A Super Insider-y Look at Justin Peck's New Ballet
One of the many (many, many, many) reasons we love Justin Peck is that he collaborates with artists who are totally new to ballet. The 27-year-old New York City Ballet soloist, who was named the company's resident choreographer last summer, is always on the lookout for people who might have something unexpected to contribute to the ballet world. For the past few years, his projects with indie music darling and ballet newbie Sufjan Stevens have been electrifying both dance and music audiences. And for his upcoming ballet Heatscape, which Miami City Ballet will premiere in March, Peck recruited another dance "outsider": visual artist Shepard Fairey, best known for that iconic Barack Obama "Hope" poster.
On Sunday night, the Guggenheim Museum's always amazing Works & Process series took an up-close-and-personal look at Heatscape. Peck, Fairey and MCB director Lourdes Lopez talked about how the ballet came to be, and we saw several choreographic excerpts that left us hungry for more. Fairey's eclectic, lively collages mesh well with Peck's style; Peck is something of a masterful magpie himself. And oh goodness, those MCB dancers! We'd happily watch the elegant Patricia Delgado and laser-sharp Shimon Ito tie their shoes.
Peck (right) and MCB dancers in front of one of Fairey's murals
The Works & Process discussion went really, really deep—you can watch the whole hour-and-a-half long program here, and it's worth a watch. But to get a feel for the flavor of Heatscape in the space of two and a half minutes, take a look at this promotional video by Peck and Ezra Hurwitz. Its backdrop is Miami's Wynwood Walls, the series of vibrant street murals that first inspired Peck to reach out to Fairey. Enjoy!
Harper Watters is a ballet dancer for today's generation. A social media maestro and a charismatic performer, the Houston Ballet soloist is equally at home in front of the camera hosting his hit YouTube series, "The Pre Show"; interacting with fans on his crazy-popular Instagram account; or showing off his beautiful classical technique onstage. It's a multifaceted identity that's proven to be invaluable to his career—and it's taking him to places he never even dreamed of.
The dancers who take our breath away are the risk-takers, the ones who appear completely fearless onstage. "When you see somebody trying to travel more, go farther, push the limits of their physical abilities, that's always going to be inspiring," says Ballet BC dancer Alexis Fletcher.
But dance training can feel like it's in conflict with that idea. We spend thousands of hours in the studio trying to do steps perfectly, and that pursuit of perfection can make us anxious about taking risks. What if we fail? What if we fall?
Luckily, fearlessness is a mental skill that you can work on, just as you work on your technique. Here's how you can learn to push yourself past your limits.
The 2018 Oscar noms are here. Which is fun and all; we'll never not get excited about a night of glitz and glamor and, when we're lucky, pretty great dancing. But we'd be a heck of a lot more excited if the Academy Awards included a Best Choreography category. And really—why don't they?
Maud Arnold is one of the busiest tap dancers on the planet. As a member of the Syncopated Ladies, Maud—along with her big sis and fellow tapper Chloé Arnold—is on constantly the road for performances, workshops, and master classes. For the average person, that kind of schedule could lead to a serious derailment of healthy habits. But Maud's far from average. Here's how the fit, fierce, flawless tap star stays stage-ready—no matter what time zone she finds herself in.
If you're in need of a piece that's both trendy and sophisticated, look no further than this Só Dança crop top. Featuring elegant long sleeves, a high neckline, and a delicate lace trim, it's both classic and contemporary—perfect for everything from that big audition to a long night in the studio. Enter below for your chance to win it!
Auditioning for summer intensives in person may be the ideal—but for Anna McDowell, a 16-year-old student at Juneau Dance Theatre in Juneau, AK, it's rarely possible. “Living in Alaska, it's difficult to travel to auditions," she says. “It gets way too expensive!" Instead, each year, with help from her teachers and a videographer, she puts together a well-crafted video and submits it to schools around the country. Last year, her high-quality video helped her earn acceptance to nearly every program she applied for. Most summer intensive programs, eager to attract students from far and wide, will accept video auditions from those who can't travel to take class. But major schools look at hundreds of submissions each year, which means video auditioners have just a few minutes—or even seconds—to make a great impression. If you're about to create an audition video, follow these tips from the professionals to put your best digital foot forward.