3 Dance-Happy Musicals to Look For on Broadway This Fall

Are you a junkie of the Great White Way, like me? Excellent. Here are three dance-happy musicals you should keep an eye out for this fall:

  • Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Choreographed by Sam Pinkleton (look for him in an upcoming issue of DT!), this musical’s nearly in-the-round set up requires some creative, three-dimensional movement.

  • Falsettos Spencer Liff—who you’ll recognize from his work on “So You Think You Can Dance”—is behind the choreography of this upcoming Lincoln Center show, which gives us a glimpse into what a modern family looks like. Here’s a compilation of Liff’s Emmy-nominated choreography from “SYTYCD”:

  • Holiday Inn The movie upon which this musical is based features Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It’s known for first introducing audiences to the song “White Christmas,” but I’m more partial to the scene where Astaire convincingly dances as if he’s drunk. Denis Jones (of Honeymoon in Vegas) is helming the choreography for the musical. Here’s a clip from the movie:

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Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

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Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

Christy Funsch's teaching career has taken her from New York City to the Bay Area to Portugal, with a stint in a punk band in between. But this fall—fresh off a Fulbright in Portugal at the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, School of Dance (ESD), teaching and researching empathetic embodiment through somatic dance training—Funsch's teaching has taken her to an entirely new location: Zoom. A visiting professor at Slippery Rock University for the 2020–21 academic year, Funsch is adapting her eclectic, boundary-pushing approach to her virtual classes.

Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

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Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

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