"Behind the Curtain" with Simkin

Dance Magazine’s second episode of "Behind the Curtain" follows fan favorite Daniil Simkin for a day. The American Ballet Theatre principal takes viewers inside a rehearsal for INTENSIO, a program of four new dances by Alexander Ekman, Gregory Dolbashian, Jorma Elo and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Simkin is dancing in and co-producing the performance, which premieres July 22 at Jacob’s Pillow.

In the video, the cast—which features ABT dancers, as well as Céline Cassone of Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal—is rehearsing Ochoa’s piece, including a duet between Simkin and Cassandra Trenary. They only have the choreographer for an hour, a shorter session than usual. But they’ve been hugely productive, nonetheless. Simkin says they’ve set 50 minutes of choreography during their first week of rehearsals.

Even though Simkin is a principal at one of the world’s top companies, he still dedicates his performances to his parents and considers their approval more important than anyone else’s. This makes sense, since his mother gave him his formal ballet training when he was growing up and introduced him to the world of dance competitions. The episode ends with Simkin leaving to meet his parents at his Brooklyn apartment.

Watch the complete "Behind the Curtain" episode playlist here.

Teacher Voices
Photo courtesy Rhee Gold Company

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a shift in our community that is so impressive that the impact could last long into our future. Although required school closures have hit the dance education field hard, what if, when looking back on this time, we see that it's been an incredible renaissance for dance educators, studio owners and the young dancers in our charge?

How could that be, you ask?

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Teachers Trending
Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

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Music
Getty Images

Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

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