Celebrating 10 Years of The PULSE on Tour in One Gala
You know who throws a really great party? The PULSE on Tour. Last night marked the culmination of The PULSE's 10th anniversary season, after the convention's week-long Summer Intensive in NYC. From celeb appearances to spectacular guest performances (including dancers from Ballet Hispanico), the choreographers, producers, students—everyone!—put on a heck of a show. Dance Spirit was there to soak in all of the standing-ovation action. Here's a quick rundown of what made the evening so special.
1. The wedding themes. Chris Judd used his wedding song (a variation of Amos Lee's "Sweet Pea") as inspiration for his Summer Intensive large group piece. It was jazzy, uplifting and fun to watch. But On the Other Hand, choreographed by Teresa Stone and set to Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," took a slightly darker turn. Stone, who's a brilliant storyteller, created a wedding party gone awry in which the bride and groom are fighting and probably rethinking their nuptials. It made for an uncomfortable viewing experience—but only because the dancers were so committed to the story and movement. I don't think I was the only audience member on the edge of my seat. Here's a previous performance of Stone's On the Other Hand:
2. The 2014–15 Elite Protégé piece, choreographed by Dance Spirit cover star Ian Eastwood. This piece was about feeling like the odd-man out: Superstar Charlize Glass played a dancer who couldn't quite fit in. Then one day, the others notice her talents, and she becomes part of the group. It wasn't the most subtle or compelling plot, but with Eastwood's lightning-fast choreo and the (now former!) Elite Protégés' performance ability, the storyline didn't really matter.
Behind the scenes with Ian Eastwood (center) and the 2014–15 Elite Protégés (via @Ian_Eastwood)
3. Tricia Miranda's CAMP PULSE number. Oh, the littles. Miranda certainly knows what she's doing when it comes to kid-friendly choreography. This time, Miranda costumed the dancers in their jammies and set the stage for a boys vs. girls' slumber party. Anytime there's a cypher with dancers in footie pajamas, you know it's going to be good. And of course, these fabulous young talents (hi, Brooklyn Nets Kids Fiona Krkuti and Alex Rubiano!) delivered. Best. Sleepover. Ever.
4. Getting to see The PULSE faculty dressed to the nines. Sure, these choreographers look super-cool in class attire. (Can anyone else rock a pair of sweats quite like hip-hop teachers? Nope.) But getting to see their out-of-class fashion sense is pure fun.
So fancy! (The PULSE on Tour faculty; photo via @Cjudd)
5. Kyle Hanagami's choreography for the 2014–15 Protégés. I'm not sure how Hanagami created a cohesive piece for 100 students—but he did. Dancers entered and exited the stage so quickly, but there was never a break in the action. That's also a testament to the dancers, who performed Hanagami's intricate choreo flawlessly.
Congrats, dancers, for such truly fantastic performances! And a special shout out to The PULSE's new 2015–16 Elite Protégés:
The PULSE on Tour's Kristen Plant (center) with the new 2015–16 Elite Protégés (via @kc13dance)
Misty Copeland. Her name is synonymous with exquisite artistry and outspoken advocacy. And her visibility has made a huge impact on the ballet world. Ballet's relationship with race has always been strained at best, hostile at worst. But Copeland's persistent message and star quality have finally forced the ballet industry to start talking about racial diversity, inclusivity, and representation. "The rarity of seeing ourselves represented is sad," Copeland says. "The more we see every hue and body shape represented on the stage, the more possibilities young dancers feel they have for themselves."
"Whole, low-fat, or skim?" The question of which milk to drink has gotten a little more complicated lately, with a wide variety of nondairy milks popping up in grocery stores. To find out which ones are worth your milk money, we had registered dietitian Monika Saigal answer some FAQs.
Yesterday, the dance community was heartbroken to learn that Jaime Guttenberg and Cara Loughran, both 14-year-old dancers, were among the 17 people killed on Valentine's Day in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
American Ballet Theatre principal Sarah Lane charms audiences with her bright energy and crisp technique. The San Francisco, CA, native first started dancing at age 4 at a local community center, and at age 7 started training in Memphis, TN, at the Classical Ballet Memphis. Her family later moved to Rochester, NY, where she continued studying at the Draper Center for Dance Education. In 2002, she was a YoungArts Foundation winner in dance, allowing her to become a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts. She joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 2003, was made a soloist in 2007, and was promoted to principal last fall. Recently, she originated the role of Princess Praline in Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream. Catch her later this spring during ABT's Metropolitan Opera season. —Courtney Bowers
You and I both know that dancing is the best thing since chocolate chip cookies! But its always nice when dance gets the recognition it deserves from non–dance-world peeps. That's why we did our own happy dance when we saw Shape magazine's article on how dancing can actually make you a better athlete.
When Ruby Castro became a Top 10 finalist on "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 13, she was a fresh, feisty new face to most at-home viewers. But in the dance world—particularly on the ballroom circuit—Ruby was already a household name. Miami-based Ruby grew up as a belle of the ballroom: Her parents, Manny and Lory Castro, are veritable superstars of the scene. They're the owners of Dance Town, an ultra-competitive studio in Doral, FL, and raised Ruby to follow in their furiously fast footsteps. Before she graced the "SYT" stage, Ruby had already been named a U.S. Junior Champion in Latin Ballroom, and competed on "America's Got Talent"—twice!
So, we know she's talented, we know she's versatile, we know she's stunning, and we know she can dance. But here's what you may not know about Ruby.
You know that thing when you're onstage at a competition and you catch your teacher unconsciously marking through every step of the choreography in the wings, just willing you and the rest of the group to dance perfectly?
Yeah—that happens in ice dancing, too. Case in point: the scene at the Olympic rink yesterday, as Canadian ice-dancing legends Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir skated their way to their third Olympic gold.
Obviously, their performance was all kinds of epic. But the off-ice "performance" given by their coach, Marie-France Dubreuil, was EVERYTHING.
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I want to dance in a ballet company, but I'm insecure about my body. I'm not skinny, and I don't think I ever will be, because that's just not the way I'm built. Please be honest with me: If I don't have the traditional ballet body, do I have a future in professional ballet?