Archive for the ‘Support for Dance’ Category

Too Short!

August 10, 2012

Logo for Saratoga Performing Arts CenterThis year’s New York City Ballet (NYCB) season at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) was wonderful! I immersed myself in the world of dance by attending all open rehearsals (SPAC members only) and many performances. And for the first time we went to the Gala!

We didn’t participate in all the Gala festivities, but did enjoy the dance performance. The draw for me was the opportunity to see the premier of Justin Peck‘s piece, “In Creases”. It was a fun piece and I found myself wishing for more.

That’s how I feel about the length of the NYCB SPAC season. Two weeks is not enough! The company used to perform at SPAC for three or more weeks, but the season has been cut back due to financial reasons. Next year the season will be even shorter – one week.

Something has to be done about this! A grassroots group, “Save the NYC Ballet“, has formed to help the effort. They even have an online petition targeted to NY State officials. It may be too late for 2013 and I don’t know if the season will ever be extended to three weeks. I hope that it will be at least two weeks!

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What is the Breaking Pointe?

May 30, 2012

I’m not a big fan of reality television shows, but I have high hopes for the new ballet show, “Breaking Pointe”.

This new show follows Salt Lake City’s Ballet West (BW) company dancers. Supposedly it will set the record straight about the real behind the scenes work of dance and will erase misconceptions created by the movie “Black Swan”. The BW Artistic Director, Adam Sklute, is a creative consultant for the show and plans to make sure that this is the case.

I hope that there will be lots of dance and that the show will foster an appreciation of ballet. We’ll see tomorrow night when the show premieres on the CW (May 31st).

If you watch it, share your impression of the show.

Beautiful Ballerinas Honored

October 7, 2011
Jerome Robbins Award Statue

Jerome Robbins Award Statue

On September 30, 2011, the Jerome Robbins Foundation honored thirty ballerinas who worked with Jerome Robbins. I had the pleasure of being in the audience as twenty six of them accepted their award.

What a treat to watch each dancer walk across the stage and take a bow as Chita Rivera introduced them!  Some of the dancers are up there in age, but they all looked elegant.

In addition to a wonderful slide show of the dancers working with Robbins,  the audience received a brochure that listed the dancers’ thoughts about working with Robbins. I’ve read that Jerome Robbins could sometimes be difficult to work with, but all of these comments were positive.

Every time we curtsy in the classes that I teach, I think about those lovely ballerinas. It was beautiful!

To see what ballerinas were honored and to read their comments about working with Robbins, go to http://jeromerobbins.org/foundation/jerome_robbins_award .

Unusual Dance Programming at The Egg

September 28, 2011

The Egg in Albany, NY is offering dance performances this year! I was afraid that there wouldn’t be any given the economic situation of New York State. It does seem like there are fewer performances than usual, but we’ll take it.

I’m not sure what I think of the line-up, though. It’s very different from what The Egg usually has. They are featuring contemporary choreographers who mix it up with live music, videography, spoken word, and performance art.  Maybe this is a way of trying to reach out to a broader audience.

Here’s what’s scheduled:

Sunday, 10/16/11, 7pm Millicent Johnnie & Dancers Symphony for the Dance Floor
Friday, 10/21/11, 8pm Monica Bill Barnes & Company Everything is Getting Better All the Time
Friday, 11/4/11, 8pm Roxanne Butterfly Worldbeat Ensemble The Tap Experience
Thursday, 11/10/11, 8pm Companiia Flamenca Jose Porcel Gypsy Fire
Friday, 1/20/12, 8pm Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company 20th Year Celebration

 

For more information:  http://www.theegg.org/events/dance

Are you planning to attend any of the shows?

Grassroots Movements Promote Dance

April 23, 2011

There were all kinds of articles and notices to promote Earth Day, but I didn’t see much about the fact that today was also the first day of National Dance Week (NDW).  Last year, there was quite a bit of hype about National Dance Day (NDD) which was held July 31, 2010. That’s because it was publicized on the FOX TV show So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD).

But, why is NDW in April and NDD in July?  It could be that each one is promoted by a different group.  NDW is promoted by the United Dance Merchants Association (UMDA) and the event has been around since 1991. NDD was declared in 2010 by Nigel Lythgoe, the executive producer of SYTYCD.

So, there are two separate grassroots movements that are trying to promote dance. It seems like the two should coordinate the dates and their efforts so that they become more effective.

I’m not sure if there is a NDD this year. Maybe we will know more once the new season of SYTYCD begins.