Kellie Epperheimer Writes a Letter to Her Teenage Self
Epperheimer in Ohad Naharin's Tabula Rasa (Quinn Wharton, courtesy Hubbard Street Dance Chicago)
For the past decade, Kellie Epperheimer has captivated Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's audiences with her graceful fluidity and elegant lines. Her raw, emotional performances and musical sensitivity make her an artist in every sense of the word. A Los Osos, CA, native, Epperheimer trained at the Academy of Dance and Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo, and spent a summer at The Juilliard School. She was a founding member of the Cedar Lake Ensemble (later renamed Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet), and joined Hubbard Street 2 in 2005. Since being promoted to the main company in 2007, she's originated roles in pieces by choreographers including Kyle Abraham, Alonzo King and Twyla Tharp. Catch her at home in Hubbard Street's Summer Series performances this June, and at this summer's American Dance Festival, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and Chicago Dancing Festival. —Courtney Bowers
What a journey you've begun—and it'll be even better than you can imagine.
First, I want to remind you to stay curious, and to keep your eyes and mind open. There's a lot you don't know, but staying aware and adventurous will always guide you to greater knowledge. This world will offer you so much inspiration and beauty, and if you let yourself absorb it, it'll be a wonderful way to grow—as an artist as well as a person. The people you work with and encounter will be your friends, your support and your family in art. You are so lucky you get to work with them, day in and day out. Never take that—or them—for granted.
You'll definitely feel frustration throughout your career, but don't let that defeat you. Keep trying. Learn from each experience. Getting injured will never be easy, but if you nurture yourself correctly and patiently, the healing process will only make you stronger and wiser.
I also want to remind you to embrace the human parts of yourself. You're not just a dancer, you're a person, and your life will be more than what happens inside the studio. Stay grounded, maintain a sense of perspective, and you'll find a healthy balance between yourself and your work. Don't shy away from expressing yourself as a human, both onstage and off. Your real emotions and feelings are your color palette. Over time, your understanding of what dance is will shift and morph, and take many forms. Appreciate all of them—and stay grateful, little lady!
School of American Ballet students (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy SAB)
Do you have a "Strictly Ballet"–sized hole in your heart? Good news: The upcoming docuseries "On Pointe" just might fill it.
The School of American Ballet is teaming up with Imagine Documentaries and DCTV for the project. Though it's not yet clear where "On Pointe" will air, we do know that it'll follow talented SAB students preparing for professional ballet careers—much as Teen Vogue's popular "Strictly Ballet" web series did back in the day. But "On Pointe" marks the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed access to the school, and it sounds like it'll paint an even more complete picture of the dancers' lives inside and outside the studio.
Choreographer Bob Fosse's signature style—with its jazz hands, inverted knees, and slouched shoulders—is still a huge influence in the dance world (and, thanks to the gloriously dancyFX series "Fosse/Verdon," the TV world). But while you know to expect plenty of Fosse-isms during a stage performance of Chicago or Sweet Charity, Fosse's legacy has also seeped into pop music culture, inspiring the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. Here are just six of the many music videos that reference Fosse's iconic works.
Gabrielle Hamilton in John Heginbotham's dream ballet from Oklahoma! Photo by Little Fang Photo, courtesy DKC/O&M
Last night, longtime theater legends (including Chita Rivera herself!) as well as rising stars gathered to celebrate one of Broadway's danciest events: the third annual Chita Rivera Awards.
The evening paid tribute to this season's dancer standouts, extraordinary ensembles, and jaw-dropping choreography—on- and off-Broadway and on film.
As usual, several Dance Spirit faves made it into the mix. (With such a fabulous talent pool of nominees to choose from, we're glad that ties were allowed.) Here are the highlights from the winner's list: