It’s college commencement season, when young learners leave the classroom and enter the real world. Most graduates will treasure their higher education experiences for the rest of their lives. Many maintain ties with their alma maters, supporting the institutions through donations or by returning to share their talents and knowledge. Legendary dance icons are no exception.
Twyla Tharp, a 1963 graduate of Barnard College, has arranged a residency at the women’s liberal arts college in New York City. During the 2014–15 academic year, the choreographer will participate in lectures, master classes, interdisciplinary projects and workshops. Some of her projects as the institution’s distinguished guest artist will even be presented to the public. The notoriously demanding dancemaker is eager for her homecoming. “The experiences I had and lessons I learned here have been invaluable,” said Tharp in a statement. “I am pleased to return to campus, and I look forward to a year of exploration and collaboration with Barnard’s bright and talented students and faculty.”
Photo by Lindsay Thomas, courtesy of Pacific Northwest Ballet
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.