During the holidays, when relatives of all ages are gathered in front of the same TV, one of the safest bets for channel surfers is a classic movie musical—which probably explains why they're on air about every five minutes these days. And I'm definitely not complaining. White Christmas! Singin' in the Rain! The Wizard of Oz! My Fair Lady! Bring it on, Aunt Gertrude: I can handle any kind of family drama if I have the likes of Gene Kelly and Judy Garland to help me through it.
The cute website Culturalist, which lets users create their own artsy, gif-ified top 10 lists, recently put together (with an assist from Broadway.com) a group of 25 movie musicals for fans of the form to rank. A lot of old standbys are included, naturally, but there are also a few wild cards. (Disney's Beauty and the Beast? Hmm.) Which are your favorites? Click here to choose your own top 10—and to see how it stacks up against other users' lists.
Here's my personal top 10, which reveals that I have a bit of a Bob Fosse problem...and a serious Gene Kelly problem:
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "