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Boogie Fever: The Dance Plagues Of Medieval Europe

A widespread belief of the 15th century held that the bite of a tarantula could only be treated by wild, mad dancing; groups of people would be possessed by a compulsion to dance, and towns would pay musicians to play for the sufferers. (Hence the dance called the tarantella.) “In fact, mass epidemics of dancing have afflicted various parts of Europe since the seventh century, breaking out particularly in times of famine, disease, and political unrest.” — JSTOR Daily
Tags: Art, Europe, Dance, 01.10.19


Dance Magazine Handicaps The New York City Ballet Directorship Candidates

“The new director’s name could be released any day now. And we have some theories about who it might be.” Lauren Wingenroth runs down a list of ten possibilities (though she seems to think only two are really likely). — Dance Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, Lauren Wingenroth, 01.17.19, New York City Ballet Directorship Candidates


One Of New York City Ballet’s Most Atypical Dancers Takes On One Of Its Most Difficult Roles

“When he dances, he soars; in life, he swerves into self-doubt. Yet Mr. Stanley, a shy and self-effacing mixed-race 27-year-old gay man, has become one of the company’s most valued principals, both for his dancing and for what his presence means.” Gia Kourlas meets Stanley as he prepares to dance the title role in Balanchine’s Apollo. — The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, Stanley, New York City Ballet, Balanchine, Gia Kourlas, 01.17.19


Where Dance Meets Physics (Where? Yale, Of Course)

For eight years now, a pair of Yale professors, Sarah Demers (particle physics) and Emily Coates (ballet), has taught a course called “The Physics of Dance.” “Their partnership has involved everything from directing a short film to presenting a TedX Talk and performing a piece that Coates created, commissioned by Danspace Project. This month, they’re publishing a book.” — Dance Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, Yale, Coates, Emily Coates, 01.17.19, Yale Of Course, Sarah Demers


On Balanchine’s ‘Apollo’ (Alastair Macaulay Is Back)

With observations from three New York City Ballet alumni who learned the title role from Mr. B himself, the recently-retired chief dance critic of The New York Times looks at what makes this ballet different from the rest of Balanchine’s oeuvre. — The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, New York Times, New York City Ballet, Balanchine, 01.15.19


Carlos Acosta Named Director Of Birmingham Royal Ballet

The 45-year-old Cuban was one of the (London) Royal Ballet’s most popular stars in his 17 years with the company, from which he retired about three years ago. He says he hopes to “look for choreographers that the Royal Ballet isn’t looking at, people and ballets that might not be obvious.” — The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta, Birmingham Royal Ballet, 01.15.19, London Royal Ballet


Ballet Specifically For TV As A Way To Get Kids Interested In Dance

Shot as 40-minute films in vibrant high-definition colours, the Bite-Sized Ballets series will kick off with an adaptation of the Tortoise & the Hare, to be followed by Elves & the Shoemaker and Three Little Pigs. At the start of each film, the story is narrated on screen and dance instructors show children how to do some of the moves to create a sort of dancealong. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Dance, Audience, 01.12.19


After His Anti-Gay Instagram Post, Sergei Polunin Gets Dropped By Paris Opera Ballet

It was only last Thursday that the company announced that Polunin would be making a guest appearance as Siegfried in Swan Lake. Saturday, artistic director Aurélie Dupont announced that he wouldn’t be appearing after all, because of certain “public statements … [that] didn’t correspond to her values or to those of the institution she represents.” — The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, Swan Lake, Siegfried, Paris Opera Ballet, Aurélie Dupont, Sergei Polunin, Polunin, 01.14.19


An Ad Gone Viral Tells The Story Of Race And Ballet

The English National Ballet ad for Swan Lake stars a Black American dancer – but the show sure doesn’t. “Ballet is interesting because it can be seen both as an enclave of whiteness and privilege, and as an outrunner of change.”  – Quartz
Tags: Art, Dance, 01.11.19, English National Ballet ad for Swan Lake


The Brutal Toll Of Ballet

Want to see the reality of what dance does to a (male) body? Check out this story on The Royal Ballet’s top dancer. “Watson said living with injuries is the daily reality of a ballet dancer but the body slowly repairs itself.” – The Telegraph (UK)
Tags: Art, Dance, Royal Ballet, Watson, 01.12.19


Alastair Macaulay Takes Issue With Dance Magazine Over 180-Degree Leg Lifts Story

The newly-retired dance critic of The New York Times wrote an actual letter to the editor saying that, while he quite liked Emma Sandall’s article this week about the history of high leg lifts in ballet, there were a few historical assertions in it that he takes issue with. — Dance Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, The New York Times, Alastair Macaulay, Emma Sandall, 01.10.19


Sergei Polunin Gets Himself In Trouble Again, This Time With Homophobic Instagram Post

“Though Polunin has long had a reputation for behaving inappropriately, in the last month his posts have been somewhat unhinged. … A troubling tirade about gender and sexuality remains on his feed, … though it’s hard to discern his point through his manic language.” In reaction, some Paris Opera Ballet dancers are objecting to his upcoming guest appearance in the company’s Swan Lake. — Dance Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, Paris, Swan Lake, Sergei Polunin, Polunin, 01.10.19, Time With Homophobic Instagram Post


Once-Feted Dancing Girls Of Lahore Fall On Hard Times As Pakistan Becomes Ever More Conservative

“The dancing style is known as ‘nautch,’ and is a sophisticated art form that arose out of the Muslim Mughal empire and peaked in the mid-19th century.” After partition, many of India’s nautch dancers settled in Lahore, where the form had a new heyday. Now the Pakistani authorities have cracked down, closing venues and schools, and most of the best dancers have gone abroad. — The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, Pakistan, LAHORE, 01.05.19, Lahore Fall On Hard Times


A New Phase In Art And Dance Made By Artists With Disabilities

This new wave “is a consideration of the aesthetic possibilities of disability. It’s not about adaptation or accommodation. It’s about how unique bodies, minds, senses and phenomenological experiences of disability and impairment—along with the political aspects and intersectional identities—can create new work.” – Vice
Tags: Art, Dance, SJ, 01.08.19


The Virtuoso Of Light Who Paints It On Dance

Brandon Stirling Bake: “In the same way that a painter may use a brush to create phrases and mix color, I’m doing that with light. And lighting also has rhythm and pace. My friends back home will say, ‘Why did you give up music?’ But I never gave up music. I just use a different instrument now.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, 01.09.19, Brandon Stirling Bake


Memories Of One Of ‘The Old Gang’ At Judson Dance Theater

Aileen Passloff, now 87 and still working as a choreographer, talks to Gia Kourlas about the 1950s and ’60s, when a new generation was transforming what dance could be; her studies with a Diaghilev alumna; and climbing up a fire escape in heels and sneaking into City Center. — The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, City Center, Diaghilev, Gia Kourlas, Judson Dance Theater, 01.08.19, Aileen Passloff


Why The 87-Year-Old Founder Of Philadanco Dance Wants To Start A New School

Joan Myers Brown: “We started talking about how children are no longer interested in training. They see So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars and want to do ‘trick, trick, trick,’ rather than putting in the hours honing proper technique.“We wanted to change the system of teaching dance in their schools.” – Philadelphia Inquirer
Tags: Art, Dance, SJ, Philadanco, 01.08.19, Joan Myers Brown


‘Trust-Based Philanthropy’: The Long, Fruitful Relationship Between The Alvin Ailey Company And Prudential

“What makes this partnership special is not just its longevity, but the nature of support that has allowed Ailey to grow into a stable, globally recognized organization. Unlike many grantmaking organizations, in this case at least, Prudential has not only made significant, sometimes unrestricted financial commitments, they have leveraged their own relationships and knowledge for Ailey’s benefit.” — Nonprofit Quarterly
Tags: Art, Dance, Prudential, Ailey, 01.04.19, Alvin Ailey Company


How Ballet’s Leg Lifts Extended To 180 Degrees (And Sometimes Beyond)

To the end of the 19th century, no matter how virtuosic a ballet dancer could be, the leg was not to be lifted above the hip. Emma Sandall recounts how that changed, from Diaghilev through Balanchine to the pathbreaking hyperextension of Sylvie Guillem. — Dance Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, Sylvie Guillem, Balanchine, Diaghilev, Emma Sandall, 01.07.19


Somebody Tried To Shame Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez By Posting A Video Of Her Dancing In College. Really?

Dance Critic Sarah Kaufman: “Perhaps, somewhere, there exists a small, sad sliver of the human population that still believes, 17th-century style, that dancing is sinful, that having fun is wrong, that music is corrupting, that a young woman playfully noodling around with her hair down must be some kind of wild, out-to-get-you Medusa. I guess the Puritan prejudice against a good time hasn’t entirely disappeared. Otherwise, how could anyone think that publicizing a video clip of a beautiful, coll...
Tags: Art, New York, Dance, Sarah Kaufman, Ocasio Cortez, 01.04.19


A Choreographer Creates An Homage To Fluidity, Biculturalism, And A Classic Third-Wave Feminist Book

That’s right, choreographer Miguel Gutierrez titled his new dance after the classic anthology This Bridge Called My Back – but with the word “ass” instead of back in his title. “‘What underlies ‘This Bridge,’ Mr. Gutierrez said, is a consideration of something that has long piqued him: ‘the perception that artists of color are always doing content work’ — dealing with identity politics — ‘and white artists are only doing form and line.'” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, Audience, Gutierrez, Miguel Gutierrez, 01.04.19


Ballet Isn’t Only Women – It’s Also Trans, Nonbinary, And Genderqueer Dancers

At least, that’s one push for 2019 from the dancers themselves, who are ready, whether the classical ballet world is or not, for more than just partner training for male-identified dancers and pointe training for those who identify as female. – Pointe Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, 01.04.19


Here’s Another Cambodian Dance Form Brought Back From Brink Of Extinction

We’ve read about how Khmer royal court dance has been revived (and even queered). Less familiar is the masked dance-drama lakhon khol, which was nearly wiped out, along with the country’s other traditional art forms, by the Khmer Rouge. Sun Rithy, a 46-year-old whose father and grandfather performed in the genre and trained him in it, now has a company of young performers dedicated to preserving lakhon khol. — Reuters
Tags: Art, Dance, 01.03.19, Khmer Rouge Sun Rithy


Things to do in the San Fernando Valley, Jan. 4-11

    Winter Sunrise by Mardi Georgio is part of an exhibit at the reopening of the Santa Clarita Artists Association Gallery in Newhall. (Photo courtesy of Mardi Georgio)     There’s always something fascinating to do in the San Fernando Valley and greater Los Angeles area. Here is a sampling of entertainments this week and also save-the-date events to put on your calendar.   EVENTS   Flashlight Safari at Wildlife Learning Center: View nocturnal wildlife during 30-minute tours of the ce...
Tags: Art, Books, Music, Comedy, White House, US, Los Angeles, Sport, Earth, Chicago, Dance, Museum, Things To Do, Soccer, Brooklyn, Ronald Reagan


Al-Qaeda Was Finally Chased Out Of This Yemeni City, But Its Hip-Hop Dancers Are Still Forbidden To Dance

When the port city of Mukalla was finally liberated from Al-Qaeda, “[these] five Yemeni hip-hop dancers thought their problems had ended. … But last month Yemeni security forces briefly detained the five members of the WaxOn band, broke their equipment and only released the dancers after they had signed a document saying they would stop dancing hip-hop in public.” — Reuters
Tags: Art, Dance, Al Qaeda, Mukalla, 01.02.19


Dance Magazine’s Ten Biggest Stories Of 2018

“What did our readers care about most in 2018? Judging by our top-clicked stories, topics as broad as confronting a bullying teacher, investigating how Instagram has impacted the dance world and advocating for dance as an intellectual pursuit were the biggest stories in dance this year.” — Dance Magazine
Tags: Art, Instagram, Dance, 12.28.18


Imagine Starring As The Seaweed Maiden In A Scottish Celtic Ballet

It happened in the 1940s, when Erik Chisholm and Margaret Morris brought modernist dance views to bear on stories of Celtic legends that mixed traditional Scottish and modernist music. One principal: “Rehearsals were held up because the dancers had to learn Scottish folk dancing and that is all on the balls of the feet, whereas ballet you have to push your heels down; so it didn’t come naturally or easily – lots of us got blisters – but we respected it.” – The National (Scotland)
Tags: Art, Dance, Celtic, Margaret Morris, 12.31.18, Erik Chisholm


Mick Jagger Is ‘Curating’ A New Rolling Stones Ballet

The ballet will be choreographed by dancer Melanie Hamrick, who is in a relationship with Jagger. – RTE (Ireland)
Tags: Art, Dance, Mick Jagger, Jagger, Melanie Hamrick, 12.30.18


How Did Viral Dance Moves Become The New Music Videos? [VIDEO]

Those aren’t really viral dances – they’re witty and very smart social media moves for established performers. To quote a CEO, “Dance sells.” – BBC
Tags: Art, Dance, 12.29.18


‘It’s Never Too 21st-Century For The Rockettes’: Sarah Kaufman On Why The World’s Most Famous Kick Line Still Pulls People In After 85 Years

“The Rockettes are all about power and cheery domination — they are a glittering army in heels — but there is no hierarchy. Their power is group power. It’s a collective whose uplifting force is greater than what any single dancer could achieve. There is something reassuringly American about them, their natural athleticism, their beauty, their wholesome sexiness.” — The Washington Post
Tags: Art, Dance, Rockettes, Sarah Kaufman, 12.27.18



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