Welcome! On this site you will find candid video interviews with some of the most respected and renowned artists in the global dance community and a blog with reviews and frequent articles relevant to today’s world of dance. New videos are released often, so come back for insightful and original content from the world’s top dance professionals.
Christopher Wheeldon speaks about being a classical choreographer in today’s market, what he wants people to get out of his work, and why he left New York City Ballet to pursue his own vision.
Trey McIntyre, Artistic Director of the Trey McIntyre Project talks about challenging and pushing himself, artistic growth, and what he hopes to achieve with his work by striving to not repeat himself or rely on past success.
Ted Brandsen on dance in America & Europe, his hopes for the future of dance, making dance accessible to new audiences, and advice to young dancers.
Sidra Bell talks about her academic background and how it shaped her choreographic voice.
Nederlands Dans Theater’s Andrea Schermoly discusses her move from Boston Ballet to NDT, the road she took to get into the company, and the challenges it presented.
Nederlands Dans Theater’s Andrea Schermoly on touring with NDT, the company’s evolving repertory and resulting critical response, and the differences between dancing professionally in the United States and Europe.
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
Freelance choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa shares how she became a choreographer, how she continues to make a name for herself, and the importance of networking and self-promotion.
Dresden Semperoper Ballett principal Raphael Coumes-Marquet describes his early training at Paris Opera Ballet school, how adversity sometimes brings blessing, and the importance of having a fresh approach to work even after a long career.
SFB principal Maria Kochetkova tells the story of her move to San Francisco from Europe, why she decided to use social media to share her love of ballet, and talks about her ambition and work ethic.
Former Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark dancer and Radio City Rockette Heather Lang talks about her experiences as a commercial dancer and shares her insights on to what makes for a successful career.
Seattle’s Spectrum Dance Theater artistic director Donald Byrd talks about his transition from a student of drama and philosophy to a career in dance.
Reggie Wilson is certain of himself. This confidence shows in his hands, crossed in front of his body as he stands onstage at the BAM Harvey Theater, gazing out at the audience. They are strong, durable hands, and minutes later when they are rapidly packing masses of tinsel into a suitcase, they display no trace of tension. They are the hands of a maker who knows and believes in his taste.
Moses(es), which makes its New York premiere this week at BAM, is ripe with this confidence. It finds form in familiar structures — sections weaving in and out of each other, ensemble washes of the space, juxtaposed duets. These conventions, paired with articulate choreography and deliberate performance, generate a work that is at once watchable and fresh, for rather than trickling into trope or pastiche, Wilson seems freed by formality. His choreography is ranging, risky, tumultuous yet controlled and, more often than not, direct of line and initiation. Where the work departs from familiar territory lies more in what is less obviously seen.
Kate Weare is afraid of theatricality. She said it herself in a discussion following Friday evening’s performance of Dark Lark, her latest work for her eponymous company, which is currently in residence at the BAM Fisher (the first company to hold this place). Perhaps, then, Dark Lark enacts a fantasy of overcoming this fear; bold, evocative, strewn with narrative implications and visual references, the work unspools like cinema.
On November 1st, SLAM – the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics – opened its Williamsburg doors for the first in a series of discussions under the umbrella of Risky Talking. This series, funded by Dance/USA’s Engaging Dance Audiences program, asks attendees to participate in a “no-holds-barred discussion,” to “say what you think,” and, at least on this inaugural evening, to answer the question: What is a real risk? Everyone present wrote his or her answer on a slip of paper, placing it on a plate for collection, and for one terrifying moment I thought we were going to hear panel member Bill T. Jones read each anonymous risk aloud in that prophetic voice, but Elizabeth Streb had other plans.
Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella is not only steeped in 19th century tradition, but is also part of a rejuvenated, 21st century breed of the story ballet. Set to Sergei Prokofiev’s famous score, the ballet’s libretto – by Craig Lucas – follows the Brothers Grimm tale and eschews the fairy godmother and pumpkins of the Disney and Perrault versions. Wheeldon weaves realistic characters with the fantastic and otherworldly, playing off the music’s darker strands to create complexity.
Throughout the work, projected images by Daniel Brodie appear on a semi-translucent scrim or along parts of the backdrop: clouds shift and birds flutter across, the audience becomes privy to the royal household behind a projected wallpaper pattern of red and gold, and the portraits of eligible princesses change their expressions as Prince Guillaume’s sidekick of a friend pokes fun at the potential wives.
The scenic design by Julian Crouch and lighting by Natasha Katz are particularly intricate and memorable in the kitchen and forest scenes. During Cinderella’s transformation scene, the spirits of Lightness, Fluidity, Generosity, and Mystery appear in green, yellow, brownish red, and blue, dancing in groups of five. The thicket of leaves that marked her entrance into a forest becomes a large tree whose leaves change hue in tandem with the spirits. Finally, the entire ensemble swarms around Cinderella in a cacophony of color to complete the metamorphosis. A slew of bizarre creatures greets the newly transformed Cinderella.
The final program of the 2013 Fall For Dance festival is ready to be loved. It is vulnerable, expressive, virtuosic, and, at its best, proud. This whole festival is an opportunity for discovery, a breeding ground for critique, an welcoming entry via fine examples of current dance. Program 5 is diverse and provocative, providing a perfect closing note.
A New York premiere, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Faun opens with James O’Hara contorted on the floor against a backdrop of dimly light trees—light comes, and O’Hara rises, testing his muscles by sending rippling currents from toe to wrist, head to heel, through and around his torso. As the ripples grow, we marvel at his articulated joints and his ability to sequence an impulse through tiny segments of his body, as though he were made up of many small chains. This marvel gives way to astonishment as he makes ample use of his rubbery spine, backbending and tumbling head-over-tail with alarming ease; it becomes something more akin to horror when the unnervingly hyperextended Daisy Phillips takes the stage and twists her knee thoroughly out of alignment. The program notes proclaim that Faun explores “the animalistic nature of human movement,” but there’s not much human movement here. Instead O’Hara and Phillips, both physically impressive, neither wholly captivating, are let loose in quasi-tantric partnered contortions, occasionally springing free into more full-bodied dancing. The end is the most human moment: he separates himself from her; she reclines tensely with an air of introspection. It’s uncomfortable, as is much of what precedes it, but this alone is not a problem: the problem is the uncertainty as to why Cherkaoui relies so heavily on unnatural, gymnastic feats if his inquiry surrounds natural movement.