The Broadway World Is Obsessed with These Bags Made from Theater Backdrops
Theater backdrops are so magical onstage, helping bring a production's distinctive world to life. But once a show closes, retired backdrops often end up languishing in theater closets and storage spaces, most of them destined for the trash pile.
Until, that is, Broadway stage manager Jen Kahn had a brilliant idea: Why not turn retired backdrops into adorable little bags? And why not donate a portion of the profits from the bags' sales to the Theatre Development Fund's Stage Doors program, which helps introduce kids to theater?
So Scenery Bags was born. Kahn—who also writes an ethical style blog called Linen, Lace, & Love—began making her cute pouches in 2015, sourcing drops (all graciously donated) from productions all over the country. The bags, which retail for $30, are handmade and, obviously, one of a kind; each one includes a tag with information about the show the drop is from.
Unsurprisingly, theater magic, up-cycling, and giving back proved to be a winning combo. Scenery Bags have been a huge hit in the musical theater community, earning Insta shoutouts from the likes of Krysta Rodriguez and Rachel Bloom.
Want your own Scenery Bag? There's currently a waitlist for the next batch, but you can sign up for it here (and get 10% off "to apologize for the wait," according to the site).
Dance Spirit is beyond excited to announce the first round of 2017 Future Star winners! Every year, DS partners with competitions to recognize dancers with exceptional presence and ability. The second round of winners will be featured in our January issue, so stay tuned!
You're obsessed with class videos. We're obsessed with class videos. The passion, energy, and talent showcased in these clips, which give us an insider-y peek at the commercial dance world's hottest classes, are totally irresistible.
But at what point does the phenomenon go from being a good thing to a bad thing for dancers and the dance world? Is the focus on filming distracting from the work dancers are supposed to be doing in class? Are overproduced videos presenting a dangerously misleading picture of the dance world? Is the pressure to be a class video star becoming too much for dancers to handle? These are some of the questions A-list dancer and choreographer Ian Eastwood—no stranger to the class video himself—has been asking on Twitter. And they've sparked a lively, important debate.
It's no secret that "So You Think You Can Dance" alum Carly Blaney—who's now Sidekick program director for 24 Seven Dance Convention, and who recently performed at the Grammys—can turn for days. We needed to know just how she does it. So we caught up with the pirouette princess to find out her tricks for becoming #turngoals. Give them a try!
Our favorite drama-filled, dance reality show may have ended this past fall, but "Dance Moms" stars Chloe, Kalani, and Kendall aren't about to let that end their dance careers. In fact, these dancing kweens are taking their moves to a city near you with their Irreplaceables Tour! The girls are going all out for the three-week dance production, which is taking them across the country. And these dazzling dancers aren't just content with showing off their dance skillz—they want to pass along their tips and tricks in a dance workshop where they'll lead fans in stretches and dance routines from the show.
Dance Spirit caught up with Chloe, Kalani, and Kendall to find out what they love about tour life and where they see themselves five years from now.
When most of us think of The Nutcracker, we imagine a growing Christmas tree, dancing mice, and a little girl named Clara (or Marie) traveling to the Land of Sweets. But companies around the world have been reinventing the holiday classic, changing the storyline or adding their own spectacular sets and characters. To get in the Nutcracker spirit this season, check out these out-of-the-box productions.
Aspiring ballerina Katarina Jakimier, a Dallas, TX, native, was just 12 when Dance Spirit first featured her, highlighting the innovative pointe shoe recycling program she created in her community. Now 16, Jakimier is still studying ballet intensively—this past fall she started training at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, Germany—and is still on a mission to make the world a better place. Recently, she founded the Silver Swans Ballet Program, which allows senior citizens in retirement homes to experience the magic of ballet, and to reap all of its health benefits. Here, she tells us how the initiative came to be. —Courtney Bowers