Andy Blankenbuehler Is Making His First Ballet!

Blankenbuehler (far left) with the rest of the "Hamilton" creative team scontent-iad3-1.cdninstagram.com

So book your tickets to Tulsa already, people!


Yesterday, Tulsa World reported that Hamilton, Bandstand, and CATS revival choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler will make his ballet-choreography debut with Tulsa Ballet's final production of the 2018-2019 season.

Blankenbuehler's as-yet-untitled piece will be performed May 9–12, 2019 at the Lorton Performance Center as part of The Signature Series, which puts the spotlight on dancemakers whose works for ballet AND the Great White Way are equally stellar. Who are those other dancemakers, and which works has artistic director Marcello Angelini chosen to spotlight? Oh, you know, just Jerome Robbins (the jaunty, hilarious Fancy Free, later expanded into the musical On The Town) and George Balanchine (the jazzy, sassy Who Cares?). It's casual.

This collaboration has apparently been long in the making: "A mutual friend introduced Andy to me back in 2014, and after some discussions, we reached the point where we were ready to sign a contract," Angelini told Tulsa World. "Then I got a note from Andy, saying that he had been offered a Broadway gig that he couldn't turn down, so I put this project on the shelf." No bonus points for guessing what that irresistible Broadway gig was!

"When I reached out to Andy, he said he was still very interested in working with us because he was wanting to do something different," Angelini also said to Tulsa World. "I'm really excited to see what he will come up with because he's just a fountain of ideas."

Coincidentally, Blankenbuehler's new piece will premiere around the same time when the Hamilton tour is set to touch down in Tulsa. "What are the odds the gods would put us all in one spot," amirite?

(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Liz Imperio teaching at Hollywood Vibe, Courtesy of Hollywood Vibe

It's an increasingly common scenario: A talented dancer wins big at a competition, is offered an assistantship with a famous faculty member, and ends up leaving her hometown studio to travel with a convention. Convention-hopping has obvious benefits. Every event generates new content for dancers to post on social media, gives them a better shot at ending up on their favorite choreographers' accounts, lets them learn from the best of the best, and helps them make valuable connections. "Traveling is a great way for dancers to gain admirers around the country," says Jen Jarnot, owner of Artistic Fusion Dance Academy in Thornton, CO. "That's something every dancer craves." So it's no surprise that weekend FOMO has been blazing through studios like wildfire.

But is this jet-setter lifestyle really the most effective road to take? Can weekends of dancing with top talent truly replace the bread and butter of daily work at your home studio? The answer, according to most industry experts, is no. We asked five pros to explain why.

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