It can be tricky to get away for a conference, whether due to travel budget concerns or finding a substitute to cover your absence. One silver lining of the pandemic is that five conferences are now available online, no travel necessary. You'll find sessions to address your concerns no matter what your role in the dance community—whether you're on the business side, interested in curriculum development, need continuing ed certification, or a performer who wants to teach. Why not gather colleagues from your studio or school for an educational watch party to inspire you as you launch into the new school year?
The International Association of Blacks in Dance is digitizing recordings of significant, at-risk dance works, master classes, panels and more by Black dancers and choreographers from 1988 to 2010. The project is the result of a $50,000 Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.
"This really is a long time coming," says IABD president and CEO Denise Saunders Thompson of what IABD is calling the Preserving the Legacy and History of Black Dance in America program. "And it's really just the beginning stages of pulling together the many, many contributions of Black dance artists who are a part of the IABD network." Thompson says IABD is already working to secure funding to digitize even more work.
It was freshman year, spring semester, and I was a part of a graduate student's thesis work. Some of the faculty members were coming to watch the progress that we had made so far, and Marcus showed up. At the time I didn't know who anyone was, but I could tell he was articulate, evaluative and thought-provoking. He was the first Black intellectual I had seen in college. He was someone I wanted to know.
The person who walked into the Arizona State University Dance studio that day was Marcus White. He was an assistant professor of dance at ASU and an artist/scholar who dedicated his career to working in the long legacy of the Black radical tradition. Marcus passed away suddenly—and far too soon—on May 14, 2020.
Photo by Carlos Funn, courtesy of Clare Croft
Photo by Carlos Funn, courtesy of Clare Croft
Since the nationwide fight against racial inequality took center stage in May, organizations across the dance world have been looking for meaningful ways to show their support, rather than fall back on empty social media signifiers. July 10-11, Diamante Ballet Dancewear is taking action with Dance for Change, a two-day event dedicated to fundraising for the NAACP, and amplifying the voices of Black professional dancers.
Organized by Diamante Ballet Dancewear's founder, Nashville Ballet 2 dancer Isichel Perez, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre teacher Elise Gillum, Dance for Change makes it easy to participate. Dancers need only to make a donation to the NAACP (in any amount) and email proof to firstname.lastname@example.org to be given online access to a full schedule of Zoom master classes taught by Black pros artists. Teachers include Ballet Memphis' George Sanders, Boston Ballet's Daniel Durrett, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Corey Bourbonniere, and more. "It's important that we amplify BIPOC voices during this time, and it's also important that we're conscious of where we're putting our dollars," says Bourbonniere. "Diamante is doing both with Dance for Change, and I'm honored to be in this talented group of melanated dancers."
Friday, July 10<p>11 am-12 pm EDT: Ballet with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre soloist Corey Bourbonniere (featuring live accompaniment by pianist Daniel McTiernan)</p><p>12-1 pm EDT: Men's Class with Ballet Memphis soloist George Sanders </p><p>1-2 pm EDT: Pointe Class with South Valley Ballet's Simone Muhammad </p><p>2-3 pm EDT: Dance Cardio with freelance teacher Samantha Barriento </p>
Saturday, July 11<p>1-2 pm EDT: Jazz with Grand Rapids Ballet's Ednis Gomez</p><p>2-3 pm EDT: Ballet with Boston Ballet artist of the company Daniel Durrett (featuring live accompaniment by pianist Daniel McTiernan)</p><p>3-4 pm EDT: Conditioning with Dance Theatre of Harlem's <a href="https://www.pointemagazine.com/tag/derek-brockington" target="_blank">Derek Brockington</a> </p><p>After classes, head over to <a href="https://www.instagram.com/diamante.ballet/" target="_blank">@diamante.ballet</a> on Instagram for the following live events and raffle drawings.</p><p>5 pm EDT: Nutrition and Wellness Chat with NB2 dancers Alia Federico and Isichel Perez</p><p>7 pm EDT: Q&A with guest artist Sam Akins and Isichel Perez</p>
Mark your calendars!
This Tuesday, July 7, join pre-professional dancers across the globe in an inaugural live-stream event celebrating World Ballet School Day 2020. Made "by students for students," the event aims to bring young generations of dancers together in an international recognition of the unifying power of ballet, dance and the art world at large. The program, featuring dancers from a dozen internationally renowned ballet academies and organizations, will be broadcasted online on the WBSD website at 7 am EDT and will be available for viewers on-demand for one month following the premiere.