Jookin' master Charles "Lil Buck" Riley has been named a 2014 Harman-Eisner artist in residence at the Aspen Institute Arts Program. Riley, who performed last year with 2013 Harman-Eisner artist in residence Yo-Yo Ma (check out their clip on YouTube), will get the chance to share his unique perspective on issues like urban development, education and race with the Aspen Institute Arts Program members and other artists in residence.
Bill Evans (DT, July 2010) has been named an honorary member of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science. Evans is known for his integration of somatics education and dance technique, with a focus on Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies.
In May, choreographer Lar Lubovitch was awarded an honorary doctorate of fine arts from The Juilliard School, as part of the conservatory's 109th commencement ceremony. This past spring, Juilliard students performed Lubovitch's Concerto Six Twenty-Two (1986). The choreographer, who founded his company in 1968, is a Juilliard grad.
Photos from top: courtesy of Jai Ammer; by Nan Melville, courtesy of Juilliard
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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.
"I describe it as organized chaos," says Kimberly Rishi with a laugh, as she hunts for a quiet space inside her 12,000-square-foot studio in Ashburn, Virginia. In any given week, Studio Bleu Dance Center's 11 dance studios accommodate 800 enrolled students, 52 staff members, adults who take drop-in classes, plus kids in vocal and piano programs and an affiliated ballet conservatory. "It may look like there's always a party going on," Rishi says, "but that's not the case. There's a schedule, and everyone knows where they're headed."
When Rishi took the reins in 2003, there were only 80 students, 20 of whom were competitive. Today, 300 dancers are enrolled for the competition program. And just this winter, she launched a musical theater program, taking in triple-threat hopefuls in the area. While the Ashburn area (outside of Washington, DC) is burgeoning, faculty member Heidi Moe says Studio Bleu's growth is due to more than changing demographics. It's the direct result of Rishi's business experience and leadership ability.