Honors and Awards

  • Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD program is one of five winners of Google’s Giving Through Glass Challenge, which invited nonprofits to propose how they’d use the Google Glass technology within their mission and programming. Dance for PD designed an app for those with Parkinson’s disease. It will include visual and musical cuing systems, which help users maintain a steady, rhythmic walking pace. Selected from a pool of more than 1,300 applicants, MMDG will receive a $25,000 grant, Google Glass, a trip to Google for training and access to Glass software developers.

    An Advancing the Avenue workshop

 

  • Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Maryland, has received a $210,000 grant from ArtPlace America to fund a multiyear project to create art hubs along New Hampshire Avenue. Advancing the Avenue will include historic walking tours that incorporate improvisation; community dance performances; and pop-up dance installations. Dance Exchange, under artistic director Cassie Meador, presented a performance of founder Liz Lerman’s work Still Crossing in September along the avenue.

 

  • Bill T. Jones and the Brooklyn Academy of Music were honored by President Obama in July with National Medals of Arts. Jones is the artistic director of New York Live Arts and the director and co-founder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, where he often creates politically charged works. BAM, which opened in 1861, is the oldest continuously operating performing arts center in the U.S. The boundary-breaking venue has presented artists like Isadora Duncan and Rudolf Nureyev, and it sends dance companies all over the world for performances and cultural exchange in partnership with the U.S. Department of State. The National Medal of Arts is the highest award an artist or arts organization can receive.

    Bill T. Jones with President Obama

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from top: by John Borstel, courtesy of Dance Exchange; by Jocelyn Augustino, courtesy of National Endowment for the Arts

Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

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Dancer Diary
Claire, McAdams, courtesy Houston Ballet

Former Houston Ballet dancer Chun Wai Chan has always been destined for New York City Ballet.

While competing at Prix de Lausanne in 2010, he was offered summer program scholarships at both the School of American Ballet and Houston Ballet. However, because two of the competition's winners that year were Houston Ballet's Aaron Sharratt and Liao Xiang, dancers Chan idolized, he turned down SAB. He joined Houston Ballet II in 2010, the main company's corps de ballet in 2012, and was promoted to principal in 2017. Oozing confidence and technical prowess, Chan was a Houston favorite, and even landed himself a spot on Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch."

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Music
Mary Mallaney/USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, courtesy Osato

In most classes, dancers are encouraged to count the music, and dance with it—emphasizing accents and letting the rhythm of a song guide them.

But Marissa Osato likes to give her students an unexpected challenge: to resist hitting the beats.

In her contemporary class at EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles (which is now closed, until they find a new space), she would often play heavy trap music. She'd encourage her students to find the contrast by moving in slow, fluid, circular patterns, daring them to explore the unobvious interpretation of the steady rhythms.

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