Dancetime Publications, 2012
DVD; run time: 58 minutes
“It was wonderful to abandon oneself to the craving for evil,” Mary Wigman said of creating her dark and masked landmark work, Hexentanz, in the early 1900s. In the new dance history DVD German Lineage in Modern Dance, viewers learn of Wigman’s fascination with the irrational and the supernatural and see how those emotional themes transform into clawed fingers and ritualistic gestures onstage.
Wigman is one of five choreographers featured in this film that introduces the concept of German expressionism (developed before World War I) as it was transformed by American artists through the 20th century. Also included is work by Dore Hoyer, Hanya Holm, Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis.
Devoting about 10 minutes to each of the five choreographers, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa dance professor Dr. Betsy Fisher narrates an overview of the dancers’ lives, describes their personalities and movement styles and performs excerpts from their most famous works. This format allows students to see the choreographers’ relationships and lineage in dance history.
Fisher’s solos offer viewers a pure sample of each choreographer’s work as it was originally intended. At just under an hour long, this film is perfect for a classroom study. It can be shown during a single class period while still fitting in a complete lesson in dance history and analysis.
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.