It's Tony Time!
On Sunday evening, you will find me curled up on my couch, eyes glued to the TV screen, demanding that anyone in my vicinity, "Please be quiet!"
Oh yes: It's Tony Awards time.
The Tony's are my favorite. I don't care about the red carpet, I don't care about who's wearing diamonds from which fancy jeweler — I care about the performances. And this year, I care about the host, the hilariously entertaining and always-on-his-toes Neil Patrick Harris.
It's guaranteed to be a good show since Harris has proven himself a superstar host. But I'm especially excited about one performance in particular: the Newsies. I'd like to see Newsies take home all the top awards this year because it's my favorite show right now. Once is another top contender in the Best Musical category, so be sure to check back here Monday morning for the full list of winners.
Until then, I'll be singing "Seize the Day" at the top of my lungs. You're welcome, coworkers.
In the spirit of the Tony Awards — and the fact that we just sent our July/August Broadway issue to the printer — I asked the DS staff to share their favorite Broadway songs.
Now, just for you, here's Dance Spirit's Ultimate Broadway Playlist...
- "So Much Better" from Legally Blonde: The Musical
- "96,000" from In the Heights
- "Defying Gravity" from Wicked
- "Seize the Day" from Newsies
- "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Hairspray
- "One" from A Chorus Line
- "Seasons of Love" from RENT ("Classic.")
- "Somewhere" from West Side Story
- "I Believe" and "Tomorrow is a Latter Day" from The Book of Mormon
RACHEL'S "OhmygodIlovemusicals" FAVORITES:
- "La Vie Boheme" and "Take Me or Leave Me" from RENT
- "Dance Ten, Looks Three" and "Nothing" from A Chorus Line
- "We Both Reached For the Gun" from Chicago
- "The Circle of Life" and "I Just Can't Wait to be King" from The Lion King ("Anything Disney automatically jumps to the top of most of my playlists. There's nothing better on road trips.")
- "America" from West Side Story ("Best dance number ever.")
- "If Ever I Would Leave You" from Camelot
- "If I Loved You" from Carousel
- "For Good" from Wicked
- "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables ("I cry like a baby every time I hear it")
- "Make 'Em Laugh" from Singin' in the Rain
- "What I Did for Love" from A Chorus Line
- "Fugue for Tinhorns" and "Adelaide's Lament" from Guys and Dolls
- "The entire Rock of Ages soundtrack." Specifically "Don't Stop Believin'. "
- "Steal Your Rock 'N' Roll" from Memphis
(Oh, and if you're like us and you're Newsies-obsessed, you may kind of love our upcoming July/August issue. Just saying...)
And don't forget to tune in to the Tony Awards this Sunday, June 10, at 8 pm on CBS.
Much of Janelle Ginestra's career has been about helping others shine. She's dedicated herself to supporting and cheerleading her partner, WilldaBeast Adams; the emerging talents in their dance company, ImmaBEAST; and the countless dancers she inspires at master classes and conventions. Her YouTube channel has become a launching pad for young talents like "Fraternal Twins" Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala, thanks to viral videos featuring Ginestra's creative vision.
But Ginestra's a skyrocketing success in her own right—an in-demand choreographer, a social media influencer, and a dance entrepreneur, building a legacy one eight-count at a time. It's time for her turn in the spotlight. And she's more than ready. "I want to be a legend in whatever I do," she says. We'd argue that she already is.
When a choreographer finds a composer whose music truly inspires her, it can feel like a match made in dance heaven. Some choreographers work with the same composers so frequently that they become known for their partnerships. New York City Ballet soloist and resident choreographer Justin Peck, for example, has tapped composer Sufjan Stevens numerous times (last spring, the two premiered The Decalogue at NYCB, to rave reviews); L.A. Dance Project's Benjamin Millepied's working relationship with composer Nico Muhly has spanned a decade and two continents; and when tap dancer Michelle Dorrance premiered the first-ever Works & Process Rotunda Project, a site-specific work for New York City's Guggenheim Museum, last year, percussionist Nicholas Van Young was by her side as an equal partner. Successful collaborations require compatibility between artists, direct and honest communication, and flexible, open minds. But when the stars align, working with a composer can be extremely rewarding.
For ballerinas, it's the dream role to end all dream roles: Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the type of part dancers spend years preparing for and whole careers perfecting. And it's a role that New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck never thought she'd dance. Though Peck is one of the world's preeminent ballerinas, her short stature made Odette/Odile, typically performed by longer, leggier dancers, seem (almost literally) out of reach.
Then—surprise!—her name popped up on the cast list for NYCB's fall season run of Swan Lake.
Lani Dickinson's power, grace, and raw presence make her a standout with AXIS Dance Company, whose mission is to change the face of dance and disability by featuring a mix of disabled and non-disabled performers. Born in China, Dickinson was adopted by an American couple and started dancing at 8 in Towson, MD. She attended the Boston Ballet School for two summers, studied at the Idyllwild Arts Academy for the last two years of high school, and graduated with a dance degree from Alonzo King LINES Ballet's BFA program with Dominican University of California. In 2015, she joined AXIS and won a Princess Grace Award. Catch her this month during AXIS Dance Company's 30th-anniversary season—and read on for The Dirt!
Week five of "Dancing with the Stars" proved to be one of the best weeks of the season so far. (And we're not just saying that because Mickey made a cameo debut on the piano during one of the routines—although that certainly didn't hurt!) Everyone brought their A-game, and with such a fun theme the contestants were able to really let their guards down. There was true sincerity in their dancing that we hadn't seen before. But not all Disney stories end with a "happily ever after," and one couple still had to hang up their dancing shoes.
If there's one week you should watch all the routines of it's undoubtedly this one... But, ICYMI, scroll below for our highlights of the night.