The Jacob's Pillow Lineup Is Here, Which Means We're One Step Closer to Summer
Now that the holidays are over and we're all headed back to school (and work), the days can seem a little dreary. (There are how many more months of snow, wind and freezing rain ahead?) But here's something to ward off the winter blues: Jacob's Pillow has released its 2015 Dance Festival lineup, which means summertime is a lot closer than it seems. Even better? This season's programming is utterly ahmahzing.
American Ballet Theatre's Daniil Simkin and Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal's Céline Cassone looking fantabulous—as per usual (photo by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory of NYC Dance Project)
Any Daniil Simkin fans in the house? Yeah, I thought so. The American Ballet Theatre principal will star in the Jacob's Pillow Season Opening Gala, along with students from the Pillow's summer ballet program, in a premiere choreographed by BalletX's Matthew Neenan. Later in the season, Simkin will also headline a gala program called Intensio—featuring four world premieres—alongside fellow ABTers Isabella Boylston, Hee Seo, Calvin Royal III and James Whiteside, as well as Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal's Céline Cassone. (You can pick your jaw up off the floor now.)
But wait! There's more. While there are way too many dance events (literally hundreds) to list, highlights include Ballet BC, BODYTRAFFIC, Dorrance Dance, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, L.A. Dance Project, Daniel Ulbricht and Stars of American Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company and so. much. more.
Feeling warmer yet? Check out the Jacob's Pillow website for details.
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."
The Olympics are always full of inspiring Cinderella stories, where athletes no one had heard of mere months ago end up blowing all expectations out of the water, and maybe even nabbing a medal in the bargain. But we've recently caught wind of a different kind of Cinderella story—and it's one we really, really hope shows up in the Closing Ceremonies of the PyeongChang Olympics, airing tonight on NBC starting at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific time.
Being a dancer comes with the task of having to entertain the same questions over and over again from those outside the dance world. Of course, we love having our friends and family take an interest in our passion—but if someone asks ONE MORE TIME whether or not we've met Travis Wall, we might just go crazy.
Here are 10 questions that dancers hate getting asked.
Contemporary phenom Christina Ricucci has super-flexible hips, which means she can stretch her legs to unbelievable heights. But when she noticed herself making contorted positions in class, Ricucci realized she was approaching her extensions all wrong. "I went back to the basics in class, squaring my hips and using my turnout," Ricucci says. "I learned to create proper positions, rather than whacked-out versions of them."
Some dancers are so wonky they have a hard time supporting their high legs, while others struggle with limited flexibility. But no matter your facility, you can find a balance of stretch and strength to achieve your fullest range of extension. It's not about how high (or not) your legs can go: It's the quality of the movement, and how you get those legs up, that counts.
Last month, we asked why there wasn't a Best Choreography category at the Oscars—and discovered that many of you agreed with us: Choreographers should definitely be acknowledged for their work on the super-dancy movies we can't get enough of.
Now, we're taking matters into our own (jazz) hands.
We've decided to create a Dance Spirit award for the best cinematic choreography of 2017. With your input, we've narrowed the field to four choreographers whose moves lit up some of the best movies of the year. Check out our nominations for best choreography below—and vote for the choreographer you think deserves the honor. We'll announce the winner on Friday, March 2.
Once upon a time (until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi concluded, to be exact), figure skaters had to compete to music without words. Before this rule change, a skater faced an automatic point deduction if the music even hinted at vocals. Understandably, there were *a lot* of Olympic programs skated to classical music, and you'd tend to hear the same music selections over and over and over.
There are plenty of current Olympic figure skaters who'd make beautiful dancers (first among them Adam Rippon, whose gorgeously choreographed long program won the internet, if not the gold). But today, as we wait for the women's figure skating competition to crown its new champions, we wanted to throw it back to one of the most beautifully balletic skaters of all time: Sasha Cohen.
The high-flying leaps of grand allegro are meant to be incredibly exciting. But at the end of an intense ballet class, when you're exhausted, it can be hard to give them the attention they deserve. Want to pump up your big jumps? Follow these 10 vital tips from Jennifer Hart, curriculum director and instructor at Ballet Austin.