Recommended Books for April

Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You

By Misty Copeland

Grand Central Life & Style; 240 pages; $17.86

American Ballet Theatre principal and role model for young dancers everywhere, Misty Copeland inspires women toward a healthier lifestyle in her latest book, Ballerina Body. She shares tips on developing healthy eating and fitness habits, including workout routines based on ballet exercises, meal plans that emphasize healthy fats and words of encouragement for the reader.

Dancers in Motion: The Art and Technique of Dance Photography

By Susan Michel

Amherst Media; 128 pages; $29.95

Whether you're a teacher, dancer or studio owner, marketing yourself through eye-catching images on social media is the new norm. With Dancers in Motion, you can give your dance photography skills a boost by learning how to direct dancers at a photo shoot, the ideal workspace, photography equipment and what angles work best.

Flowers Cracking Concrete: Eiko & Koma's Asian/American Choreographies

By Rosemary Candelario

Wesleyan University Press; 300 pages; $26.95

In 1977, Japanese duo Eiko & Koma made a splash onto the New York City avant-garde dance scene, creating and performing works that have turned heads for more than 40 years. Texas Woman's University professor Rosemary Candelario has written the first book that focuses exclusively on their life's work.

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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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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