Dance News

Wanna be a Rockette? I know. We all do. But while sharing the Radio City Music Hall stage with a squad of fabulous high-kicking ladies may feel like a faraway dream (at least for the moment!), now you can learn some of the Rockettes' signature choreography right in your own living room, thanks to the Rockettes Dance Moves video series.

What's that? You've already obsessively watched every available YouTube snippet of the Rockettes, trying to absorb each chaîné turn and kick-ball-change? I know. We all have. But the Rockettes Dance Moves videos are different: They actually break down the minute details of the group's high-precision choreography, from fingertip to LaDuca-clad toe. It's a true insider's peek at the group's world-famous choreo.

Basically, the videos take you here—inside the rehearsal studio with Rockettes. Neat. (photo via the Rockettes Facebook page)

The Rockettes are rolling out a new Rockettes Dance Moves video every couple of days. A grand total of eight will eventually grace the interwebs, so keep your eyes on the group's Facebook and Twitter accounts. But for the moment, please enjoy the first vid in the series, which breaks down the super-famous "Squad Revolve" from the "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers":

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It’s official! Not only are the Rockettes unveiling a brand new summer show this year—titled New York Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes—but they’ve also tapped genius Mia Michaels to choreograph and direct.

That’s right: Michaels will be given full creative reign. And after the awesome opening number she created for last year's Spring Spectacular, we’re super excited to see the finished product. "The Rockettes are such a special group of women, and no other dance company in the world delivers the same kind of passion, femininity and power through dance. It is going to be an epic ride!” Michaels says in a Rockettes press release.

A classic kickline from last year's Spring Spectacular show (photo by Jason Allen via USA TODAY)

The show will pay tribute to NYC, following the adventures of a brother and sister who get separated from their parents during a trip to the city. The siblings will make their way through the Big Apple, receiving help from various landmarks come to life—from the Wall Street bull to the George M. Cohan statue in Times Square.

A few favorite elements from last year’s spring show will make an appearance this year, too: The 26-foot Statue of Liberty puppet and the jaw-dropping tap number in real rainfall to “Singin’ in the Rain” (sans Derek Hough, unfortunately) will return. What won't be included this time around? The Spring Spectacular's celeb cameos, either in person (à la DHough) or via voiceover. The leggy Rockette ladies will be the stars of the show, which we're more than OK with.

The epic "Singin' in the Rain" tap number from last year's Spring Spectacular (photo by Dan Niver via NewYork.com)

The New York Spectacular runs all summer (June 15August 7) at Radio City Music Hall. Be sure to check it out when you’re in town for Nationals or summer intensives!

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When you add two awesome and successful things together, they're bound to create an even more awesome result. Such is the combination of the Radio City Rockettes' Spring Spectacular + Derek Hough. The ballroom superstar will cha cha across that giant stage when the show opens in NYC this March. (Okay, I don't actually know what kind of dance he'll be doing, but that's just how I imagine it.) Turns out, the Rockettes are gearing up for a Christmas Spectacular-level spring blowout: The show will also feature Whoopi Goldberg and choreography by Mia Michaels.

Hough partnering Allison Holker in Heart Cry on "Dancing with the Stars" (photo by Adam Taylor/ABC)

We're pretty excited, not only because Derek Hough has already displayed his diverse interests and talents in different dance styles (hip hop, and ballet, and ballroom, oh my!)—which makes us wonder what exactly he'll be doing onstage—but also because we're always happy to see our favorite leggy ladies get more stage time. No to mention, this means one more Rockette-themed show that you can potentially audition for, amirite?

So get those tickets now, because the show only runs from March 26 through May 12!

Dance News

We don't pass up any opportunity to live vicariously through the fabulous Rockettes. We've taken you behind-the-scenes at their auditions, and have even gone backstage at Radio City Music Hall. Yep—we'll take any chance we can get to obsess over these amazing dancers.

Our favorite leggy ladies have FINALLY started their own YouTube channel to bring us makeup tricks, fitness tips and exclusive footage of their summer intensive. Plus, the Rockettes just had an audition, and there's a heartwarming video of hopefuls—from all over the world—talking about how being a Rockette is their calling. Gotta love that passion.

So maybe you're not a Rockette (yet!), and maybe we'll never be Rockettes (darn height requirements), but at least now we can learn how to look the part.

 

Did you catch the Kinky Boots Awards last night? Uh, I mean the Tony Awards?

Yes, it seemed like Cyndi Lauper's high-spirited, be-spangled musical took home just about every prize there was, including Best Musical. But at the risk of sounding totally cheesy, I'd say we, the audience, were the real winners last night—because hey, it was a darn great show! Here are the evening's many high and few low points.

THE HIGHS

-Neil Patrick Harris. Can NPH host everything, ever? He was particularly awesome in the...

-...kick-butt opening number (written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt). After getting shoehorned into the smaller Beacon Theater for a couple of years, the Tonys were back in Radio City Music Hall this time around—and boy, did they ever "go bigger." GO NEIL GO!

-By the way, did you catch Mike Tyson in there? Apparently he had a one-man show this year, which meant we got to see him do "choreography" and try to bite off NPH's ear. It was pretty spectacular.

Dance, Mike, dance!

-The Matilda performance. Super-clean choreography and fabulously clever lyrics performed by some of the most talented little kids ever? Plus scooters? And Ryan Steele? It doesn't get better than that.

-Actually, here's a shout-out to all the incredible kids who performed last night. From the Annie's orphans to A Christmas Story's hooligans (Luke Spring!), they showed a level of professionalism most Broadway grown-ups never achieve. And they were cuter to boot. As NPH put it, “They’re the reason this whole season seems to look like Chuck E. Cheese’s.”

-The mid-show musical tribute to Broadway actors and their canceled TV shows, starring Andrew Rannells, Megan Hilty, Laura Benanti and brilliantly rejiggered versions of classic songs. Just watch it again (and suck it, Will Chase!):

-Cyndi Lauper's acceptance speech, because she seemed so genuinely thrilled by the awesomeness of it all. She also happens to be the first woman to win the Best Score Tony solo, which is pretty cool. (Honorable mention goes to presenter Jesse Tyler Ferguson for screaming "Girl, you're gonna have fun tonight!" upon opening the envelope. And to Lauper's hair, last night and always.)

-Audra McDonald dropping the mic. (After helping NPH nail Lin-Manuel Miranda's awesome show-roundup rap, that is.) BOOM. What a boss.

THE LOWS

-The introductions by other Broadway characters. Fine, the Newsies boys were adorable. But the pairings of old shows with new seemed totally rando (the Rock of Ages guys introducing...Cinderella??), making the gimmick disorienting more than anything else.

-Mike Tyson's reactions to the Tyson zingers NPH sprinkled throughout the show. Mike was not amused, Neil. And he's probably not the kind of guy you want on your bad side. Just sayin'.

-Patti LuPone's dress. No. I love you, but no.

I'm sorry I couldn't find a full-length pic, because the bottom only gets crazier. (photo Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

-Matilda not winning, like, anything. What? I mean, WHAT? OK, yes, it got Best Book and Best Featured Actor and a couple of those smaller ones they do during the commercials, but it was up for 12 nominations. Four out of 12? Did you see that performance earlier, voters??

By the way: Last week, we asked you who you thought would win the award for Best Choreography. While the actual Tony went to Jerry Mitchell for Kinky Boots, you guys were bigger fans of Andy Blankenbuehler's high-flying Bring It On choreo. Here are your results:

Andy Blankenbuehler for Bring It On: The Musical: 50.49%

Peter Darling for Matilda The Musical: 24.27%

Chet Walker for Pippin: 18.45

Jerry Mitchell for Kinky Boots: 7%

Dance News

Broadway nerds rejoice! The 2013 Tony Awards will be live tonight from Radio City Music Hall in NYC at 8/7c on CBS—and we couldn't be more excited. Remember how awesome last year's Tonys were, due in part to our favorite musical theater funnyman Neil Patrick Harris? Well, good news—NPH is reprising his hosting role this year (for the fourth time!) and will be joined by some of the most awesome Broadway newcomers. Here are the shows you can expect to see:

A Christmas Story

Annie

Bring It On The Musical

Cinderella

Kinky Boots

Matilda The Musical

Motown The Musical

Pippin

Plus, there will be performances from some of our long-time faves, too: Chicago, Jersey Boys, Newsies, Once, Mamma Mia!, Rock of Ages, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera. Sounds pretty dang awesome, right?

Now, to get you excited for tonight, here's a little NPH awesomeness from last year's show:

Click here to find out everything you could possibly want to know about this year's ceremony, and don't forget to check back Monday morning for our recap from the show!

Dance News

Growing up, I dreamed of one day visiting Radio City Music Hall. Not only is it home to the fabulous, high-kicking Rockettes, but it's also a venue for concerts, movie premieres and more. (My 8-year-old self knew it as the giant movie theater Daddy Warbucks and Annie visit in one of my favorite childhood movies—Annie!) Little did I know that one day I would move to NYC, see the Christmas Spectacular every holiday season—and, as of last week, even get to know the theater's innermost nooks and crannies.

When I was first contacted about the Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour, I'd never  heard of it. But being a history geek and Rockette lover, I thought I would like it. I loved it.

I arrived at the stage door one Saturday afternoon and was greeted by possibly the most friendly (and knowledgeable!) tour guide in NYC. Joyce has been giving tours at Radio City for over 10 years and it shows. She led me through the grand foyer down to the grand lounge, and then up to the highest balcony—all while telling me the story of the historic theater, which opened in 1932. She knew every detail about the hall, from the artists who created its numerous sculptures and paintings to the number of seats (5,931) and organ pipes (4,000) in the theater. And it was far from a boring history lesson. I was entertained and fascinated the entire time.

While we didn't get to actually step onto the stage, we were able to visit many other parts of theater you wouldn't normally see, like the famous Roxy Suite. We even got to peek inside the costume shop and meet a real-life Rockette!

The next time you're in NYC and you've got an hour or so to spare, go on the tour. You'll learn more than you could possibly imagine about this beautiful and iconic NYC landmark.

Check out my photos from the tour below!

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Ready for your jaw to hit the floor? Check out this video EIC Kate Lydon found. Holy balances, Batman!

The "baby ballerina" with the unbelievable technique is Joyce Cuoco, who became famous at a very young age performing with Boston Ballet. She appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in 1966; this video is probably from about that time (actually, it might be the Ed Sullivan performance—if anyone knows for sure, please tell us in the comments!). Later on, Cuoco performed at Radio City Music Hall and with the Stuttgart Ballet. If Wikipedia has it right, today she's the assistant to choreographer Youri Vámos and the director of a ballet school in Düsseldorf, Germany. What a phenomenal talent!

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