Maria Kochetkova and Lonnie Weeks in Wayne McGregor's Borderlands at the 2013 YAGP galaEach year, Youth America Grand Prix closes its New York City finals with a "Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow" gala. This year's highlight, aside from seeing the finalists take the huge David H. Koch Theater stage at Lincoln Center, was getting a glimpse of a pas de deux from Wayne McGregor's ballet, Borderlands. (And it was performed by San Francisco Ballet's Maria Kochetkova and Lonnie Weeks!) Mr. McGregor, I'm not sure how you so effortlessly incorporate smooth floorwork and pointe shoes, or how you find so many ways to use the torso, or how you disguise otherwise flashy steps within seamless partnering, but I sure would like to figure it out.
Well, that may not be so far from reach. A new project between the Creative Learning Department and R-Research in London involves working with scientists to develop curriculum based off of McGregor's process, focusing on how he works with his dancers and creates material. The project is publicized to launch sometime in 2013, with research and workshops for teachers. Click here for more information.
Photo by Liza Voll
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.
Does your studio slow down when the weather warms up? If you don't offer a summer session, June through August can be a cash-flow challenge. One popular—and easy—strategy is to offer weeklong camps instead. We spoke to three professionals to learn how they make summer camp work.
This week Ballet Hispánico launched its first ChoreoLaB workshop, a summer intensive intended to better prepare aspiring professional dancers—with more than just excellent technique. Artistic director Eduardo Vilaro wanted to create a program that bridges the school and the company, to help dancers transitioning into the professional world and better hone their skills.