"Mr. Gaga," the Film, Needs Your Help!

Good things come to those who wait, and director Tomer Heymann has been waiting a long time—eight years, to be exact. Since 2006, Heymann and his film crew have been shadowing Ohad Naharin, artistic director of the Israeli-based modern troupe Batsheva Dance Company. The fruits of Heymann’s (and Naharin’s) labor will finally come to light next spring, when Mr. Gaga premieres at the Docaviv International Film Festival in May. Heymann (along with his brother Barak, who serves as producer for the film) amassed more than 650 hours of footage during his travels with Naharin. There’s rehearsal footage, glimpses into his unique artistic process and an incredible amount of archival material from Naharin’s kibbutz childhood, military service, his years dancing with the Martha Graham Dance Company and more.

Crucial to the release of the film, however, is the success of Mr. Gaga’s current Kickstarter campaign. There are only 15 days to go, with approximately $26,000 left to raise. As with any Kickstarter campaign, there are nice perks for donating—the film’s producers will reward you with Gaga movement classes and Batsheva Dance Company items, so check it out!

Photo courtesy of Vadim Dumesh

Teacher Voices
Photo courtesy Rhee Gold Company

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a shift in our community that is so impressive that the impact could last long into our future. Although required school closures have hit the dance education field hard, what if, when looking back on this time, we see that it's been an incredible renaissance for dance educators, studio owners and the young dancers in our charge?

How could that be, you ask?

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Teachers Trending
Photo by Yvonne M. Portra, courtesy Faulkner

It's a Wednesday in May, and 14 Stanford University advanced modern ­dance students are logged on to Zoom, each practicing a socially distanced duet with an imaginary person. "Think about the quality of their personality and the type of duet you might have," says their instructor Katie Faulkner, "but also their surface area and how you'd relate to them in space." Amid dorm rooms, living rooms, dining rooms and backyards, the dancers make do with cramped quarters and dodge furniture as they twist, curve, stretch and intertwine with their imaginary partners.

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Music
Getty Images

Securing the correct music licensing for your studio is an important step in creating a financially sound business. "Music licensing is something studio owners seem to either embrace or ignore completely," says Clint Salter, CEO and founder of the Dance Studio Owners Association. While it may seem like it's a situation in which it's easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission—that is, to wait until you're approached by a music-rights organization before purchasing a license—Salter disagrees, citing Peloton, the exercise company that produces streaming at-home workouts. In February, Peloton settled a music-licensing suit with the National Music Publishers' Association out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. Originally, NMPA had sought $300 million in damages from Peloton. "It can get extremely expensive," says Salter. "It's not worth it for a studio to get caught up in that."

As you continue to explore a hybrid online/in-person version of your class schedule, it's crucial that your music licenses include coverage for livestreamed instruction—which comes with its own particular requirements. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about music licensing—in both normal times and COVID times—as well as some safe music bets that won't pose any issues.

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