The iconic 1990s musical Rent is the latest Broadway show to get the live treatment. Airing January 27, the star-studded cast includes Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen Johnson, Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen, Tinashe as Mimi Marquez, and "RuPaul's Drag Race" contestant Valentina as Angel. Keala Settle of The Greatest Showman will also make an appearance to sing "Seasons of Love," and Sonya Tayeh will provide brand-new choreography. We caught up with ensemble dancer Khori Petinaud to get the inside scoop on the movement—and why fans of the original will be super-satisfied with this version.
Photo by Donna Ward, courtesy Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
On March 30, 1958, at the 92nd Street Y in NYC, dancer Alvin Ailey and a group of African-American dancers performed onstage together for the first time. Since then, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the company Ailey formed, has become legendary in the dance world. To commemorate its 60th anniversary, Ailey has dubbed its annual City Center season "Ailey 60." From Nov. 28–Dec. 30 choreographers including Ronald K. Brown, Jessica Lang, and Rennie Harris will present premieres, alongside the works of current artistic director Robert Battle, Judith Jamison, and over two dozen pieces by Alvin Ailey himself. We asked a few of the company members to share what the anniversary means to them.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer and choreographer Hope Boykin shares the best tips she learned. (via Instagram, @hbdance)
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater recently hosted their first Choreography Unlocked Festival, where artists in the business of creating dance gathered to immerse themselves in workshops, performances, and panel discussions. Young choreographers learned tips, tricks, and all about the creative process of choreographing from Ailey's Artistic Director Robert Battle and other choreography experts, including Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.
Jenelle Manzi shares her favorite Thanksgiving recipes (courtesy Manzi)
Thanksgiving is almost here and that means that come tomorrow there will be lots and lots of food to eat (cue happy dance!!!). And because there's always room on the Thanksgiving table for more dishes and treats, we asked New York City ballet dancer and food blogger Jenelle Manzi (who is no stranger to creative culinary concoctions) for her favorite fall recipes of the moment. Whip up these tasty treats as apps before the big meal or serve them as additional side dishes—because there are never too many of those. Happy eating!
ICYMI, this week on "Dancing with the Stars" was Halloween Week. And since we're still in MAJOR denial that all the spookiness has subsided for the year, we're revisiting our favorite pieces. There were not one but two perfect scores that night, and the dances do not disappoint.
Lil Buck (photo by Rebecca Miller, courtesy Disney)
As the traditional Nutcracker hits ballet company stages across the country this month, Disney presents an updated take with the film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. A fusion of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, by E.T.A. Hoffmann, and The Nutcracker ballet, the movie follows Clara as she unlocks a box from her late mother and is promptly transported into a fantastical world, where she meets a soldier named Phillip. Together, they adventure through the Land of Snowflakes, the Land of Flowers, the Land of Sweets, and the Fourth Realm, where they must defeat the cruel Mother Ginger. But there's still plenty of dance: Misty Copeland stars as The Ballerina, Lil Buck created the movement for the Mouse King, and Zachary Catazaro and Sergei Polunin both make appearances. Dance Spirit caught up with Lil Buck to get the inside scoop.
Dancer Nina Lafarga (center, left) and Caissie Levy (center) as Elsa in Frozen (photo by Deen Van Meer, courtesy Disney)
Just like its namesake movie, the Broadway version of Frozen has warmed audiences' hearts. And the show's elaborate costumes, designed by Christopher Oram, are as crucial to its appeal as its addictive tunes and elegant dancing. The ensemble wardrobe closet features everything from blizzard-worthy winter wear to stunning ball gowns to the troll-like gear worn by the Hidden Folk of the Mountains. So who's responsible for keeping all those outfits in tip-top shape? And what's it really like to wear six different costumes a night? We followed Frozen's wardrobe supervisor Jessica Dermody, dancer Nina Lafarga, and dresser Katrina Newman around backstage as they prepared for a performance.
Madi Hicks in Jeff Edwards' ballet class at Juilliard (Kenneth Edwards)
You know what unfortunately goes hand in hand with the greatest time of year? The dreaded cold and flu season. But, never fear—you can stay ahead of the curve this year by keeping your immune system working smoothly before the sniffles set in. We've rounded up our best tips and tricks to help you stay healthy (and dancing!) all season long.
Ava and Emma Blaser performing their duet to Coldplay's "Fix You." (via ellentube)
It's safe to say that the bond between dancing siblings is one of the strongest out there. But for sisters Emma, 16, and Ava Blaser, 10, that bond runs deeper than most can even fathom: The pair continued to dance together throughout Ava's treatment for kidney cancer remission, and they say it helped them heal.
Cardi B broke out her best moves during her performance. (via IHeartRadio)
ICYMI, one of music's biggest events happened last night: the American Music Awards (aka, a chance for the industry's best singers to strut their stuff—usually with a squad of the fiercest dancers around). The show always brings some fabulously dancy performances, but the ones below were our top faves.
(From left) Caitlin Kinnunen, who plays Emma, and Isabelle McCalla, who plays Alyssa Greene (photo by Natasha Razina, courtesy Polk & Company)
Casey Nicholaw, one of the masterminds behind last spring's Mean Girls, is bringing yet another upbeat musical set in a high school to Broadway—but this one tells a drastically different story. Choreographed and directed by Nicholaw, The Prom follows the experience of a lesbian couple in Edgewater, IN, who are barred from going to prom together. After reading about the girls' plight, four (fictional) Broadway stars descend on the small town to help—and exuberantly dancy chaos ensues. Dance Spirit caught up with dancer Isabelle McCalla, who stars as Alyssa Greene (one half of the central couple), for the inside scoop.
Alan Bersten and partner Alexis Ren (ABC/Eric McCandless)
Guys, the best time of the year has officially started. Not only is it the greatest season that exists (fall, duh), but it's also time for another season of "Dancing with the Stars"! A big welcome back to sparkly outfits, partner drama, and screaming at the TV because we don't agree with the elimination—we've missed you so much.