(by Matt Karas for Dance Magazine )
As artistic director and sole choreographer for Gallim Dance, Andrea Miller is known for creating works that test both the limits of her dancers’ bodies and the imagination of her audiences.
After receiving her BFA from the Juilliard School in 2004, she joined Ohad Naharin’s Batsheva Ensemble in Israel. In 2007, Miller returned to the Big Apple and established Gallim Dance. Her choreography has since been commissioned by companies, universities and conservatories worldwide.
What inspires Miller’s choreography? Read on to find out.
Blush (by Steven Schreiber)
"Blush is based on those two or three seconds of blushing, where blood comes to the surface of your skin, but I expanded that moment into a 60-minute piece where the dancers repeatedly have to break new barriers in order to reach that warmth and heat and light.”
Head On Installation at the Guggenheim Museum by Cai Guo-Qiang (by David Heald/Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation New York)
“Wonderland was inspired by Head On, an installation I saw at the Guggenheim Museum of 99 wolves charging at a glass wall, by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. The piece became about crowd behavior and mass mentality, especially in times of war.”
The Monty Python Instant Record Collection (courtesy Sony Music Entertainment)
“In high school, I listened to an audio recording of Monty Python’s ‘Argument Clinic.’ I could imagine the sketch happening physically in an abstract way, and it was exciting to play with its rhythm. I got out of a sports credit by choreographing a dance to it for an assembly.”
(courtesy Andrea Miller)
“Fold Here is inspired by ‘Cathedral,’ a short story about a guy trying to describe a cathedral to a blind man. We rehearse in this beautiful church, so I started by asking the dancers to describe its architecture. From there, I decided to take it down to a cardboard box—describing it, using it and eventually destroying it—and based the movement on that.”
Miller kayaking as a kid (iStock)
“I grew up in Utah, where being outside and playing sports were big parts of my life. Being athletic has always influenced the way I move and the way I like to see movement.”
Francesca Romo (courtesy Andrea Miller)
“I met my muse, Gallim co-founder Francesca Romo, when I got back from Israel. After watching her in class, I asked if she’d like to work with me in the studio. Then I basically built a company so I could continue working with her. She’s extremely curious, and she’s so physically intelligent. She doesn’t think twice about limits.”
Jaffa Beach in Tel Aviv (courtesy Andrea Miller)
“In Israel, I’d walk along the beach and watch the surfers. Surfers take a momentum that they can’t stop or control and carve their own paths within it, constantly making choices. That’s what the creative process should be—creating our own voices within the shifts happening around us. That’s how I came up with the name Gallim—it means ‘waves’ in Hebrew.”
It's time to get your pirouette on! From September 5th to September 30th, we're hosting a contest to find out who's the best turner of them all.
Put together your most impressive turning combo. Post a video online. Share your turns with us and thousands of other dancers around the world. And if our editors think you're the top turner, you'll win a fabulous prize.
All of 18-year-old Kaylin Maggard's dreams—from scoring the title of National Senior Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals to winning the 2017 Dance Spirit Cover Model Search—are coming true. And to anyone who knows the gorgeous contemporary dancer, that's no surprise.
From the moment the Dance Spirit staff met Kaylin, it was obvious her humility and talent would take her far. Not only did she go full-out during the photo shoot and class at Broadway Dance Center, but she was always cheering on, laughing with, and supporting her fellow CMS contestants Haley Hartsfield and Michelle Quiner. During the voting period, the social media world was abuzz with praise for her work ethic, positive attitude, and generosity.
Since her CMS trip to NYC, Kaylin's moved from her hometown of Columbia, MO, to the Big Apple for her freshman year at Juilliard, and is busy getting acquainted with the city. As for the future? She's taking it one opportunity at a time, but something tells us we'll be seeing this contemporary queen reach new heights every year.
New York City principal Lauren Lovette has become an icon thanks to her emotional maturity and exceptional musicality. The 26-year-old quickly rose through the ranks after joining the company as an apprentice in 2009, reaching principal status in 2015. A Thousand Oaks, CA, native, Lovette started studying ballet seriously at age 11, at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, NC. After attending two summer courses at the School of American Ballet, she enrolled as a full-time student in 2006. Last year, she made her choreographic debut with For Clara, her first piece for NYCB. Catch her latest work this month during the company's fall season. —Courtney Bowers
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!
I know I'm not getting good enough dance training from any of my local studios. But I'm not sure I'm ready to move away to study at a big-name school, either. How do you know when you're ready to leave home to pursue your passion?
Instagram star Kylie Shea has built a following of nearly 170,000 with her playful workout videos, which combine traditional fitness activities, like jumping rope or running on the treadmill, with pointe shoes and sassy choreography. Shea's effortless cool-girl-next-door vibe and solid ballet technique make her vids totally irresistible.
Now Shea's using her platform to address the body image issues that tend to plague dancers. In a poignant video, she sheds her clothes and tugs at her skin. The caption explains her relationship with her body and the pressure she feels to maintain a certain aesthetic as a dancer.
Physical discomfort is inevitable when you're spending tons of hours in the studio every day, but some pain shouldn't be suffered through. "Dancing through pain can make an injury worse and lead to more time away from dance," says Dr. Joel Brenner, medical director of dance medicine at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk, VA. "Failing to rest and recover when you're in serious pain could even lead to the point where you're unable to dance in the future."
That may sound scary, but there's good news: If you take precautions and listen to your body, many injuries can be stopped in their tracks. The first step? Knowing what's normal—and what's not.
Think about it: How often do you see a ballet pas de deux for two women? Almost never, right? Sometimes, choreographers will forgo the traditional danseur-ballerina pas to make a duet for two guys, since they can lift and partner each other easily. But a dance for two ballerinas is a rare thing.
That's part of what makes "Duet," a new video by director Andrew Margetson featuring Royal Ballet beauties Yasmin Naghdi and Beatriz Stix-Brunell, so compelling.