Art


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Five Pioneering Black Ballerinas Speak Up

Life as a pioneer, life in a pandemic: They have been friends for over half a century, and have held each other up through far harder times than this last disorienting year. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, 06.17.21


Using Dance To Heal Rape Survivors In Congo

“‘I started doing this because of the girls who came to us in a state of silence. They were raped at a young age and they didn’t know how to express themselves. They were so withdrawn,’ said [dance teacher Amina] Lusambo. Now the same women line up in brightly coloured leggings for her classes, where they learn to reconnect with their bodies. ‘You can do more in one month of dance than in three months of psychotherapy,’ Lusambo said.” – Reuters
Tags: Art, Dance, Congo, Amina, 06.14.21, Lusambo


How “In The Heights” Made NYC’s Streets Dance

The last time I felt such a sense of release watching dancers spill onto the streets in a movie was in “Fame.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, 06.16.21


COVID’s Toll On Argentina’s Tango Scene Has Been Heavy

“The empty, dark dance floor at the Viruta Tango Club is a symbol of the pandemic-induced crisis facing dancers and musicians of an art form known for close physical contact and exchanging partners. … Equally damaging has been the closing of borders, preventing the arrival of tourists, the main source of financing for the local tango industry. Tango tours abroad have also been canceled as Argentina continues to suffer high coronavirus caseloads more than a year after the pandemic began.” – AP ...
Tags: Art, Dance, Argentina, Viruta Tango Club, 06.15.21


Choreographer Cathy Marston Will Be Next Director of Zurich’s Ballet

“Particularly noted for her narrative work, … Marston will take over as new Ballet Director and Chief Choreographer for an initial period of two years, starting from the 2023-24 season. … Marston has previous directorship experience in Switzerland, having been Ballet Director at the Konzert Theater Bern from 2007-2013. There, she created several world premieres including Wuthering Heights (2009), and led the ballet from the brink of closure to a flourishing period of ensemble work.” – SeeingDan...
Tags: Art, Dance, Switzerland, Zurich, Marston, Konzert Theater Bern, Cathy Marston, 06.15.21


For First Time, Indigenous Australian Choreographer Will Lead Non-Indigenous Dance Company

Daniel Riley, who comes from the Wiradjuri people of central New South Wales, spent 12 years dancing with and choreographing for Bangarra Dance Theatre, Australia’s (and possibly the world’s) most prominent indigenous dance company. At the beginning of 2022, he starts work as artistic director of the company’s oldest contemporary dance troupe, the Adelaide-based Australian Dance Theatre. – ABC (Australia)
Tags: Art, Australia, Dance, New South Wales, Adelaide, Daniel Riley, 06.06.21


The Tango Is Just What We Need As Pandemic Eases

Watching audience members take to the stage of a Washington theater for a “milonga” — a gathering to dance the tango — one observes a moving milestone in the ending of the drought of human contact. – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Washington, Dance, 06.15.21


Accusations Of Drug, Psychological, And Sexual Abuse Rock Maurice Béjart’s Dance Company

“Switzerland’s prestigious Béjart Ballet Lausanne company faces a probe as allegations of drug use, harassment and abuse of power raise the question why nothing apparently changed after an earlier investigation raised similar issues. … The Maurice Béjart Foundation announced the audit just a week after revealing that the affiliated Rudra Béjart ballet school had fired its director and stage manager and suspended all classes for a year due to ‘serious shortcomings’ in management.” – Yahoo! (AFP)...
Tags: Art, Dance, Switzerland, Dance Company, Maurice Bejart, 06.13.21, Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Maurice Béjart Foundation, Rudra Béjart


Boston Merges Ballet And Virtual Reality

It’s impressively intimate: It’s impressively intimate: “As you stand in the middle of an undulating semi-circle of bodies, each moving with snakelike ports de bras, you discover how eye contact can change the tenor of a performance. By its very design, VR dance is meant to be this visceral. The audience is but a hair away from the action, and occasional trips and slides, and the intricacies of choreography and gesture. Pickett describes the experience as akin to ‘having the movement land o...
Tags: Art, Dance, Pickett, 06.14.21, Boston Merges Ballet


The Blogger Preserving Jewish Ballet

In college, Beatrice Waterhouse started wondering where she could find information about Jews in the ballet world. So she created a Tumblr site, “‘People of the Barre’ (which, yes, is a play on ‘people of the book’) and started using the blog to store tidbits she came across about Jews in ballet, mainly for her own reference.” – Forward
Tags: Art, Dance, 06.13.21, Beatrice Waterhouse


Carlos Acosta Calls For Ballet That Reflects Now

“I don’t want to keep riding with [my] own Swan Lake or The Nutcracker – that’s fine, I love them, that made my career – but what else can I bring that speaks about me now? That’s why every time I do programming, I encourage choreographers and collaborators to go towards that direction.” – The Stage
Tags: Art, Dance, Swan Lake, Carlos Acosta, 06.10.21


By The Numbers: Who Are The Bosses At US Ballet Companies And What Are They Paid?

“[This new report finds] that the position of Artistic Director is held by far more men than women, while the position of Executive Director is much more equitably distributed. However, in both Artistic and Executive Director roles, men are compensated at a higher rate than their female counterparts.” (One prominent detail: Peter Martins earned way more than anyone else — though one must grant that New York City Ballet is three times the size of the country’s next largest company, San Francisco...
Tags: Art, US, Dance, New York City Ballet, Peter Martins, 06.10.21


Choreographing The Social Distancing At Dance Parties

“SOCIAL! the social distance dance club advertised a COVID-conscious rave [in Manhattan] this spring, where people were free to let loose together in the Park Avenue Armory’s Drill Hall. David Byrne MC’d the evening’s festivities, but the real dance happened before the party. The choreography was as follows.” – The Brooklyn Rail
Tags: Art, Dance, Manhattan, 06.21, David Byrne MC


Alvin Ailey ADT In The Age Of BLM: Artistic Director Robert Battle

“The foundation is the experiences of African Americans in this country — and knowing that is not monolithic. Within the diversity in African American culture, people, and experiences, it’s finding ways to engage to tell those stories that reflect the time in which we live. Not all choreographers I bring in are African American. That’s important because there are two things we are demonstrating. One, the notion of telling our own story, but also that my dancers are versatile and can do the work...
Tags: Art, San Francisco, Dance, Alvin Ailey, Wayne McGregor, Robert Battle, Rennie Harris, 06.08.21


Queering ‘Giselle’

Katy Pyle and her company, Ballez, have a new work called Giselle of Loneliness ( ) “that grapples conceptually with ballet’s stringent and arguably exclusionary, conformist and outmoded traditional norms. … [The] production pairs seven dancers, all female-assigned or of femme experience, with an imaginative framing concept: They are competing to play Giselle, and confronting all the oppressive demands such a canonical role entails. Performers portraying a host and judges round out the audition...
Tags: Art, Dance, Giselle, Katy Pyle, Ballez, 06.06.21


A Choreographer Learns To Rest, To Improvise, And To Feel Joy

During what we might call “the long 2020,” choreographer Kyle Marshall experienced quite a bit of change. “In this next step of his career, he said, he’s more focused and more comfortable making decisions. But the pandemic made also him realize something else: Just how exhausted he was.” Now he’s trying to be more intentional, working more carefully with his dancers and creating work that celebrates life and wonder. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, Kyle Marshall, 06.03.21


The Nexus Of Dance And Drag Is Growing

And it’s not — not just — the Trocks and RuPaul’s Drag Race. The latter, however, by its popularity and creativity, does seem to have created space for dancers and choreographers, even high-profile ones, to shake off the rigid gender expectations that have held sway in dance and to experiment with costuming, make-up, and gender-neutral movement and roles. – Dance Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, Rupaul, Trocks, 06.03.21


Carolyn North, Still Dancing At 83

In her life, North, “the Bay Area-based dance therapist, writer, and flutist, has talked her way into a summer dance intensive camp, having had little formal dance training; sung in a gospel choir; played flute professionally; worked as a midwife; learned to play bass bamboo flute while living in India; written and published 11 books; birthed three children; founded Daily Bread, a food recovery program; taught dance healing techniques to professional and novice dancers; and produced Musings on ...
Tags: Art, India, Dance, Bay Area, Daily Bread, 06.01.21, Carolyn North


Queering Flamenco (Which Could Really Use It)

“When the journalist and filmmaker Ana González was growing up near Madrid, in the nineteen-nineties, flamenco seemed both ubiquitous and retrograde. For González, this exuberant style of dance and music, which emerged in southern Spain, represented a cloying brand of nationalism. ‘I used to reject the conventional flamenco story, because I associated it with a very conservative tradition,’ she said. It took Manuel Liñán, the subject of Flamenco Queer, to change her mind.” (video) – The New Yor...
Tags: Art, Spain, Dance, Madrid, Gonzalez, Ana Gonzalez, Manuel Liñán, 06.02.21


Long Discreetly Camouflaged, Lesbians In Ballet Are Starting to Find Themselves And Each Other

Gay men aren’t as ubiquitous in that world as some civilians think, but they’re not rare. Yet gender norms in classical ballet are even more rigid for females than for males, and queer women in the profession have tended to feel very isolated indeed. That, however, is something that the hiatus and the move online caused by the pandemic have started to change. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, 06.01.21


Why Sarah Lane Quietly Slipped Away From ABT

“[After 18 years,] Lane and ABT parted ways last summer, although no announcement was made; rather, in September, her name was quietly taken off the roster. … She recently opened up to Pointe about her departure from the company, although for privacy reasons certain details are remaining undisclosed.” (Hmm.) – Pointe Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, Lane, Pointe, Sarah Lane, 05.27.21


The 106-Year-Old Dancer Who Hates The Word Old

Eileen Kramer still dances every day. And she also “writes a story a day from her Sydney aged-care facility, publishes books and has entered Australia’s most prestigious painting competition. After decades living abroad, Ms Kramer returned to her home city of Sydney aged 99. Since then, she’s collaborated with artists to create several videos that showcase her primary talent and lifelong passion: dancing.” – BBC
Tags: Art, Australia, Dance, Sydney, Kramer, Eileen Kramer, 05.31.21


Liam Scarlett’s Death Did Not Happen The Way Everyone Presumed It Did

The British choreographer, aged 35, died in April, one day after the Royal Danish Ballet announced it was cancelling its staging of his Frankenstein over #MeToo allegations against him; similar accusations led to his firing from London’s Royal Ballet in 2020. The widespread assumption was that Scarlett committed suicide after the release of the news from Copenhagen; in fact, he had been admitted to a hospital, unconscious, four days earlier. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, London, People, Dance, Royal Ballet, Copenhagen, Frankenstein, Scarlett, Royal Danish Ballet, Liam Scarlett, 05.28.21


These Protesters Faced Down The Colombian Cops By Voguing

As a crowd marched in Bogotá against poverty and police violence, three twenty-something queer folks whose dance video had gone viral a couple of weeks earlier were urged by their fellow demonstrators to go right up to the riot police on the stairs at Plaza Bolívar and work it. And they did. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, Bogota, Plaza Bolívar, 05.31.21


Swiss Ballet School Fires Director And Manager, Suspends All Classes

An investigation reveals psychological abuse, abuse of power, nepotism, and “serious pedagogical dysfunctions” at the Rudra Béjart School, “leading the Board to terminate the contract of the director, Michel Gascard and his wife Valérie Lacaze, manager of the school.” (Article in French; translation available using Google Translate.) – FranceInfo
Tags: Art, Dance, 05.31.21, Rudra Béjart School, Michel Gascard, Valérie Lacaze


A Choreographer Finds Her Voice

Leslie Cuyjet has recently created a dance “so conceptual and personal. Moriah Evans and Yve Laris Cohen — who curate Dance and Process, an incubator that affords choreographers the space and time to develop work — were impressed. Evans said she admired the nuances of seemingly simple gestures in the piece, as well as its ‘delicate shifts,’ which ‘contain all the complexity that I think is within Leslie as a person and as a performer: the subtlety, the control, but also the anger, the rage, the...
Tags: Art, Dance, Evans, Leslie, Moriah Evans, 05.30.21, Leslie Cuyjet, Yve Laris Cohen


People In Cars Scream Racial Epithets At Ballet West Dancers

And this didn’t happen once, bad as that would have been. The company says “two black dancers had people scream racial epithets at them while driving by, and it happened on two separate occasions last week.” – KSL
Tags: Art, Dance, 05.29.21


France Reveres Roland Petit. Why Doesn’t It Perform His Ballets More Often?

“Even in Petit’s home country, his works haven’t been staged with great regularity. Nor do companies seem especially interested in resuscitating any of the dozens of full-length works or shorter ballets he created over the course of a long career. It’s a curious schism: Despite the relative obscurity of much of Petit’s work, he remains much-revered in France, where he is still described as a great choreographer who is pivotal to a French ballet heritage.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, France, Dance, Petit, 05.26.21


Millions Lost: Australian Ballet Hit Harder By Pandemic Than Most Of Country’s Large Arts Orgs

“The Australian Ballet forfeited $32 million [Aus] in ticket revenue [and posted $2.4 million in operating losses] for 2020, a pandemic blow that it has only survived thanks to an outpouring of community and government support, plus a decision to raid its reserves and sell off investments. … It bucks the trend of many other major arts organisations including Victorian Opera, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra which chalked up pandemic profits on the back of continued gov...
Tags: Art, Dance, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, 05.28.21, Victorian Opera Melbourne Symphony Orchestra


After 25 Years Leading Cincinnati Ballet, Victoria Morgan To Step Down

As one of the very few women to lead a major ballet company, Morgan championed women choreographers long before the rest of the dance world turned its attention to the lack of equity for women in the field. It has not been unusual for more than half of a season’s offerings to be choreographed by women. – Cincinnati Enquirer
Tags: Art, Dance, Morgan, 05.26.21, Cincinnati Ballet Victoria Morgan



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