MJ and his ghouls have been thrilling fans for three decades!
In 1983, “Michael Jackson’s Thriller” made its debut. The John Landis–directed music video features plenty of zombie gore and special effects—including M.J. morphing into a werewolf—as well as the iconic dino-armed undead dance break, co-choreographed by Jackson and Michael Peters. The anniversary makes this year’s Thrill the World (TTW) dance event particularly exciting, as groups of dancers from six continents prepare to perform “Thriller” at the same time.
The Halloween-themed event was first organized in Toronto in 2006 and has grown steadily since then, each year a new world-record attempt. TTW’s 2013 registration page lists participants in Australia, Austria, China, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Rwanda, Scotland, Turkey, Venezuela, Wales and 33 U.S. states.
“Zombie” groups register online to learn choreography and raise funds for a charity of their choice. The TTW website offers video links to learn the moves, plus written and recorded “dance scripts” that state the dance steps rhythmically, a gesture intended to assist nondancers and anyone who prefers to learn verbally. (“Down clap slide slide slide stomp and shoulders look left.”)
This year’s event will take place tomorrow, Saturday October 26, at 9 pm Greenwich Mean Time, 5 pm Eastern. Participants worldwide can tune in to TTW’s official online radio station to make sure they start perfectly in sync, down to the 5, 6, 7, 8. Visit thrilltheworld.com/world-wide-dance-locations to find a performance in your area.
Photos: fanpop.com; thrilltheworld.com
As the director of dance at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Belmont, Massachusetts, Istvan Cserven organizes the biannual student showcases, prepares dancers for competition and trains new instructors. On top of all that, he teaches the upper-level technique classes. A former ballroom champion in Hungary, he is well-acquainted with both rhythm and smooth ballroom-dance styles.
In an event inspired by the words of President John F. Kennedy, The Washington Ballet will perform the world premier of WHO WHEN WHY this Saturday, June 24, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Kogod Courtyard.
After having spent a lifetime looking at ourselves in the mirror, constantly appraising, who of us wouldn't want to take a dance class in the dark? Two Australian dance students, Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett, had the same thought in 2009 when they founded No Lights No Lycra, a global dance community that offers dancers and nondancers alike the chance to get their groove on in a dark space, where there's no light, no Lycra, no technique, no teacher and no steps to learn. It's just a place to lose yourself in the music and find your own dance mojo. The event became so popular that it spread past its Melbourne beginnings, first throughout Australia and now, globally.
Four incredible educators: Joanne Chapman, Claudio Muñoz, Pamela VanGilder and Kathleen Isaac foster their students' love of dance, whether instilling artistry, offering rigorous training or giving special needs students an outlet through movement.
When Jennie Somogyi retired from New York City Ballet, she found herself in high demand as a teacher. Parents called, texted and persisted. "I don't even know how some of them got my contact information," she says with a laugh. But Somogyi, who departed from NYCB in 2015 after a 22-year career, hadn't made any definitive plans for the next stage of her life. "I just like to see how things move me," she says. She discovered, though, that she enjoyed the process of giving private lessons and seeing the rapid progress students could make. Over time, she realized that teaching was something she wanted rather than needed.