I did an interview with the very talented, very articulate, and very opinionated choreographer Jessica Lang a few months ago--and made the (ultimately fortunate) mistake of asking her how she felt about the trend of all-female choreographer evenings. She groaned. "I hate that artistic directors have started using it as a ploy to bring in audiences: 'Hey, we'll do an all-girl evening!'" she said. "I'm sure their intentions are good, but it makes me feel woefully insecure sometimes. I know there aren't many women choreographers out there, but that doesn't mean we need to be championed. I don't want to get opportunities just because I'm a woman; I strongly believe in the value of what I create. If you want Christopher Wheeldon, hire him. Don't give it to me because I'm a girl!"
I've thought of that rant often the past couple of nights, which I've spent at the Joyce Theater, soaking up wonderful dances by four very talented choreographers: Andrea Miller, Camille A. Brown, Kate Weare, and Monica Bill Barnes. They all happen to be women--but, refreshingly, that wasn't the point. These ladies weren't chosen to share two programs at the prestigious Joyce because they're girls; they were chosen because they're GOOD.
Really, really good! Miller explored the dangerous, twisted consequences of herd mentality in her self-consciously theatrical, pitch-perfect Wonderland (inspired by this art installation). In five short, vividly personable works, Brown proved that she's both a sophisticated stylist and a crowd-pleaser. Weare's Bright Land--accompanied by a fantastic "old-time" band--was a touching, intimate, oh-so-human dance poem. And Barnes' Another Parade, which juxtaposed Bach with James Brown and ballet with silly showgirl moves, was good, earnest fun--a "not a girl, not yet a woman" romp complete with confetti and a disco ball. (A special shoutout to Dance Magazine editor Kina, who made a guest appearance in Barnes' piece!)
Yay for women choreographing--and yay for venues presenting their choreography because it DESERVES to be presented.
There's a reason Mia Michaels' nickname is "Mama Mia." The legendary choreographer invests deeply in her dancers, whether they're competitors on "So You Think You Can Dance," members of the Radio City Rockettes, or part of her own elite assistant squad. And now, Michaels is launching a project that aims to give more dancers access to her gifts as a teacher and mentor.
And that's a wrap on "Dancing with the Stars" Season 24, ladies and gents! It's certainly been one for the books. From injuries to shocking eliminations, let's just say Season 24 has had its emotional ups and downs. But despite all that, the season made for some seriously phenom dancing and some killer performances. And as usual, we've loved watching every second of those cha chas, foxtrots, and waltzes.
Let's get right to the exciting stuff, though: Last night's winning couple of "Dancing with the Stars" is...
Nearly 80,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.
Want a chance to get personally involved in the HOTLY anticipated TV show "World of Dance"? Of course you do. That's why J. Lo. and the rest of the "WOD" team have launched an interactive version of the upcoming NBC series that lets Snapchatters get in on the action.
On Saturday morning, Russell Horning—aka 15-year-old Instagram king @i_got_barzz—was already kind of famous. His admittedly bad but weirdly mesmerizing dance videos had earned him shoutouts from the likes of Rihanna (and dance tributes from the likes of Josh Killacky).
But by Sunday morning? By Sunday morning, Russell Got Barzz had reached an entirely different level of memedom. Because Katy Perry tapped the teen—signature backpack and all—to perform "Swish Swish" with her on "Saturday Night Live." And the internet lost its darn mind.
If, like me, you've ever wondered (and wondered) how that stunning opening scene in La La Land came together, do we have a treat for you.