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.
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.
Safi Thomas speaks about the founding purpose and mission of the Hip Hop Dance Conservatory, unearths the parallel structures of ballet, modern and hip hop, and the discusses the importance of hip hop’s history in its future progress.
Sidra Bell talks about her academic background and how it shaped her choreographic voice.
Then NYCB Soloist (now Principal) Tiler Peck reflects on her competition upbringing and how it has shaped her training and career, reveals what makes her nervous, and shares her personal approach to performing.
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.
Royal Ballet of Flanders artistic director Kathryn Bennetts shares how she turned a career ending injury into an opportunity, her 13 years as ballet master at Ballet Frankfurt, and her role in building the company’s international reputation.
Nederlands Dans Theater’s Andrea Schermoly compares NDT 1 & NDT 2, assesses the impact of her early exposure to contemporary dance on her career, and reveals her most unique choreographic experiences with the company.
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.
Christopher Wheeldon shares the story of his move from London to NY, joining NYCB and his transition from dancer to choreographer.
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.
To be a Batsheva dancer, “you have to disappear.” Those were Bobbi Smith’s instructions to a room of students on Friday morning, as she led us through a section of a 2007 work called Max. Smith, a stunning dancer about as capable of disappearing as an elephant carved from rubies, demonstrated: one moment she was standing tall, poised, legs spread, chest wide; the next, she was doubled over to the left, her torso thrown askew by invisible horizontal forces.
To be a Batsheva dancer, “we don’t let gravity shape our movement.” In conversation with Wendy Perron, Ohad Naharin described those same horizontal forces as being a resistance to gravity. He demonstrated a collapse effected by gravity and said “there’s nothing wrong with collapsing like this, we just don’t do it.” When we see a dancer in his work collapse, we see a body refusing to yield, choosing instead to take the falling impulse in a new direction.
Pina Bausch has a gift for holding up a beautiful mirror and gently showing us how ridiculous we look. In Kontakthof, scenes unfold wildly out of proportion, with hysterical shrieks meeting compulsive preening meeting a fake mouse corpse. “There are dancers onstage,” Anna Wehsarg comments at one point: “do you see them?” Yes, we do, but we also see ourselves in these rambunctious, melancholic, shy, sarcastic, and earnest portrayals of social endeavoring.
Kontakthof is an experiment in proportion. Events transpire in perfectly calibrated duration; overexaggerated sketches build from everyday encounters, a transformation that highlights the short slope between “rational” and “irrational” emotional behavior. The movement itself is often unathletic, gestural. Costume changes run the gamut from subtle—one shimmering ball gown to another—to absurd, in the recurring appearance of 1950’s-style nightgowns. Sometimes the dancers strip onstage to change; Ditta Miranda Jasjfi and Aleš Čuček strip sheepishly, mouthing unheard tidbits to each other from across the stage, each one daring the other to keep going.
Midway through The Black Rose, the second work on Lar Lubovitch Dance Company’s program at the Joyce, the thought surfaced: I really miss Trey McIntyre. When McIntyre shuttered his company this past June, optimists chirped about what bright new adventures the dancers would go on to, each one more talented than the last. It was exciting. We were hopeful.
Where were those cheerful chirpers when Chanel DaSilva, formerly the star of Trey McIntyre Project, showed up as a member of a pack of black-mesh-and-leather-clad would-be rave kids, gyrating tonelessly in the background of a garish nightmare story ballet? This program was neither bright, new, nor an adventure, just a thoroughly disappointing look at what Lubovitch’s 46-year-old company has been reduced to—and what its terrific dancers are contending with.
-h-o-s-t c-r-o-w-n (working title) begins like a ballet gone wrong—Rebecca Warner and Natalie Green repeat classical vocabulary interminably, as though possessed or as though they have forgotten the next step and are desperately trying to summon it via muscle memory. A live (exceptional) musical trio pipes in, led by an eerie, almost familiar violin. As Warner flies across the stage in heroic sissone after heroic sissone, I think I’ve seen this work before.
Then the choreography doesn’t change. And when Green is still waving her arms like a dying swan several minutes later, with Warner still arcing through the air, RoseAnne Spradlin’s singular sensibility emerges. For the next hour, we’re presented with vibrant images, each totally distinct, none explicitly connected. (In conversation after the performance, I compared something of the work’s structure to tapas.) There are perhaps a total of ten dance “steps”, four or five spatial tracks, one literal monument. We see a sped-up black-and-white 1931 film, with a plot that whizzes past too quickly to fully surmise, and it gets our undivided attention, uninterrupted by movement except that of the spinning, glimmering sculpture by Glen Fogel, constantly present, never commented upon.
In Moment Marigold, currently in its world premiere at BAM Fisher, Jodi Melnick presents a contagious investigation of the myriad curves and lines our 206 bones are capable of producing. This is a dance that studies the human body so thoroughly that a heightened physical awareness drifts off the stage and into its observers.