In 1984, Richard Ellner--a late-bloomer to the dance world, who took his first dance class at age 52--took over the Hines-Hatchett studio founded by Maurice Hines and the late Frank Hatchett (DT 2013 lifetime achievement awardee), renaming it Broadway Dance Center. Thirty years and two relocations later, BDC is a second home for many New York City dancers, with its ever-growing roster of the industry's top teachers in everything from jazz (Hatchett's specialty) to hip hop to contemporary to ballet.
BDC wouldn't think of letting such a milestone go by without a suitable celebration: On May 5, friends and family will gather in the stately Altman Building in the heart of Chelsea. The gala will include pop-up performances, tribute videos and, of course, a chance to get down on the dance floor.
This anniversary gathering comes right on the heels of BDC's April 1 tribute to VOP jazz king Frank Hatchett at Symphony Space. Hatchett's students and friends were invited to submit one-minute videos of their favorite memories or sayings of Hatchett, or even short dance tributes, which were shown at the celebration.
Top left photo by Sandy Shelton; all courtesy of BDC
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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.