NYC was warm and golden on Wednesday night, the perfect backdrop for an outdoor, site-specific performance by Jonah Bokaer and Judith Sanchez Ruiz. The impressively pedigreed pair--Bokaer danced with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Ruiz is currently performing with the Trisha Brown Dance Company--collaborated with acclaimed sculptor Daniel Arsham to create Untitled Corner, part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Sitelines Series for the River to River Festival. (River to River, by the way, is a fantastic series of public performances that happen all over the city each summer. Check it out if you're in the area: rivertorivernyc.com.)
The program notes describe Untitled Corner, performed at the Chase Manhattan plaza in the financial district, as an examination of "memory loss, pattern recognition, and perceptual faculties as they apply to the human body in public space." I'm not sure I got all that out of the 45-minute dance sequence. (Sometimes I wish dancers wouldn't use program notes.) But as Bokaer and Ruiz manipulated and puppeted each other's bodies, occasionally separating to perform disjointed, limb-driven solos, I was consistently reminded of Cunningham's geometric choreography. And Ruiz in particular is a magnetic performer. She was a standout in Trisha Brown's season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this spring, and she brought a riveting, introverted focus to this performance.
The best part of the work, however, was Arsham's sculpture. Initially it appeared to be a solid white foamcore cube, presiding serenely at upstage center. But a few minutes into the piece, Arsham--who apparently had been stationed inside the structure from the beginning--began pushing small pieces out of one of the walls, like a chick pecking its way out of an egg, until he'd created a jagged-edged porthole of sorts. Eventually, Arsham emerged through that opening and began excavating the other visible wall of the cube, creating a similar window in that surface. (Watching Arsham methodically destroying his own sculpture was sometimes more engrossing than the dancing itself.)
In the final moments of the piece, Ruiz entered one of the cube's holes headfirst, while Bokaer entered the other feet-first, so that for a moment they seemed to be a single elongated body. Then they slowly eased themselves into the sculpture, as if slipping underwater. I found myself holding my breath for them.
Untitled Corner runs through July 17th. Click here for showtimes and more information. (But don't worry about tickets--like all of the River to River performances, it's free!)
There's a reason Mia Michaels' nickname is "Mama Mia." The legendary choreographer invests deeply in her dancers, whether they're competitors on "So You Think You Can Dance," members of the Radio City Rockettes, or part of her own elite assistant squad. And now, Michaels is launching a project that aims to give more dancers access to her gifts as a teacher and mentor.
And that's a wrap on "Dancing with the Stars" Season 24, ladies and gents! It's certainly been one for the books. From injuries to shocking eliminations, let's just say Season 24 has had its emotional ups and downs. But despite all that, the season made for some seriously phenom dancing and some killer performances. And as usual, we've loved watching every second of those cha chas, foxtrots, and waltzes.
Let's get right to the exciting stuff, though: Last night's winning couple of "Dancing with the Stars" is...
Nearly 80,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.
Want a chance to get personally involved in the HOTLY anticipated TV show "World of Dance"? Of course you do. That's why J. Lo. and the rest of the "WOD" team have launched an interactive version of the upcoming NBC series that lets Snapchatters get in on the action.
On Saturday morning, Russell Horning—aka 15-year-old Instagram king @i_got_barzz—was already kind of famous. His admittedly bad but weirdly mesmerizing dance videos had earned him shoutouts from the likes of Rihanna (and dance tributes from the likes of Josh Killacky).
But by Sunday morning? By Sunday morning, Russell Got Barzz had reached an entirely different level of memedom. Because Katy Perry tapped the teen—signature backpack and all—to perform "Swish Swish" with her on "Saturday Night Live." And the internet lost its darn mind.
If, like me, you've ever wondered (and wondered) how that stunning opening scene in La La Land came together, do we have a treat for you.