Carol Channing in the original 1964 production of Hello, Dolly! Photo by Eileen Darby, Courtesy DM Archives.
The inimitable Carol Channing, best known for her role as the titular Hello, Dolly!, passed away today at 97.
Though she became a three-time Tony winner, Channing was born in Seattle, far from the Great White Way, in 1921. After growing up in San Francisco, she attended the famed Bennington College, studying dance and drama. She later told the university, "What Bennington allows you to do is develop the thing you're going to do anyway, over everybody's dead body." For Channing, that meant decades of fiery, comical performances, bursting with energy.
Photo by Natalie Fiol, courtesy of University of Illinois Dept. of Dance
This academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the dance department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In 1959, when the dance program was part of physical education, its head Margaret Erlanger invited Merce Cunningham for a four-month residency—the first of its kind on a university campus. Since then, U of I has been known for its vibrant dance programs, faculty, facility and innovation in the field. There is much to celebrate.
Gregory Hines revolutionized the tap scene in the '80s and '90s with his incredibly charismatic, effortlessly virtuosic performances on Broadway and the big screen. Now, the trailblazing entertainer—who died in 2003—is being recognized by the US Postal Service with a commemorative stamp. And we are SO HERE FOR IT.
The stamp, which will debut January 28th, is part of the USPS's Black Heritage series, and features a classic Jack Mitchell portrait of Hines. If you're in the NYC area, stop by the day-of-issue event at Symphony Space on the 28th (it's free!). If you're not a New Yorker, no worries: The stamps will be available for purchase online and at local post offices.
While you're waiting to get your hands on those stamps, check out some of our favorite videos of Hines' fabulous feet:
The year 2019 is already off to a dramatic start for dance fans, thanks to Abby Lee Miller's latest announcement. The infamously tough dance coach just let the world know that she'll begin filming Season 8 of the hit reality series "Dance Moms" at the end of January.
Her return to the show will come as a surprise to many, because Miller's been dealing with a myriad of personal challenges since quitting in 2017. Even though her battle with cancer is ongoing, it sounds like she's ready to dive back into the world of reality TV.
We're most curious to meet the next crop of talented dancers Miller will coach. The original "Dance Moms" cast members have distanced themselves from the reality mogul, but we're guessing there are plenty of gifted students ready to tackle the challenges that come with working with her.
Photo credits, clockwise from bottom left: Peter Mueller, Courtesy Cincinnati Ballet; Jayme Thornton; Jochen Viehoff, Courtesy Stephanie Troyak; Karolina Kuras, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Kim Kenney, Courtesy Atlanta Ballet; Jim Lafferty; Arian Molina Soca, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Altin Kaftira, Courtesy Dutch National Ballet; Scott Shaw, Courtesy Shamar Wayne Watt
Every year we love to see Dance Magazine's coveted list of the dancers, choreographers and companies that are on the verge of skyrocketing in the field of dance. This year's picks are nothing short of exceptional.
Congratulations to these 25 up-and-coming artists!
Misty Copeland opened the 2018 Dance Magazine Awards. Photo by Christopher Duggan.
What does it mean to be human? Well, many things. But if you were at the Dance Magazine Awards last week, you could argue that to be human is to dance. Speeches about the powerful humanity of our art form were backed up withperformances byincredible dancers hailingfrom everywhere from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago to Miami City Ballet.
Misty Copeland started off the celebration. A self-professed "Dance Magazine connoisseur from the age of 13," she not only spoke about how excited she was to be in a room full of dancers, but also—having just come from Dance Theatre of Harlem's memorial for Arthur Mitchell—what she saw as their duty: "We all in this room hold a responsibility to use this art for good," she said. "Dance unifies, so let's get to work."
Genshaft in Ratmansky's From Foreign Lands. Photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy of San Francisco Ballet
Dana Genshaft was a beloved dancer in the San Francisco Ballet for 15 years, rising to the rank of soloist. Some of her SFB career highlights include performing lead roles in Frederick Ashton's Monotones I and Wayne McGregor's Eden/Eden and originating roles in Val Caniparoli's Ibsen's House and Mark Morris' Joyride, as well as working with Christopher Wheeldon and William Forsythe.
A few days ago, a friend forwarded me the GoFundMe Campaign of Nikki and Ethan White, a dancerly wife and husband duo who escaped the California "Woolsey Fire" with their children but whose home burned to the ground. The couple had met while dancing for Smuin Ballet, and later were one of the top three finalists on Paula Abdul's TV show "Live to Dance." Today, they live in the Los Angeles area, where Ethan is researching how dance partnerships develop interpersonal trust at USC.
I spoke to Nikki about the fire, what comes next and how readers can help.
A still from the new documentary, DANSEUR. Image courtesy DANSEUR
the new documentary DANSEUR, 85% of males who study dance in the United States are bullied or harassed. A quote in the film from Dr. Doug Risner, faculty member at Wayne State University, states, "If this scope of bullying occurred in any activity other than dance, it would be considered a public health crisis by the CDC."
So why is it allowed to persist in ballet? And why aren't we talking about it more? These are the questions that
DANSEUR seeks to answer. But primarily consisting of dance footage and interviews with male dancers like ABT's James Whiteside, Houston Ballet's Harper Watters and Boston Ballet's Derek Dunn, the film only addresses these issues superficially, with anecdotes about individual experiences and generalizations about what it's like to be a male dancer.
Calpulli Mexican Dance Company. Photo by Michael Palma, courtesy of Dance/NYC
What makes a dance performance "traditional," "cultural" or "ethnic"? What if that dance or dance style is so deeply intertwined within a family or community's life, they don't see it as a "dance," a "dance form" or even as "art"?
Ballet Hartford. Photo by Andy Hart, courtesy of 5x5
Sustaining a festival for 16 years strong is an achievement to honor and to celebrate. The 5x5 Dance Festival has become a bustling and full one-day event, this year taking place on Saturday, November 3. The festival has two large goals: to be multigenerational and to feature the vibrant dance taking place statewide in Connecticut.