Oxford University Press; 384 pages; $39.95
Life on the Broadway stage, from an audience’s perspective, looks glamorous and exciting. But what about the stuff that goes on behind the scenes—the out-of-town tryouts that fizzle, the cattle-call auditions, the chronic injuries? In his 20 interviews with leading ladies of the stage, Eddie Shapiro offers a wide-ranging—and honest—taste of what it means to be a woman in today’s world of musical theater. His candid conversations with the likes of Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago, Sweet Charity) and Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line, Company) alternately idolize and humanize the biggest female stage stars of the 20th and 21st centuries. Though Shapiro’s musical theater insider information is already formidable, he still extracts new tidbits from his subjects: Chita Rivera (West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie) mentions that Jerome Robbins taught her to act and not just dance onstage; Sutton Foster (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shrek) recalls “bawling [her] eyes out naked in [her] dressing room” after Millie’s second preview, convinced she’d been terrible. Your Broadway-bound students will love reading about their favorite leading ladies, but bear in mind that a few of these divas can have quite the potty mouth (we’re looking at you, Patti LuPone).
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.