), individuals were given a secret website link with instructions about the roles they will play in the piece. Lafrance also plans to film the performances and distribute the footage online, adding another layer of audience members.


Noémie Lafrance’s The White Box Project. Photo by sens production, Courtesy Lafrance.



Into Living Rooms Across Philly

The annual Philadelphia Live Arts Festival has invited international guests, as well as local dancemakers, to perform a slew of shows that put the audience first. In Sylvain Émard Danse’s Le Grand Continental, more than 200 residents will take over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with a combination of Émard’s contemporary movement and line dancing (the choreographer’s childhood love). Philly-based Brian Sanders’ JUNK (which often incorporates found objects) performs The Gate Reopened, in which the dancers scale a 20-foot-high octagon with moving parts, surrounded by the audience. Local troupe Headlong Dance Theater brings This Town Is a Mystery into the living rooms of four homes—with the residents as the performers. Sept. 7–22.


Sylvain Émard Danse’s Le Grand Continental. Photo by Robert Etcheverry, Courtesy PLA.



Fêting Forty

Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal’s home season at the Théâtre Maisonneuve is especially sweet this year, as the edgy company celebrates 40. The program includes Benjamin Millepied’s duet Closer with the luminous Céline Cassone and recent Juilliard grad Alexander Hille; Fuel, by Cayetano Soto; and a premiere by Barak Marshall for the full company (set to a mash-up of jazz, Israeli folk music, and traditional Québécois music). Sept. 27–29. The company will tour nationally and internationally this fall, including a run at the Joyce in New York beginning Oct. 30.


Alexandra Gerchman and Morgane Le Tiec in Fuel. Photo by Benjamin Von Wong, Courtesy Danse Danse.

The Conversation
The Creative Process
James Fosberg, courtesy Mason

Over the past 15 years, Gesel Mason has asked 11 choreographers—including legends like Donald McKayle, David Roussève, Bebe Miller, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Rennie Harris and Kyle Abraham—to teach her a solo. She's performed up to seven of them in one evening for her project No Boundaries: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers.

Now, Mason is repackaging the essence of this work into a digital archive. This online offering shares the knowledge of a few with many, and considers how dance can live on as those who create it get older.

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Hive by Boston Conservatory student Alyssa Markowitz. Photo by Jim Coleman

The way we create and consume dance is changing every day. Now more than ever, the field demands that dancers not only be able to perform at the highest level, but also collaborate with choreographers to bring their artistic visions to life. Dancers who miss out on choreographic training may very well find themselves at a disadvantage as they try to launch their careers.

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Fox produced a live broadcast of Rent in January—but could an original musical be next? Photo by Kevin Estrada, Courtesy Fox

When a musical prepares to make the transfer from a smaller, lesser-known venue to Broadway (where theaters hold 500-plus seats), often there's a collective intake of breath from all involved. After all, a bigger house means more tickets to sell in order to stay in the black, and sometimes shows with even the most tenacious fan bases can't quite navigate such a jump. But what about the transfer from stage…to screen? Is Broadway ready to be consumed from the comfort of your couch?

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Breaking Stereotypes
Courtesy Lee

Daphne Lee was dancing with Collage Dance Collective in Memphis, Tennessee, when she received two difficult pieces of news: Her mother had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer, and her father had Parkinson's disease, affecting his mobility and mental faculties.

The New Jersey native's reaction: "I really need to move home."

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Sponsored by McCallum Theatre
Last year's winner: Manuel Vignoulle's EARTH. Jack Hartin Photography, Courtesy McCallum Theatre

It's not often that a promising choreographer gets to stage work in a world-class theater, on a skillfully-curated program with professional dancers, and with the possibility of winning a substantial cash prize. But at the McCallum Theatre's Palm Desert Choreography Festival, that's been the status quo for over twenty years.

Since Shea New, the festival's artistic director, founded the festival in 1998, she's worked tirelessly with McCallum's director of education and festival producer, Kajsa Thuresson-Frary, and stage manager and festival production manager Joanna Fookes to build a festival that nurtures choreographers, highlights high quality work, powerfully engages the local community and cultivates an audience base for dance in the Coachella Valley. The trio is backed by a strong team of professionals at McCallum and the brilliant volunteers from the local and national level who serve as adjudicators.

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Health & Body
Bruce Mars via Unsplash

Summer is almost upon us, and whether you're a student about to go on break or a pro counting the days till layoff, don't forget that with warm weather comes a very serious responsibility: To maintain your cross-training routine on your own.

Those of us who've tried to craft our own cross-training routine know it's easier said than done. So we consulted the stars, and rounded up the best options for every zodiac sign. (TBH, you should probably consult an expert, too—we'd recommend a physical therapist, a personal trainer or your teacher.)

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Health & Body

It's become second nature in dance studios: The instant anyone gets hurt, our immediate reaction is to run to the freezer to grab some ice (or, more realistically, a package of frozen peas).

But as routine as icing our injuries might be, the benefits are not actually backed up by scientific studies. And some experts now believe icing could even disrupt the healing process.

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Advice for Dancers
Getty Images

I'm a contemporary dancer, and I'm nervous about trying to get pregnant since I can't predict if it might happen during the middle of the season. We have a union contract that is supposed to protect us. But I'm scared because several of my colleagues' contracts weren't renewed for no particular reason. Having a big belly could be a big reason to get rid of me!

—Andrea, New York, NY

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Dance As Activism
From Dance of Urgency. © Ekvidi

When the going gets tough, the tough start dancing: That's the premise behind "Dance of Urgency," a recently opened exhibit at MuseumsQuartier Vienna that features photos, video and other documentary material relating to the use of dance as political protest or social uprising.

The groups featured in the show, largely based around clubs and electronic dance music scenes, span the globe and respond to a variety of issues—from inequality and social stratification to racial divides to crackdowns on club culture itself.

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Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.

The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, fabulous ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.

As usual, several of our faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list:

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Career Advice
Lorenzo Di Cristina/Unsplash

When you're a foreign dancer, gaining legal rights to work in the U.S. is a challenging process. It's especially difficult if you're petitioning to work as a freelance dancer without an agent or company sponsorship.

The process requires professional muscle along with plenty of resources and heart. "There's a real misnomer that it's super easy," says Neena Dutta, immigration attorney and president of Dutta Law Firm. "People need to educate themselves and talk to a professional."

Here are four things every foreign dancer who wants to work in the U.S. needs to know to build a freelance dance career here.

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Career Advice
Quinn Wharton

What does it take to "make it" in dance? It's no secret that turning this passion into a profession can be a struggle. In such a competitive field, talent alone isn't enough to get you where you want to be.

So what kinds of steps can you take to become successful? Dance Magazine spoke to 33 people from all corners of the industry to get their advice on the lessons that could help us all, no matter where we are in our careers.

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Dance History
Still of Fonteyn from the 1972 film I Am a Dancer. Photo courtesy DM Archives

On May 18, 1919, Margot "Peggy" Hookham was born. She would grow up to become Dame Margot Fonteyn, England's first homegrown prima ballerina. She joined the Sadler's Wells School in 1934 and was performing principal roles with the precursor to The Royal Ballet the next year. Fonteyn was a company-defining figure, dancing Aurora for the re-opening of the Royal Opera House after World War II, creating numerous roles with Sir Frederick Ashton and forging a legendary partnership with Rudolf Nureyev.

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