More Balanchine Variations
By Nancy Goldner
University Press of Florida, 2011
156 pages, including photos
In a nutshell: A compelling discussion of 20 ballets choreographed by George Balanchine from 1941 to 1981.
"Orpheus interests me for personal reasons; for one thing, it was the first work that gripped me as a child," writes dance critic Nancy Goldner in the introduction of More Balanchine Variations. She discusses 20 ballets organized chronologically throughout this text, and her personal tone separates her book from other, more academic takes on Balanchine's work. What also makes the chapters (each devoted to one piece) so compelling is that Goldner focuses on Balanchine's shifting choreographic style. While touching on the works' structures and creations, she analyzes the impact of each piece on his future ballets, while also reflecting on its effect on her own life as dancer, critic and fan.
Goldner, also the author of Balanchine Variations (with reviews of 20 different Balanchine works), has included discussions of Ballet Imperial (1941) (also known as Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2), Symphony in C (1947), Bugaku (1963), Mozartiana (1981) and more. Multiple photographs highlight each chapter, ranging from archival shots to images of recent reconstructions. A thorough suggested reading index is composed of sources frequently referred to throughout the book. More Balanchine Variations is certainly a must-read for Balanchine fans, but anyone interested in choreography or dance history would also benefit from its insights.
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.
Does your studio slow down when the weather warms up? If you don't offer a summer session, June through August can be a cash-flow challenge. One popular—and easy—strategy is to offer weeklong camps instead. We spoke to three professionals to learn how they make summer camp work.
This week Ballet Hispánico launched its first ChoreoLaB workshop, a summer intensive intended to better prepare aspiring professional dancers—with more than just excellent technique. Artistic director Eduardo Vilaro wanted to create a program that bridges the school and the company, to help dancers transitioning into the professional world and better hone their skills.