Magazine

Word Play

Choreographers who combine dance and text discuss their unique set of dilemmas.

Carrie Hanson

Artistic director, The Seldoms, Chicago

 

 

 

Interviewed by Laura Molzahn

Pictured: Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead, with Amanda McAlister and Philip Elson. Photo by Brian Kuhlmann, Courtesy The Seldoms.

Movement invention used to be the thrust for me, and using texts felt like a bit of a cheat. Then, as my interests shifted, language seemed the right delivery system. Monument, in 2008, was the first piece I realized was politically charged. I’d been working with an artist who was a knitter, and thinking about consumption and production. At the same time, I’d read an article about the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, and it all came together.

I was not only making dance, I was doing research on environmental issues. What charged me up was the amount of consumption—how many paper cups, how many newspapers [went into garbage dumps]. You can’t convey that scale in movement. We found that the height of Fresh Kills exceeded the height of the Statue of Liberty. I felt, That needs to be known! I no longer felt, This is cheating. I felt it was necessary.

I’m not really confident of my writing or directing, though. I’m lucky to have company members who are naturals at exploring that. Working together is more successful than me sitting down and writing.

Sometimes I use a found text because that grounds the piece in a particular time and place and in the landscape of American politics. With these issue-based pieces, I’ve been drawing circles, each one an aspect of the problem. I grapple with one circle at a time, getting at the topic through dance and physical action—and word. At each point I ask, What’s foregrounded, text or movement? Then I figure out how all the pieces fit together.

I’m variably successful at helping dancers handle text. Doing it again and again helps. Going rapid-fire with language builds energy. Dancers learn from the people who are comfortable speaking. And I talk to them through a Laban framework, like, “Try this with a little more weight, or a little more indirect space.” My dancers are such good sports—even if they’re not that comfortable, they’re really willing.

Upcoming performance: “MIX with SIX,” a concert of short new works made and performed by the six Seldoms dancers, April 12–14, Links Hall, Chicago

 

Ralph Lemon

Artistic director, Cross Performance, NYC

Interviewed by Cynthia Hedstrom

Pictured: Djédjé Djédjé Gervais, Darrell Jones, and David Thomson in How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy Cross Performance.

I was an English lit major. That literary part of my creative being was there before anything else. When I write, it’s about words and what these words do and what a sentence does. And when I’m working with the body it’s about that body moving and the instantaneous forms that appear.

I learned from Meredith Monk [with whom Lemon performed in the early 1980s] that dance and performance and music and text don’t have to come together. I was given permission early on to mash it up.

In Come home Charley Patton (2004), the third part of “The Geography Trilogy,” the text work was basically a memorial about race in America, from my point of view. I had one long narrative arc that I broke up into parts. In between these parts, I inserted movement-based material that related to the idea of the black body—or the racial body. But the dancing was abstract. For me, because they were black bodies, there was an obvious relationship and contradiction to the more tricky text addressing the issue of race.

My next performance piece, How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? (2008–10), was, in part, about radical transformation and my direct experience of losing my partner—the whole care-giving, death-and-mourning experience, when there’s a breakdown of language. One might say that the text was a long cry, Okwui Okpokwasili crying. She was wailing for over eight minutes.

In my current work, a solo for Okwui [Scaffold Room, planned for 2015], the words are coming first. I call it a lecture-musical. The texts are a mash-up of autobiographical stuff, a lot of political thinking about blackness, pornography, and popular culture. I’m pushing the words to the extreme so the text becomes a physical language.

Okwui came into my life as an actress and performance artist with a technical background in translating [performing] text in a way that was not naïve or accidental. She has a fearlessness, which is about finding states to inhabit. I try to bring that to my more purely movement collaborators. What’s the state of this? What kind of presence is it?

Current project: I’ve just completed my third book related to The Geography Trilogy.” Come home Charley Patton was published by Wesleyan University Press in February. These books include research, drawings, photographs and “experimental journals.”

 

Annie-B Parson

Choreographer and co-director, Big Dance Theater, NYC

Interviewed by Zachary Whittenburg

Pictured: Ich, Kurbisgeist with Kourtney Rütherford (on floor) and Tymberly Canale (left). Photo by Paula Court, Courtesy Big Dance.

The piece I’m working on right now is called Man in a Case. It’s at Hartford Stage until March 24, and it’s with Mikhail Baryshnikov. We’re very honored that he came to us and asked to do a project.

Man in a Case is an adaptation of two of Chekhov’s short stories. We started with a world, and that world did not include movement, although until this project, I had always started with movement. I would make material without knowing where it would go. I might know that I was interested in looking at Aeschylus, in looking at [Harold] Pinter, in looking at [Mark] Twain, but I’d still always start with dance.

For this piece, movement came later and was more about making dances to be inserted into this text. To deepenbecause movement always deepens—our staging, to deepen character, to deepen relationship, and also to provide the pure kinetic pleasure of people moving onstage.

I’m really not a writer myself. I try not to write one word. I have great respect for writers. That’s part of the reason I magpie a lot, borrow a lot. I’ve actually borrowed a lot from Chekhov over the years. I’ve secretly stuck him into things.

I did the first draft of the adaptation in a room by myself, just working with the text. It’s very skeletal. I took out probably 50 percent of the words, looking for places where I could replace them with movement. For me, there are always too many words—in everything.

Now, it’s not a musical, you know: “I’m so happy I could dance,” or, “I’m so sad I could dance,” or, “I’m so excited I need to sing a song.” It’s not that kind of form. It’s more that the dances fit in like doors, opening onto a dark hallway. The movement vocabulary has to do with the sparseness of the language, the qualities of the text, rather than the words themselves.

It’s a bit of a mystery whether a piece leans more toward “talky” or “dancy.” When I started [choreographing], there was no talking. When that changed, it wasn’t because pure dance wasn’t enough. I just have an omnivorous spirit. One of the things that interests me is the contradiction between the nonverbal and the verbal. I look at that distance, and the dissonance, and the refraction, between how we’re experiencing the nonverbal and how we experience the verbal.

I like to apply ideas from writing, specifically poetry, to movement. For instance: I’m interested in a “rhyme” in dance, in “metaphor” in dance. What is “simile” in dance? Rubrics from film, as well: Close-ups. What is a “jump cut” in dance?

Alternately, I like to play with how dance rubrics and choreographic rubrics affect language. I’m going to be doing that a lot in another piece I’m making for 2014. One section is all talking, but it’s really choreographic. It has nothing to do with text, really—it’s more replacing movement material with language. Specifically, I’m using a script from Terms of Endearment, the movie with Shirley MacLaine. I’m not adding to it, but I’m tampering with sequencing and the structures of the language itself, using choreographic forms like retrograde. I’ve never done that—so I’m gonna try it.

Sometimes it feels hard to let dance be privileged when the demands of the text are great. But dance is still my center of gravity. It is so fragile, so hard to hold on to. It’s very elusive.

Maybe including text lets people know that dance is a sacred object. You don’t take dance for granted as much when you combine the two. Dance, because it’s of the body, is more immediate. As an audience member, you connect with it kinetically; you feel it in your body. So dance always wins.

Upcoming performance: Here Lies Love, about former Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos and the woman who raised her, Estrella Cumpas, with Parson’s choreography and music by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, plays New York’s The Public Theater from April 2 through May 5.

To see Annie-B Parson's "Choreography in Focus" click here.

 

Sean Dorsey

Artistic director, Sean Dorsey Dance

Founder, Fresh Meat Productions, a transgender festival, San Francisco

Interviewed by Rita Felciano

Pictured: Uncovered: The Diary Poject, with, from left: Brian Fisher, Sean Dorsey, Juan De La Rosa, Nol Simonse. Photo by Lydia Daniller, Courtesy Dorsey.

When I put a score together, I often already have a sense of the flavor of what the movement will be. So I may set a gesture on the dancers or give them movement creation tasks. We work very joyfully but also rigorously until everything fits.

In the shows you always hear my own voice, but for The Secret History of Love, I also edited in the voices of the elders I interviewed from the LGBT community on how they managed to find each other in decades past.

Sometimes, when the dancers hear a section in isolation and are not aware of the whole arc of the show, they have to take a leap of faith because they don’t know what happens physically or emotionally before or after each part.

In History, I asked the dancers to talk because there is something about the immediacy and vulnerability of talking to an audience that I like. Some were terrified. But I am lucky that they are fabulous theater artists with past experiences of speaking onstage. I give very concrete feedback about projection, blocking, even pitch and cadence, so that their voices become part of the sound score.

For the new The Missing Generation and The Source of Joy, I am looking at the impact of AIDS on a whole generation and the way it resonates in our queer lives today, 30 years later.

Upcoming performances: The Secret History of Love is on tour this month in Chico and San Jose, CA. (See www.seandorseydance.com.) The first part of The Missing Generation and The Source of Joy will premiere at the Fresh Meat Festival, June 20–23, Z Space, San Francisco.

 

Barak Marshall

Freelance choreographer, L.A.

Resident choreographer, Suzanne Dellal Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel

 

Interviewed by Elena Hecht

Pictured: Shani Tamari and Ariel Cohen in Barak Marshall’s Monger. Photo by Gadi Dagon, Courtesy Jacob’s Pillow.

My process starts with an idea, or a hunch about a protagonist in a certain situation. Alongside that there’s the music, because I don’t see the piece unless I hear the piece first. So I will go through around ten thousand tracks to try and find the pieces of music that fit. And then of course the movement, which is going on the entire time. The text comes towards the end.

In terms of the texts themselves, my work is nearly entirely vignetted, so there’s a utilitarian use to them: They’re transitional. But a lot of times it’s the narrator’s voice, the commentary on one’s own piece, or an aside to the audience—a soliloquy of sorts.

I look at my movement as words, and I build every sentence as dance. There are a lot of gestures. The way I build my movement is to express emotions, states of mind, dialogue. My work is heavily influenced by my mother [Margalit Oved, of Inbal Dance Theater fame; see “Teacher’s Wisdom,” Nov. 2010], who comes from a real dance theater tradition.

I’m always jealous of theater and film directors, who begin with a script and are able to play with that script to find new spaces and characters within that world. So the first thing that I do in building a work is to storyboard it. I try to communicate clearly with the audience, and for them to be engaged on multiple levels.

Because my work is very gestural and because we’re always talking about intent and situation, that is often a challenge for dancers who are used to being abstract parts of a larger choreographic flow. I’m more interested in character, emotion, than movement. I tell my dancers, “I want to see who you are as a person and how you move. I don’t need you to speak like me, I need you to speak like you.” There’s a kind of freedom that you give them that can be frightening at first, because they don’t often have that opportunity, and there’s something very empowering in that trust that you give them.

Upcoming performances: Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal tours Barak Marshall’s Harry to Switzerland, Luxembourg, and France. His new piece for Rambert Dance Company will premiere in October at Sadler’s Wells in London.

 

David Neumann

Artistic director, advanced beginner group, NYC

Interviewed by Cynthia Hedstrom

 

Pictured: Restless Eye, by David Neumann, with, from left: Andrew Dinwiddie, Neal Medlyn, Kennis Hawkins, and Jeremy Olson. Photo by Ian Douglas, Courtesy Neumann.

 It never occurred to me that movement and words were separate things until later. They were equal to me right from the get-go.

When I was a kid I would hold book [serve as prompter]for Fred [David’s father, a member of the theater troupe Mabou Mines and a renowned Samuel Beckett interpreter], so I had a lot of exposure to Beckett’s work, his language and rhythm. From a young age I was comfortable with nontraditional texts.

I’m a big fan of sourcing—repurposing—other material. In my first piece Still (1995), in addition to some Beckett and other writing, I used text from soap operas. I always thought soap writing was horribly melodramatic—evidence of our cheaper attachment to narrative. But I got kind of hooked. I reconfigured the texts and dramatized them in a different way. I was not following a narrative or psychological approach to the words, but thinking of the text as building blocks, using compositional ideas like repetition, cutting, and pasting. There were a lot of layers, ways you could hear the text.

I often have words going on in my head when I’m moving. But I don’t like to illustrate: I want the integrity of the movement to stand on its own. There’s no need to come in and explain what’s happening. I think that’s a trap. My work is often about juxtaposition, as opposed to trying to get two things to make sense together. There may be moments when they point towards each other, but they rarely reinforce each other.

Lately I’ve been interested in working with living writers. For Restless Eye (2012), playwright Sibyl Kempson organized some of my found material and then riffed on top of that. The resulting text affected the piece structurally—its rhythm, the order of things, whether or how something was repeated. More than changing actual movement phrases, it gave the piece a different shape.

I’m now working on a solo using chance operations. There’s no text at the moment, though I’ve asked a couple of writers to give me short pieces. I’ll use chance operations to decide when or what I’ll say onstage. I’m shaking up the relationship a little.

Upcoming performances: March 22–23 at the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC, and a new solo for 2014

 

Faye Driscoll

Artistic director, Faye Driscoll Group, NYC

 

Interviewed by Cynthia Hedstrom

Pictured: Faye Driscoll’s There is so much mad in me. Photo by Yi Chun-Wu, Courtesy Driscoll.

I’m interested in the psychology of movement—how we make meaning out of movement, and how the act of viewing changes that meaning.

Usually I develop text and movement together in my dances. I’ll encourage my dancers to include their voices when we’re investigating an idea or image through improvisation. We often do writing exercises before or after a movement exercise. Sometimes these are just free writes; sometimes they’re more generative for text material.

In There is so much mad in me (2010), we were doing explorations around identity and the ways we’re perceived by other people. We wrote lists of negative attributes, all the worst things about ourselves and other people. These are used in a monologue, where one of the dancers freaks out and screams at her two partners in the middle of a kind of bad jazz routine. Ultimately it turns into a self-hating tirade. The audience becomes culpable because some of the things being said are probably thoughts they have already had.

In another piece, 837 Venice Boulevard (2008), three performers manipulated each other like puppets. The “puppeteer” would project all his most ideal thoughts, as well as the parts of him that he wanted to express but couldn’t, onto the “puppet” performer. The piece poked fun at how we are all constantly telegraphing who we are based on how we think others perceive us.

I often use text to seduce the viewer so they might think, “I know what is happening and who those people are.” Then I flip things on their head so that the viewer is left in the uncomfortable attempt to re-locate him- or herself. My intention is to open a space where there is uncertainty and ambiguity, where falsehoods and truths mix.

I think some of these practices come from feeling frustrated by dance as a silent art form. Dancers spend years in studios silently practicing. You are taught to ask questions only if you absolutely need to. As a kid when I made shows around the house, there was this irreverent sense that you could grab whatever you needed to express yourself—text, props, video. My work comes from that kind of impulse.

My performers are dancers first. They have technical depth and can improvise and generate material—and they have to be comfortable talking and sometimes singing. I am transformed by the process and so are they. I’m interested in the whole human being and the dancers’ complete empowerment in the work.

In my new work, I’m forcing the ritual of storytelling to the forefront inside a physically driven work. It will be an epic fiction that’s danced, sung, and spoken.

Upcoming performances: March 21–23, You’re Me at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH; May 3–5, Mariana, new work on the Zenon Dance Company in Minneapolis; June 24–26, You’re Me at American Dance Festival, Durham, NC; and at The Yard, Martha’s Vineyard, MA, in July.

Show Comments ()
News
Keone and Mari Madrid. Photo by Carlo Aranda, Courtesy Matt Ross Public Relations

Keone and Mari Madrid are hardly strangers to the spotlight. Together, the powerhouse partners have performed in a Justin Bieber music video and on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," and have choreographed for "So You Think You Can Dance." With around 250,000 subscribers, you could say Keone and Mari are "YouTube famous," but, thanks in part to a successful stint on NBC's "World of Dance" last year, they've become much more than that. Case in point: They're currently co-creating, choreographing and starring in their first full-length production, Beyond Babel. The immersive show will debut in San Diego this month; Keone and Mari hope to eventually take it on tour.

Keep reading... Show less
In Memoriam
Arthur Mitchell and Diana Adams in George Balanchine's Agon. Photo courtesy DM Archives

Former New York City Ballet principal dancer and Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell passed away today in a Manhattan hospital. He was 84 years old.

Mitchell originated the role of Puck in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by Oleaga Photography, Courtesy DM Archives

As a leading dancer with NYCB in the 1950s and '60s, Mitchell became indelibly associated with two roles created on him by George Balanchine: the central pas de deux in Agon (1957) and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1962). Mitchell's performance of the athletic, entwining Agon pas de deux with Diana Adams—a white woman—caused a major stir during a moment in which America was rife with racial tension.

Keep reading... Show less
Health & Body
Whole-body cryotherapy rapidly drops the skin temperature to speed up recovery. Photo courtesy CryoUSA

Dancers are known for going to great lengths to prepare their bodies to perform at their best. But the latest recovery trend that dancers—and star athletes from Kobe Bryant to Floyd Mayweather Jr.—are using is perhaps the most extreme treatment yet.

Whole-body cryotherapy (as opposed to other forms of cryotherapy, such as an ice bath or an ice pack) is said to significantly speed up recovery time by immersing the body in a chamber of very cold air. Once only available in fancy professional sports locker rooms, there are now over 700 whole-body cryotherapy locations across the country.

Keep reading... Show less
News
David Hallberg and Gillian Murphy in Swan Lake. Photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy ABT

Tucked into a recent article in The New York Times about an upcoming schedule-change at the Metropolitan Opera, was a small bombshell: To accommodate the opera's plans, American Ballet Theatre, with whom it shares the house, will "reduce its Met season to five weeks from the current eight" starting in 2021. The news was dropped casually, practically as an aside.

Maybe it shouldn't come as such a surprise. No regular ABT attendee can have failed to notice that, in recent seasons, there have been performances that were significantly under-sold. This happened even in the case of enduringly popular works like Giselle. Only Misty Copeland or the occasional visitor—Natalia Osipova, say—can fill that cavernous, almost 4,000-seat monolith.

(To be fair, the opera has the same problem; in May of 2017 it was reported to have attained only 67% of potential box office receipts.)

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Training
Staring down the audience can be a powerful choice when appropriate. Photo by Soho Images, "Nebula" choreographed by Maria Konrad courtesy Next Generation Dance

The most compelling dancers don't just have amazing technique. They also use their focus to draw in the audience and make their performance captivating. Be more confident and engaging onstage by avoiding these mistakes:

Keep reading... Show less
News
Joe Lanteri teaching at Steps in the early 2000s

The iconic New York City dance studio Steps on Broadway has a new leader coming on board: Joe Lanteri. The New York City Dance Alliance founder will be Steps' new co-owner and executive director.

"For me, it's a big full circle," says Lanteri, who used to take class at Steps when he first moved to New York City, and started teaching there in the mid-1980s. The 4:30 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday Advanced Intermediate Jazz slot he held down for many years taught a slew of young talent—including choreographers-to-be like Jessica Lang and Sergio Trujillo. "As a young teacher, Steps was a platform for me to travel the world giving master classes; it became the underlying foundation for what I'm doing now in my life."

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Donald Byrd and Beth Corning share the stage for What's Missing? Photo by Frank Walsh, Courtesy Corning.

When I was approached to write on ageism in dance, I have to admit that after the initial honor of the invite, I suddenly felt old.

I guess I fit the "qualifications" to write this. I'm 63. I've been professionally dancing and choreographing for some 40-plus years, and, in the process, have accumulated a certain amount of perspective on the field. After 20 years running Corning Dances & Company, in 2000 I suddenly looked up and realized I was 10 to 20 years older than my company members. The layers of nuance I was craving were not there; their albeit lithe bodies understandably lacked a base of worldly experience and expression. I couldn't present the kind of movement or conversation I wanted onstage.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in Nicolo Fonte's The Heart(s)pace. Photo by Sharen Bradford, Courtesy ASFB

Small- to medium-sized companies based in cities outside dance meccas—New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles—are often written off as "regional," or somehow lesser than their big city counterparts. But in recent decades, a few have defied such categorization as they've gained traction on the national and international scene.

So how does a company build an international profile without losing connection to its hometown? We asked the directors of Tulsa Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Sarasota Ballet to share their strategies.

Keep reading... Show less
Rant & Rave
Photo Caleb Woods via Unsplash.com

Update: Additional perspectives have been added to this story as more responses have come in.

When news about the lawsuit against New York City Ballet and Chase Finlay emerged last week, plaintiff Alexandra Waterbury, a former School of American Ballet student, told The New York Times:

"Every time I see a little girl in a tutu or with her hair in a bun on her way to ballet class, all I can think is that she should run in the other direction," she said, "because no one will protect her, like no one protected me."

It was quite a statement, and it got us thinking. Of course, it's heartbreaking to imagine the experiences that Waterbury lists in the lawsuit, and it's easy to see why this would be her reaction.

But should aspiring ballet dancers really "run in the other direction"? Were her alleged experiences isolated incidences perpetuated by a tiny percentage of just one company—or are they indicative of major problems in today's ballet culture within and beyond NYCB's walls?

Keep reading... Show less
News
Xenos, Akram Khan's final full-length solo, is an ode to the soldiers of World War I. Photo by Nicol Vizioli, Courtesy Sadler's Wells

We might have gotten a little bit carried away with this year's "Season Preview"—but with the 2018–19 season packing so many buzzy shows, how could we not? Here are over two dozen tours, premieres and revivals that have us drooling.

Keep reading... Show less
Rant & Rave
Mandy Moore at the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards, during which she took home her first Emmy. Photo courtesy Inline/AP

Every year, as soon as the Emmy Award nominations are announced, the first thing I do is scroll down (way, way, way down) to find the nominees for Best Choreography. Last week's announcement was no different, and it was a delightful surprise to see tap queen Chloe Arnold become a first-time nominee for her work on "The Late Late Show With James Corden." Alongside Arnold, Mandy Moore, Travis Wall, Al Blackstone and Christopher Scott received nominations for their dances on awards heavy-hitter "So You Think You Can Dance." (Shout-out to Blackstone for his first Emmy nod!)

I do, however, have a bone to pick with the Emmys. Namely, that the routines for which these choreographers were nominated do not appear on the nominations section of the site. Worse, not even the episodes in which the Emmy-nominated dances appear are listed.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer Voices
Photo via Andrew Seaman/Unsplash

Dear Dance Magazine,

Thank you for demonstrating a commitment to transparency and evolution during this divisive time in our country. Over the past few years I have seen the Dance Magazine content reflect increased awareness about the value of inclusion and diversity in U.S. culture. It also has highlighted the need for the dance industry culture to self-examine and pursue constant revisions (just as dancers themselves do).

Keep reading... Show less
News
Ramasar and Catazaro, photos via Instagram

New York City Ballet fired principal dancers Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catazaro on Saturday. Both had initially been suspended until 2019 for engaging in "inappropriate communications," while principal Chase Finlay, who was the instigator of those communications, resigned. (Although, in a statement on Saturday, NYCB made it clear they had decided to terminate Finlay prior to his resignation.)

The New York Times reports that NYCB says the change from suspension to termination resulted from hearing the concerns of dancers, staff members and others in the NYCB community. Yet it's hard to ignore the fact that a lawsuit against NYCB had been filed in the meantime. A statement from NYCB executive director Katherine Brown and interim artistic team leader Jonathan Stafford stated:

"We have no higher obligation than to ensure that our dancers and staff have a workplace where they feel respected and valued, and we are committed to providing that environment for all employees of New York City Ballet."

Since the news was announced, both Catazaro and Ramasar have spoken out publicly about being fired.

Keep reading... Show less
Career Advice
Natasha Sheehan says competing gave her a crack at rep beyond her rank. Photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy SFB

As a student, Katherine Barkman competed in several prestigious ballet competitions, and even won first place at the Youth America Grand Prix in Philadelphia. But at age 21, already a guest principal dancer with Ballet Manila, she decided to return to the competition stage as a professional. She found herself humbled by an experience at the 2017 Moscow International Ballet Competition.

"I was pretty intimidated, thinking, This is the big leagues, this is the Bolshoi Theatre," says Barkman, who was eliminated after the first round. "You are not just judged on how good you are for your age."

Competitions have long had a place in the training of young dancers, allowing them more opportunities to perform and learn under pressure. But even after you've secured a company contract, there are myriad benefits to putting yourself in front of judges.

Keep reading... Show less
Career Advice
Being an introvert doesn't mean you can't shine in the spotlight. Photo by Saksham Gangwar/Unsplash

Most people assume that for dancers to be successful, they have to be extroverts who feed off of constant attention. They figure that introverts don't enjoy being in the spotlight.

But don't let anyone tell you that just because you're introverted, you can't have a career in dance.

According to the Myers & Briggs Foundation, the only real difference between introverts and extroverts is where they get their energy. Extroverts are energized by social interaction and drained by time spent alone, while introverts experience the opposite.

Keep reading... Show less
Editors’ List: The Goods

Longer ballet skirts are having a major moment. We've seen them popping up in the Instagram studio clips of dance fashionistas around the world—from American Ballet Theatre's Isabella Boylston to The Royal Ballet's Beatriz Stix-Brunell to Berlin State Ballet's Iana Salenko. And with cooler weather on the way, we have a feeling we'll be seeing even more calf-length skirts.

Beyond being trendy, long ballet skirts give any studio ensemble a sophisticated prima ballerina vibe (hi, Natalia Makarova). Try out one of these long skirt options.

Keep reading... Show less
What Wendy's Watching
Bill T. Jones' Ambros: The Emigrant. PC Paul B. Goode

Bill T. Jones is one of the few choreographers who can weave together social consciousness with choreographic inventiveness. This is visible in all three parts of his Analogy Trilogy, a 6½-hour marathon that comes to NYU Skirball Center on Sept. 22 and 23.

In this Trilogy, Jones goes beyond his own cultural identity. The first part, Dora: Tramontane, centers on Dora Amelan, a Holocaust survivor who tried to help children during World War II. Her ordeal is told through interviews spoken by the dancers and envisioned in shifting scenes. The second part, Lance: Pretty aka the Escape Artist, is about Jones' nephew, and his involvement in the underground world of drugs and sex in New York in the 80s. This section contains several gorgeously choreographed duets. The third part, Ambros: The Emigrant, is not about a real person but about the nature of trauma and memory.

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

You Might Also Like

477,305 likes

Sponsored

Viral Videos

mailbox

Get Dance Magazine in your inbox

Sponsored

Giveaways