The inaugural Choreo-Lab included seven choreographers and a physically integrated cast of 20 dancers. Photo by Misako, courtesy of AXIS Dance Company
Among artists, choreographers have it pretty tough—their art requires not just space, but people. For disabled choreographers, those requirements can be even harder to meet. Is the (probably expensive) space accessible? Do they have access to dancers, disabled or not? Can they afford to pay them? In June, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, AXIS Dance Company gave a group of disabled choreographers the gift of time, space and dancers in a weeklong program called Choreo-Lab. Spearheaded by artistic director Marc Brew, who served as a mentor along with co-facilitator Caroline Bowditch, the inaugural Choreo-Lab included seven choreographers and a physically integrated cast of 20 dancers.
In summer 2009, Tyce Diorio choreographed a contemporary piece for "So You Think You Can Dance" on dancers Ade Obayomi and Melissa Sandvig. The result was one of the most touching pieces on breast cancer that we have ever seen. It was emotional. It was technical. It was beautiful. And it has stuck with us ever since. In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, we thought we would share this beautiful piece.
Today is Native American Day!The states of California and Nevada celebrate this day on the fourth Friday of September each year. This day honors Native American cultures and contributions to our country. As dance enthusiasts, one of our favorite contributions any culture can give is movement-based, and we are so thankful for Native American dance.
In honor of the holiday, we thought we would share three different videos of these dances that have inspired us.
What would the dance world be like without Tim Milgram's mind-blowing cinematography? Can you even imagine??
At this point it feels like he's always been here to catch every fabulous set of eight. Every hair flip. Every turn. Every splat split. We digress... Everything about his work is smart and intentional, and makes the viewer feel like they're in the room experiencing class with him. What more could we ask for as dance enthusiasts?
We sat down with the film mastermind himself to get the inside scoop on how he produces some of our favorite content to ever grace the internet. Enjoy! 👇
Arthur Mitchell was always aware of his charm. Photo courtesy Dance Magazine Archives
Last Wednesday, Dance Theatre of Harlem co-founder and ballet pioneer Arthur Mitchell died. He was 84 years old and, though vibrant and tenacious as ever, this past year the toll that illness and age were taking on him was visible.
In October when he hosted "An Informal Performance on the Art of Dance" to celebrate the donation of his archives to Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the upcoming Wallach Art Gallery Exhibition, he shared that his recent hip surgery left him requiring a shoe with a lift. He acknowledged his "altered state" with panache, that side-eyed smirk catching the light with a cheek bone, and ending with a chuckle that broadened to a dazzling open-mouthed smile.
Denise (center left) and Travis Wall (center right); courtesy of Auroris Media, Inc.
Dance phenomenon Travis Wall and his mom Denise are no strangers to the spotlight. Travis' success on "So You Think You Can Dance," followed by his own reality show, have propelled him to reality dance stardom. Though he's working behind the scenes as a choreographer these days, you can still catch him performing occasionally with his dance company, Shaping Sound. And Denise is a recognized dance expert in her own right, having taught dance for 38 years, founded her own studio, and produced over 50 dancers who have gone on to pursue dance professionally. Now these two are shining a light on the world of competitive dance with their new documentary "I Dream of Dance."
Dance Theatre of Jacksonville has suffered severe damage from the recent storm that swept through the southeastern states.
In an effort to help, a studio owner in California whose current student is an alumni of the studio located in Jacksonville, North Carolina, set up a GoFundMe page.
The studio's roof, floating hardwood floors and ceilings all need repairs. The lobby floors are also ruined, according to the studio's owner, Debra Baile Becerra. See a few photos of the devastation below.
"If you can help them out in any way, it would be so appreciated and a blessing on these kids to get back into the studio and feel some sort of normalcy," reads a statement included in the post.
For more information and to offer support, visit here.
The broadcast performance, which was filmed in London's West End last year, features the show's original stars, former New York City Ballet principal Robert Fairchild and former Royal Ballet first artist Leanne Cope. It's pretty much impossible not to swoon for the show's beautiful dancing, not to mention the iconic Gershwin score.
Check out the trailer below, and click here to find a screening near you!
The iconic New York City dance studio Steps on Broadway has a new leader coming on board: Joe Lanteri. The New York City Dance Alliance founder will be Steps' new co-owner and executive director.
"For me, it's a big full circle," says Lanteri, who used to take class at Steps when he first moved to New York City, and started teaching there in the mid-1980s. The 4:30 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday Advanced Intermediate Jazz slot he held down for many years taught a slew of young talent—including choreographers-to-be like Jessica Lang and Sergio Trujillo. "As a young teacher, Steps was a platform for me to travel the world giving master classes; it became the underlying foundation for what I'm doing now in my life."
Australian Ballet in rehearsal during World Ball Day. Photo by Kate Longely, Courtesy Australian Ballet.
For the last few years, World Ballet Day has transfixed millions of ballet lovers with its hours and hours of live-streamed classes, rehearsals and behind-the-scenes extras from major companies around the globe. (We here at Pointe certainly don't get any work done!) The 2018 edition is right around the corner—but things will be a bit different this time, especially for ballet fans in the Western Hemisphere.
For one thing, WBD is only 12 hours this year, and you'll need to prepare for losing a full night's sleep—or perhaps plan a fun slumber party—to enjoy live coverage. Hosted by Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and The Royal Ballet, streaming begins on WBD's Facebook page in Melbourne on October 2 and ends at 5 pm London time. However, for folks in North America, that means9pm EST/6pm PST on Monday, October 1 through 12pm EST/9am PST on October 2. In past years, the National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet helped host the event, but they are not participating this time (which may explain the shorter schedule).
You can see the full schedule and get updates by joining WBD's Facebook event. And if you miss your favorite company live (or simply don't feel like pulling an all-nighter), don't worry: you can always go back and watch a full replay on their Facebook page during normal daylight hours.