Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie might be at the top of her game—she just received two Bessie Award nominations and her company makes its Jacob's Pillow debut next month—but she still suffers from self-doubt and perfectionism. When she began taking breaking classes from Robert "Break Easy" Santiago in Brooklyn, New York, she had to draw upon her self-confidence to successfully battle with other break dancers.
"When I was finally ready to start battling, Robert told me: 'The hardest battle will always be with yourself.' As artists, we're ripe with self-doubt, because creating and performing work is such a vulnerable thing. Robert helped me confront that vulnerability in a way that made it manageable. When you battle another dancer, it's all about reacting to that person. You have to have the confidence to say, 'Well, maybe I can't do that movement that she did, but whatever I'm doing is going to top that, because I know my own value. I can define my worth as a dancer.'"
Ephrat Asherie Dance performs at Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out series on August 7.
Photo by Christiana Marcelli
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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.