Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Christopher Wilson in "WE. DANCE." (courtesy AAADT)

Essential Viewing: “WE. DANCE.”, a Powerful Video by Ailey’s Dancers

"When our hearts break, WE Dance."

That's the caption for the video above, created by and featuring dancers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Made in the midst of widespread protests over the death of George Floyd and so many other innocent Black people, it features poetic text written and performed by company member Hope Boykin, and moving, meditative dance footage from 25 other Ailey performers.


Here are the dancers featured, in order of appearance:

Hope Boykin, @hbdance
Yannick Lebrun, @yannicklebrun
Akua Noni Parker, @onlyupward
James Gilmer, @j_gilmer
Jacquelin Harris
Brandon Woolridge, @brandon_michael_woolridge
Samantha Figgins, @sfigg_udigg
Sarah Daley-Perdomo, @cherrysunblush
Jeroboam Bozeman, @jeroboamb
Jacqueline Green, @jagreen711
Jessica Amber Pinkett, @jessica.a.pinkett
Jermaine Terry, @jerms83
Jamar Roberts, @7jlr27
Constance Stamatiou, @constance.stamatiou
Belén Indhira Pereyra, @belen_pereyra_pro
Renaldo Maurice, @r_maurice25
Courtney Celeste Spears, @bahamaballerina
Christopher R. Wilson, @christopher.r.wilson
Vernard J. Gilmore, @vern93
Kanji Segawa
Clifton Brown
Miranda Quinn, @mirandaming4
Patrick Coker, @pcoke
Chalvar Monteiro, @chlvrmntro
Matthew Rushing, @matthewrushing73
Danica Paulos, @lens_of_the_heart

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Stark Photo Productions, Courtesy Harlequin

Why Your Barre Can Make or Break Your At-Home Dance Training

Throughout the pandemic, Shelby Williams, of Royal Ballet of Flanders (aka "Biscuit Ballerina"), has been sharing videos that capture the pitfalls of dancers working from home: slipping on linoleum, kicking over lamps and even taking windows apart at the "barre." "Dancers aren't known to be graceful all of the time," says Mandy Blackmon, PT, DPT, OSC, CMTPT, head physical therapist/medical director for Atlanta Ballet. "They tend to fall and trip."

Many dancers have tried to make their home spaces as safe as possible for class and rehearsal by setting up a piece of marley, like Harlequin's Dance Mat, to work on. But there's another element needed for taking thorough ballet classes at home: a portable barre.

"Using a barre is kinda Ballet 101," says 16-year-old Haley Dale, a student in her second year at American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. She'd bought a portable barre from Harlequin to use at her parents' home in Northern Virginia even before the pandemic hit. "Before I got it, honestly I would stay away from doing barre work at home. Now I'm able to do it all the time."

Blackmon bought her 15-year-old stepdaughter a freestanding Professional Series Ballet Barre from Harlequin early on in quarantine. "I was worried about her injuring herself without one," she admits.

What exactly makes Harlequin's barres an at-home must-have, and hanging on to a chair or countertop so risky? Here are five major differences dancers will notice right away.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
December 2020