When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky: Two Artists, Their Ballet, and One Extraordinary Riot
By Lauren Stringer
One hundred years ago, the Ballets Russes debuted a ballet so radical, the audience disintegrated into an angry, brawling mob. On that day in 1913, The Rite of Spring, brightly illustrated in Lauren Stringer’s children’s book, When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky, changed the course of modern music and dance. The author’s account offers kid-friendly descriptions of the ballet’s raucous, dissonant score, its angular choreography and the dancers’ primitive skipping and stomping. “They will jump ’round in circles and their feet must be muddy! Can you make a mud sound?” Vaslav Nijinsky asks the composer in a passage from the book.
Perhaps most effectively, Stringer’s story highlights the power of partnership. Before they met, Nijinsky and Igor Stravinsky each made their own work, but their product proved much stronger when they combined their efforts. In a studio or K–12 setting, the story can serve as a jumping-off point for collaborative projects in the classroom. And an in-depth author’s note, with archival photographs and artist biographies, augments the book for older dancers.
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.