This week, American Ballet Theatre is giving Throwback Thursday a whole new meaning. The company today announced it will donate 50,000 documents from its 74-year history to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
According to The New York Times, all kinds of historical ballet paperwork has been piling up in boxes and file cabinets at ABT, from Balanchine’s and Jerome Robbins’ choreography contracts to founding director Lucia Chase’s scrapbook of press clippings. Among other details, we learn Balanchine was paid $25 per performance of Theme and Variations when it was first performed in 1947. As a beginner, Robbins received $10 per showing of his iconic Fancy Free in 1944. There are tour itineraries, dancers’ diaries and more—relics of daily life on the road and in rehearsal.
Now that ABT has cleaned house, we can't wait to sift through their stuff! The Library of Congress is promptly creating an exhibit, “American Ballet Theatre: Touring the Globe for 75 Years,” which will open next Thursday and run until January 24. It then travels to L.A.’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in March.
Photo by Martha Swope ©NYPL for the Performing Arts
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.