Lovingly known as the “mother of modern dance in China,” Yang Meiqi has won the 2010 Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching at The American Dance Festival (ADF).
Her association with ADF dates back to 1986, when she participated in its International Choreographer’s Residency program, which proved to be a significant event in the history of modern dance in China. With ADF’s assistance, Yang founded Guangdong Dance Company and Academy, China’s first modern dance company and school. Her efforts paved the way for artists following in her footsteps, including the acclaimed choreographer Shen Wei, who founded his own troupe in 2000. “I am so pleased to see Yang Meiqi win this award,” says Shen. “When we look at the dance happening inside and outside of China, they are all her students. She has such a good eye for dancers and excellent work.” Shen will speak at the award ceremony on July 18 at Duke University.
Yang is the recipient of several honors: inclusion in the Roster of Chinese Dance History as one of the “Most Outstanding Chinese Dance Educators,” recognition for “Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Dance in China” from China’s Federation of Literature and a John D. Rockefeller III Award. For more: www.americandancefestival.org
Photo courtesy of Yang Meiqi
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.