Thanks to a summer grant from The Juilliard School, three third-year dancers--Kyle Weiler, Taylor Hansen and Cleo Person--will spend one week in Kansas in September performing pieces they created based on a Frank O'Hara poem. It's all part of piano major (and Kansas native) Kristen Doering's American Fusion Project, a collective of artists--dancers, musicians and vocalists--who tour their work to expose students to the performing arts and the nature of collaboration.
"I love the idea of going back to your hometown and sharing what you've learned at school," says Weiler, pictured at right with Hansen. "I wanted to get on board." He created a trio for himself and the other two dancers, set to Leonard Bernstein's Piano Trio. Though he hadn't read O'Hara's "A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island" before, Weiler thinks that actually played in his favor. "I keep discovering new things about the poem," he says. "I didn't come in with any preconceived notions of what an English teacher told me the poem was about."
Photos by Jiyang Chen, courtesy of AFP
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.
The language of Mind Body Dancer is dynamic. "Action words stimulate change in your students," says yoga teacher TaraMarie Perri. "Try 'pour,' 'push' and 'experience' –not 'feel' or 'do or don't' Those words don't mean anything." Here, Perri and dancer Maggie Ronan use the active MBD language to demonstrate yoga poses used as a warm-up in many dance classes. While practicing, be sure to inhale and exhale in steady cycles.