Editor's Note: Fresh Start

The news that Edward Villella would leave Miami City Ballet was first announced more than a year ago. We were as surprised as everyone else when he abruptly accelerated his departure date just as we were preparing the cover of this issue! In “Edward Villella Speaks Out, the former MCB artistic director gave us a very candid interview just days before he left his position. We wish him well as he continues to pass forward to the next generation of dancers what he learned from Mr. Balanchine, “body to body, mind to mind.”

The new year is always a good opportunity to make a fresh start. As you think about your goals for 2013, an update for your studio image may be on the list. In “A New Look for a New Year,” our experts tell how you can make the best first impression on potential customers through your logo, website and social media presence.

We’ve been working on a few changes ourselves. For one, we’re going back to basics for the monthly History column. This issue, we begin with Martha Graham in a new, concise lesson-plan format that you can easily share with students. We’ll introduce other essential dance history makers each month: their impact on the field, the cultural context for their work and why they continue to matter today.

A popular feature of the January issue every year is the Dance Teacher Summer Study Guide, beginning on page 68. Whether you’re helping your students find the right summer intensive or you’re looking for a continuing education opportunity for yourself, you’ll find it here.

Photo by Nathan Sayers

News
Getty Images

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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News
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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