Tolstoy, Plus Choreography
Joe Wright's film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina hits select theaters today. While you've probably heard a lot of buzz about its stars—particularly Keira Knightly's powerful performance in the title role—you may not have heard that it also has some serious dance cred.
The story of a 19th-century Russian adultress who commits suicide by throwing herself under a train doesn't exactly exactly cry out for choreography. (Even the fabulous Alexei Ratmansky had a hard time making a ballet version of Anna Karenina—it met with uncharacteristically mixed reviews.) But Wright's version is darkly theatrical, and I mean that literally. It's set in a dilapidated theater, with action happening both onstage and in the wings. In that context, dance seems a bit more natural.
Wright called in Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, a European darling who's made works for the likes of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, to choreograph Anna Karenina. You won't see anything as dramatic as pointe work, but his dances are central to the movie. Anna even first meets her lover Count Vronsky on the dance floor, in a swirling, heady sequence.
Gorgeous Alicia Vikander, who plays Princess Kitty Shcherbatskaya, studied for 10 years at the Royal Swedish Ballet School, and it shows. While some of the other actors seemed to struggle a bit with the more involved dance sequences (Knightley included, unfortunately), she's perfectly comfortable with all the waltzing and swooping lifts. She also apparently worked with Cherkaoui to refine the choreography.
The film is an interesting experiment, and while it's not always successful, it's definitely worth seeing. (Plus the costumes are to. die. for. Nothing makes a dance sparkle quite like Chanel jewelry!)
Get a sneak peek at all the glamorous drama in the trailer below.
We always love a good halftime performance. And we LIVE for halftime performances involving talented kids. (Fingers and toes crossed that Justin Timberlake follows Missy Elliott's lead and invites some fabulous littles to share his Super Bowl stage.)
So obviously, our hearts completely melted for 5-year-old Tavaris Jones. Tavaris may have just started kindergarten, but during Monday night's game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, the Detroit native danced with the panache of a veteran pro at halftime.
Getting corrections from our dance instructors is how we grow, and as students, it's important that we do our best to apply every correction right away. But sometimes—whether it's because we're in physical pain, or have a lot on our minds, or are just not paying attention—those corrections don't sink in. And from a teacher's standpoint, giving the same corrections time and time again gets old very fast. Here are 10 important corrections dance teachers are tired of giving. Take them to heart!
Summer intensive auditions can be nerve-racking. A panel of directors is watching your every move, and you're not even sure if you can be seen among the hundreds of other dancers in the room. We asked five summer intensive directors for their input on how dancers can make a positive impression—and even be remembered next year.
The coolest place she's ever performed:
I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!
Something she's constantly working on:
My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'
My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
For a long time, I was the strongest dancer at my studio. But this year there's a new girl in my class who's very talented, and my teacher's attention has definitely shifted to her. I'm trying not to feel jealous or discouraged, but it seems like my whole dance world has changed. Help!
In the dance world, Mandy Moore has long been a go-to name, but in 2017, the success of her choreography for La La Land made the rest of the world stop and take notice. After whirlwind seasons as choreographer and producer on both "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," she capped off the year with two Emmy Award nominations—and her first win. Dance Magazine caught up with her to find out how she's balancing all of her dance projects.
Marzia Memoli may be the Martha Graham Dance Company's newest dancer, but her classical lines and easy grace are already turning heads. Originally from Palermo, Italy, Memoli started studying at age 16 at the Academy of Teatro Carcano in Milan. Later, she attended the Rudra Béjart School in Lausanne, Switzerland, before heading to NYC in 2016 to join MGDC. This month, she'll perform The Rite of Spring in the Martha Graham Studio Series in NYC, and tour with the company in Florida. Read on for the dirt.