Where Performing on the Subway is Legal—and Encouraged!

A dance scene from last year's PLATFORM

On April 1, New York City–based dance group Shakedown Dance Collective will perform at the New York Transit Museum on a vintage subway platform that’s no longer in use. Maybe this sounds like a typical day in NYC (where it’s not unusual to have your subway commute interrupted by singers, musicians, rappers, amateur gymnasts and break dancers), but this performance is actually part of a really cool program put on by the museum called PLATFORM. The Transit Museum invited people from all disciplines—visual and performing arts, academic fields, you name it—to submit a proposal for this year’s PLATFORM series, which will showcase the selected performances for the public. (Check out this New York Times article to get an idea of what last year’s PLATFORM looked like.) The only requirement is that the performance has to be inspired by or about public transportation.

What makes Shakedown Dance Collective’s inclusion in this year’s PLATFORM all the more sweet is that the company had originally planned to perform a short routine on some Manhattan subway trains and platforms last winter, but a preemptive phone call from NYC’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, citing insurance and liability issues, shut it down before it even happened. Now, in a cool twist of events, Shakedown dancers (who are a mix of professionals and complete novices) will get to perform—on a subway platform, no less—as part of a curated showcase!

You can find out more about Shakedown and its unusual mission here.

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."

Keep reading... Show less
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."

Keep reading... Show less
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.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.