Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's Shelter addresses homelessness. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy Ailey

Women Choreographers Rule at Ailey Next Week

Just in time for its summer season at Lincoln Center, the dancers and management of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater have settled their issues surrounding the performers' union contracts. Now that they've reached a new collective bargaining agreement, the dancers can sail into this weeklong season of nine ballets. (Well, maybe not sail, since this is some of the hardest repertory on earth.)



The Celebrate Women program, June 13 and 16, juxtaposes Judith Jamison's love duet, A Case of You (2004), with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's Shelter (1992), about homelessness.

The first is sweet, sensual and inventive. Watching this video clip of Jamison's piece, gorgeously danced by Jamar Roberts and Jacqueline Green, makes you feel like you're falling in love too.

The second piece is hard-hitting. It takes guts to put a gritty reality onstage when you know that people go to the theater—especially Lincoln Center—just to sit back and enjoy themselves. Zollar reveals the rage and exhaustion of people in this situation and, at the same time, uncovers a kind of sisterhood among them.

Also on the program is a world premiere by Jessica Lang, EN, that is influenced by Japanese culture.

Work by one more woman choreographer appears in this season—Twyla Tharp. Her magnificent Golden Section, originally the finale of The Catherine Wheel (1983), rides along on an exciting momentum of split-second tosses and falls to music by David Byrne. It's fast and furious, with an array of near collisions. It shares a program with Roberts' recent Members Don't Get Weary, which we visited in rehearsal last fall.

For more information on this five-day season, June 13–17, click here.

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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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