Go West, Young Man

"Angsters," from the video compilation "Revolve on Camera"

Videotape a rehearsal with your smartphone and you may find that the movement appears flat and has lost much of its energy. Watch any of the films being screen at Dance Camera West, though, and you'll get quite a different picture (pun intended). The Dance Media Festival, now in its 13th year, will be held at various venues in downtown Los Angeles, June 6–8, and promises new ways to explore dance via film, live performance and architectural art. Film selections include two documentaries Hoku Uchiyama's Upaj:Improvise, which follows the unlikely duo of Indian kathak master Pandit Chitresh Das and hoofer Jason Samuels Smith in their East-meets-West collaborative performance; and Hiroyuki Nakano's Flying Bodies, a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Japanese men's gymnastics.

Live performances include BODYTRAFFIC and Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company. Artist Gustavo Godoy's large-scale sculptural installation will be on-site and available for festival-goers to interact with. His work will also serve as the set for the BODYTRAFFIC dancers, per his collaboration with the company and Dance Camera West.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Dance Camera West

Teacher Voices
Getty Images

In 2001, young Chanel, a determined, ambitious, fiery, headstrong teenager, was about to begin her sophomore year at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, also known as the highly acclaimed "Fame" school. I was a great student, a promising young dancer and well-liked by my teachers and my peers. On paper, everything seemed in order. In reality, this picture-perfect image was fractured. There was a crack that I've attempted to hide, cover up and bury for nearly 20 years.

Keep reading... Show less
Health & Body
Getty Images

Though the #MeToo movement has spurred many dancers to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse, the dance world has yet to have a full reckoning on the subject. Few institutions have made true cultural changes, and many alleged predators continue to work in the industry.

As Chanel DaSilva's story shows, young dancers are particularly vulnerable to abuse because of the power differential between teacher and student. We spoke with eight experts in dance, education and psychology about steps that dance schools could take to protect their students from sexual abuse.

Keep reading... Show less
Technique
Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

Not so long ago, it seemed that ballet dancers were always encouraged to pull up away from the floor. Ideas evolved, and more recently it has become common to hear teachers saying "Push down to go up," and variations on that concept.

Charla Genn, a New York City–based coach and dance rehabilitation specialist who teaches company class for Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Hispánico, says that this causes its own problems.

"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.