A Super Insider-y Look at Justin Peck's New Ballet
One of the many (many, many, many) reasons we love Justin Peck is that he collaborates with artists who are totally new to ballet. The 27-year-old New York City Ballet soloist, who was named the company's resident choreographer last summer, is always on the lookout for people who might have something unexpected to contribute to the ballet world. For the past few years, his projects with indie music darling and ballet newbie Sufjan Stevens have been electrifying both dance and music audiences. And for his upcoming ballet Heatscape, which Miami City Ballet will premiere in March, Peck recruited another dance "outsider": visual artist Shepard Fairey, best known for that iconic Barack Obama "Hope" poster.
On Sunday night, the Guggenheim Museum's always amazing Works & Process series took an up-close-and-personal look at Heatscape. Peck, Fairey and MCB director Lourdes Lopez talked about how the ballet came to be, and we saw several choreographic excerpts that left us hungry for more. Fairey's eclectic, lively collages mesh well with Peck's style; Peck is something of a masterful magpie himself. And oh goodness, those MCB dancers! We'd happily watch the elegant Patricia Delgado and laser-sharp Shimon Ito tie their shoes.
Peck (right) and MCB dancers in front of one of Fairey's murals
The Works & Process discussion went really, really deep—you can watch the whole hour-and-a-half long program here, and it's worth a watch. But to get a feel for the flavor of Heatscape in the space of two and a half minutes, take a look at this promotional video by Peck and Ezra Hurwitz. Its backdrop is Miami's Wynwood Walls, the series of vibrant street murals that first inspired Peck to reach out to Fairey. Enjoy!
Last week Disney Channel star Sofia Wylie released a behind-the-scenes look at the making of her YouTube dance series. Along with some stellar dancing, the video shows the dance community featured in her "4k Dance Series" and the things they've learned from being a part of the dance project. And though the project features dance, we love that it also emphasizes supporting and building up fellow dancers.
Showstopper has been making its impact on the dance world since 1978. Before then, dancers didn't have a stage to perform on, the opportunity to learn from peers, or a competitive outlet like most sports. Debbie Roberts recognized this missing piece in the dance community and that is how America's first and longest running dance competition, Showstopper, was born. Debbie taught dance for over 26 years and owned and operated her own dance studio for 20 years. She is now the owner and National Director of Showstopper, along side her husband, Dave Roberts. Dancer, teacher, business owner, author, and mother, Debbie has made dance her life's career.
Sometimes, you hear talk about an upcoming class video and it sounds too good to be real. Wait: Todrick Hall made a track featuring RuPaul, and then Todrick personally asked Brian Friedman to choreograph it, and then Brian got Maddie and Charlize and Jade and Kaycee and Sean and Gabe and Larsen and Bailey to come out for the class? I just...that can't be right. Can it?
It is right, friends. It is SO RIGHT.
Team USA is totally taking over "Dancing with the Stars" this season! Casting for the upcoming athletes-only "DWTS" cycle, which kicks off April 30, was just announced. And the roster includes a whole bunch of Olympic favorites—including not one, not two, but three figure-skating standouts.
Winter is drawing to a close and you know what that means -- It's time to really kick this year into gear! Move U has done the research so you can find your best match, look good, and feel great this season with a twist unique to your team! Here are five looks to put your performance on the map in 2018.
With several Shaping Sound tours and TV credits like "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing with the Stars," and "Boardwalk Empire" to her name, you wouldn't expect Kate Harpootlian to be refreshingly down-to-earth. But that's exactly how she is: As soon as you start talking to the gifted dancer and choreographer, it becomes clear that she doesn't take herself too seriously. And she's happy to tell hilarious stories to prove it. (Ask her about the time she did a Mr. Peanut impression when Mia Michaels asked her to improvise, or the time she starred in a Japanese makeup commercial and had to do grand pliés wearing one pointe shoe and one flat shoe.)
That mixture of humor and grace is evident in Harpootlian's growing body of choreographic work. Her one-act show Better Late Than Never, for example, which premiered last summer, has a jazzy, West Side Story vibe, offsetting heavier moments with touches of whimsy. "There's always a balance in my work," Harpootlian says. "I want to use humor to balance out the darker aspects. It's like one of my friends once said: 'You make me laugh, and then you make me feel bad for laughing.' "
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I grip my quads, and I don't know how to stop. I'm totally overdeveloping my quad muscles. How can I retrain myself so I use my legs correctly? Help!
You know that pirouette dream, when your placement is so perfect you can keep turning forever? That dream is the reality for highly technical tappers, who benefit from the decreased friction of their shoes. Get the placement right and, with a strong spot, they can pirouette for days.
But turning in tap shoes isn't all easy. In fact, those delightfully friction-free shoes bring their own set of challenges, and dancers can easily fall into the spinning-top trap by letting the turn control them, rather than the other way around. Here's how to harness your tap-turning potential.
Given that we're still processing our own sadness about the recent dissolution of the couple formerly known as #TeamTatum, we can only imagine how many feelings Jenna Dewan must be feeling. But like all dancers, Dewan knows the best way to deal with big emotions is to dance through them.