Dressed in street clothes, Daniel Ulbricht is more compact than he appears onstage. He also looks younger than 27. That youth is part of the reason his new role as artistic advisor for the Manhattan Youth Ballet is generating some buzz. What a thrill it must be for the teens to study with this buoyant, high-spirited New York City Ballet star while he is at the height of his stage career!
Dance Teacher visited a class Ulbricht was teaching for the MYB summer intensive one Tuesday morning in August. Within minutes it was evident that the dancer’s teaching gifts are every bit as compelling as his capacity for high jumps. “The whole body does a passé,” he coached the class of 14 girls and four boys. “Don’t stop—keep growing.”
During one correction, Ulbricht suggested drawing out a tendu by thinking of it as the words to a song. “I know it sounds corny, but it’s a tendu song.” He demonstrated again. “Here we go, eyes up.” In “Head of the Class,” Joseph Carman tells why this busy performer has decided to add a second full-time job to his repertoire.
November is the annual Dance Teacher recital issue and the editors have compiled a potpouri of fun and useful articles on the topic:
* In “Just Keep Dancing,” editor Rachel Zar reminds us that a sense of humor is essential.
* Need a new recital idea? You’ll find more than one in “Once Upon a Time in New York City.”
* In “A Winning Warm-Up,” dancer Julie Diana discusses several approaches to preparing your dancers for their performance.
* Making money may not be your first thought when it comes to staging a recital, but it’s a good thought. In “Recital Riches,” five studio owners reveal their profit motives.
* And, of course, recitals mean costumes. Style editor Kristin Schwab has rounded up a preview of the best of the new season in “Fashion Forward.”
Wishing you and yours a warm and peaceful Thanksgiving,
Karen Hildebrand, Editor In Chief
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This Sunday, master ballet teacher Finis Jhung turns 80. After a career as a soloist for both San Francisco Ballet and the Joffrey and a principal for Harkness Ballet, Jhung carved out a unique place for himself as a ballet teacher in New York City. He's coached the boys of Billy Elliot: The Musical, developed a popular video and DVD how-to series and STILL teaches seven classes a week at the Ailey Extension. He's graced the pages of this magazine to offer his time-honored wisdom again and again, and he's currently working on a memoir. (We can't wait to read it.) Happy birthday, Finis!
Since 1989, tap dancers have been celebrating National Tap Dance Day (NTDD) on and around May 25, the birthday of tap dance legend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. This year, prime events are happening in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago.
When you think of a major basketball team's dancers or cheerleaders, you probably picture the Laker Girls—scantily clad, with shiny curls cascading down their backs. You definitely don't picture a group of 15 40-years-old-and-up "seniors," mean-mugging and ripping off breakaway pants. But the New York Liberty's Timeless Torches do exactly that, and they routinely bring down the house during halftime at the WNBA games where they perform.
The exhibit Radical Bodies: Anna Halprin, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer in California and New York, 1955–1972 is filled with exhibits, performances and conferences honoring the three postmodern dance living legends.