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“Exit Stage Right:” Ciara Pressler’s Career Guidebook for Performers

“Exit Stage Right:” Ciara Pressler’s Career Guidebook for Performers

Jan 31st, 2013

How many career advice books are there in publication? You could spend hours in the Personal Development section learning about the health and growth of your personal financial portfolio, how to hone your interview skills, tips on networking in “the field,” not to mention ways to innovate in your office.

But how many are there on those of us who don’t have an office? How many manuals have been written about getting home at 2 AM from a bar shift and auditioning the next morning at 9 AM and how to make the coffee strong enough to stomach it? How about the roller coaster of successful performance tours and the confusion when tours end? Or advice for musicians who have worked tirelessly to build a band through the nights, but still sit at a service desk in the day? We performers are strange creatures who have a hard time squeezing our carefully quirky lifestyle into the paradigm of 9 to 5. This is old news. We are used to thumbing through career books to find the one chapter that might truly apply. The one about time management.

Ciara Pressler just put something new on the shelves, and it’s for us.

Looking Back: A Dance Icon Video Tour

Looking Back: A Dance Icon Video Tour

Sep 24th, 2012

Dance like any language is alive and morphing. We continue to add ideas and flair; to create new dialects altogether. Even so, we seem to embody many nuances of those who came first.

Here are three iconic dancers and one choreographer who have set the stage for much of what you see today. The links below will show each of their distinctive influences, threading from one era into the next. So when you find yourself in that blissful place, trying on a dance that fits just so, perhaps you’ll think of those who sewed the seams.

Hanging on to NYC Dance Space: Dance New Amsterdam’s Lease

Hanging on to NYC Dance Space: Dance New Amsterdam’s Lease

Jun 2nd, 2012

Dancers struggle to make their New York rents.

They also struggle to make their $18.00 fee for dance class, and often skip class because they can’t afford it.

These two conditions combined to create quite the conundrum for Dance New Amsterdam, one dance studio in Manhattan committed to keeping prices low for dancers, but accumulating massive rent debt because of it. If, as suggested by local government, dance studios take a “more entrepreneurial” approach then what follows are higher class prices, lower teacher payments, higher studio costs, higher ticket prices and ultimately loss of the original goal: to train and nurture artists. For sustainability, a studio requires a combination of revenue from the services they offer and strong fiscal support from the community. Even an organization that seems to be thriving may be in danger of losing its home…

FILM PREVIEW: First Position

FILM PREVIEW: First Position

May 3rd, 2012

Outsiders of the dance world often marvel at the discipline, commitment and sheer tenacity of those trying to be professionals in the business.

Dancers however, never think twice about what it takes to make it. Raised on the mantra “no pain, no gain,” they often thrive under high pressure and high expectations. To them, all this effort is common sense. If you really want it, you are singularly-focused on the pursuit of a career in dance. If you lack the passion, you quit early. It is simple.

Pontus Lidberg’s Labyrinth Within at Baryshnikov Arts Center

Pontus Lidberg’s Labyrinth Within at Baryshnikov Arts Center

Mar 5th, 2012

Swedish choreographer and dancer Pontus Lindberg’s Labyrinth Within is a series of pas de deux on film that explores the lines between reality and perception. The majority of the 28 minute film, with a score created by David Lang (and recorded in 2009 by The Symphony Orchestra of Sweden’s Norrlands Operan) takes place in Giovanni Bucchieri and Wendy Whelan’s apartment. The two main characters are in the later years of a now stale marriage.

Cedar Lake Finally Dances in New York

Cedar Lake Finally Dances in New York

by May 14th, 2012No Comments

For a year and a half, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet has performed almost everywhere but New York City. But from May 15-27 they are back at the Joyce Theater with two programs. They’ll feature six pieces by six different choreographers, five NYC premieres, and one world premiere.

Ana-Maria Lucaciu, one of Cedar Lake’s sixteen dancers says, “Finally we can show the city what we have been working on.”

Program A shows “Violet Kid” by London-based Hofesh Schecter, “Annonciation” by French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, and “Grace Engine” by Canadian Crystal Pite. “[Violet Kid] has a lot of sustained aggression. It is under this constant boiling lid and is never allowed to come out.” Lucaciu says. Schecter works with images of being scolded as a child and the feeling of repressed anger, and the dancers, who are on stage for the duration, must use restraint and power simultaneously in their movement.

REVIEW: Introdans at the Joyce Theater

REVIEW: Introdans at the Joyce Theater

Ballet has always held itself in a different genre, treasuring technique and choreographic innovation within that aesthetically clean framework. Prestigious visionaries like George Balanchine and Jiří Kylián found their own unique ways of transforming the classical to the contemporary, historically breaking new ground and allowing a next generation of creativity to progress and discover new ways to enrapture audiences. One of the national dance companies of the Netherlands, Introdans was met with high expectations for their US debut at the Joyce Theater. Ballet desperately needs new flag-bearers. The result this week was disappointing in its transparency.

Roel Voorintholt, artistic director of Introdans, opened with Heavenly, featuring divinity-themed revivals from three different choreographers. The first work, Fünf Gedichte (five poems), was choreographed by Nils Christe and premiered in 1996.

PREVIEW: Igal Perry’s Peridance Contemporary Dance Company

PREVIEW: Igal Perry’s Peridance Contemporary Dance Company

by May 3rd, 2012No Comments

It was 1983 when Igal Perry first opened the Peridance Capezio Center and began a ballet company, the Peridance Ensemble. Since it’s formation, Perry’s ensemble has performed 50 works around the world and has seen very active seasons and some less rigorous. This coming weekend, 29 years later, the company now dances at the Salvatore Capezio Theater under a new name: Peridance Contemporary Dance Company. With the Center running like a well-oiled machine, with both established and new talents in the dance community teaching daily, Perry feels he now has the space to concentrate on PCDC and its promising members.

FILM PREVIEW: First Position

FILM PREVIEW: First Position

by May 3rd, 20121 Comment

Outsiders of the dance world often marvel at the discipline, commitment and sheer tenacity of those trying to be professionals in the business.

Dancers however, never think twice about what it takes to make it. Raised on the mantra “no pain, no gain,” they often thrive under high pressure and high expectations. To them, all this effort is common sense. If you really want it, you are singularly-focused on the pursuit of a career in dance. If you lack the passion, you quit early. It is simple.

REVIEW: Ballet Hispanico Program A at the Joyce Theater

REVIEW: Ballet Hispanico Program A at the Joyce Theater

by Apr 23rd, 2012No Comments

Ballet Hispanico holds a great luxury in their diverse and vibrant company members. Known for a colorful blending of classical and contemporary vocabularies with the grounded and passionate traditions of Latin dance, the company moves to further stretch boundaries with the works presented in their current season. The key to success for the evolving company lies in presenting their dancers as the athletic movers they are without losing the subtlety that draws audiences in. This balance was achieved to various degrees in program A of their current Joyce season.

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