Hello dancers! I'm finally home from the Martha Graham intensive I did at Skidmore and I really miss everyone I met. I'm nowhere near unpacked (my room looks like a crime scene) and I've been wearing the Martha Graham t-shirts I bought as souvenirs almost every day. A lot of people went to NYC right after to do other intensives so I'm going to meet up with them, but others went home to Texas, Michigan, Japan and Scotland so I'll have to rely on Facebook to keep in touch.
Our final performance went really well. I loved hearing the company members laugh and cheer for us from the back row of the theater. We performed Panorama again which was very challenging because the stage was half the size of the one we were used to. We did an adaptation of Maple Leaf Rag (so fun!) and a couple student-made videos were shown. Two girls did a "mocumentary" where they interviewed the company members and asked them if it "burned" when they found out they did not get cast as Clytemnestra. Check out the Martha Graham YouTube page in a couple weeks—I heard they'll try to put it up there.
After our performance, we had a reception. I was talking to dancer Jacqueline Bulnes and she agreed that the residency went smoothly and everyone was surprisingly relaxed. She and other dancers were pleased to reflect on the experience and conclude that everyone's creativity and ambition meshed well. Later, I was cleaning the studios when we realized the company nearly forgot an entire set piece that was being stored in a closet! We had to get their bus to drive to the studios before they left for NYC so we could load it in. With the company on their way home (only to turn around to go to ADF and then Berlin), I packed up my dorm room, slept a victorious 6 hours, and drove home. I still miss everyone terribly and my sadness is manifesting itself in my unwillingness to unpack. I hope you all have as great a time as I did at your summer intensives! Keep learning, dancing and creating!
(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?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.