An Independence Day Throwback Thursday
Usually on the 4th of July, we like to post a beautiful video of our favorite America-themed ballet, Stars and Stripes. I, of course, would have chosen that time it was featured in best-dance-movie-ever Center Stage. ("Those pirouettes were amazing. Amazing and tiring, huh?" Oh Jodie, so naive.)
Anyway...while searching for videos, I remembered a number on "America's Got Talent" a few years back that was really touching. It, too, was America-themed, and it used Pilobolus-like shadow work to bring landmarks across the USA to life. If you don't remember, they were The Silhouettes from Rocky Mountain School of Dance in Arvada, CO. Here's the number:
Pretty cool, huh? I spoke to choreographer Lynne Waggoner-Patton shortly after the kids' "AGT" appearance, and she told me how difficult it was to choreograph in shadows. "There are things you can get away with as a dancer that you can't get away with when you're behind the screen. Every little detail matters—your angle, your turnout and how far you are from each other," she says. "Plus, we can’t really see what we’re doing in the studio, because we only have 12-foot ceilings and our screen is 18-feet high. We have to rent a theater if we want to see what we’re actually making!"
And here's a fun fact: The screen The Silhouettes perform with has a name! It came from Italy, so the dancers call it "Monte Pietro" or "Mountain Peak" in Italian.
Happy 4th, dancers! I hope this video gets you into the spirit of the day.
Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!
Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.
We always love a good halftime performance. And we LIVE for halftime performances involving talented kids. (Fingers and toes crossed that Justin Timberlake follows Missy Elliott's lead and invites some fabulous littles to share his Super Bowl stage.)
So obviously, our hearts completely melted for 5-year-old Tavaris Jones. Tavaris may have just started kindergarten, but during Monday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Detroit native danced with the panache of a veteran pro at halftime.
The coolest place she's ever performed:
I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!
Something she's constantly working on:
My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'
My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
For a long time, I was the strongest dancer at my studio. But this year there's a new girl in my class who's very talented, and my teacher's attention has definitely shifted to her. I'm trying not to feel jealous or discouraged, but it seems like my whole dance world has changed. Help!
In the dance world, Mandy Moore has long been a go-to name, but in 2017, the success of her choreography for La La Land made the rest of the world stop and take notice. After whirlwind seasons as choreographer and producer on both "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," she capped off the year with two Emmy Award nominations—and her first win. Dance Magazine caught up with her to find out how she's balancing all of her dance projects.
Marzia Memoli may be the Martha Graham Dance Company's newest dancer, but her classical lines and easy grace are already turning heads. Originally from Palermo, Italy, Memoli started studying at age 16 at the Academy of Teatro Carcano in Milan. Later, she attended the Rudra Béjart School in Lausanne, Switzerland, before heading to NYC in 2016 to join MGDC. This month, she'll perform The Rite of Spring in the Martha Graham Studio Series in NYC, and tour with the company in Florida. Read on for the dirt.