News
Courtesy Sandra Jennings

Dance Magazine led a series in 1994 about teachers who had trained remarkable young dancers with a profile about Jacqueline Ann Cronsberg, founder of the Ballet Workshop in New England.

At the time, Cronsberg had been running the school in suburban Boston for nearly 30 years, but she was just getting started. The following year, 1995, Cronsberg established the Massachusetts Youth Ballet, an ensemble that gave her students the opportunity to perform some of the most cherished ballets ever created, regardless of whether their futures were onstage or outside of dance.

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Courtesy Wesleyan University Press

The brilliant dance writer Sally Banes, who pioneered a new way to write about dance as a social phenomenon, died on June 14, 2020 of ovarian cancer.

Banes visited New York in October 1973 with a standard assignment: to write a book on modern dance for Chicago Review Press. Because of her curiosity about choreography, instinct for the experimental, and scintillating prose, she produced, in 1980, an essential dance book of the twentieth century: Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-modern Dance.

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Bill Arnold, Courtesy Arnold

Co-creator of Contact Improvisation, improviser extraordinaire, and founder and co-editor of Contact Quarterly, Nancy Stark Smith passed away on May 1. A force as a dancer and an educator, she created a network of love for improvisation on a global scale. She died in her home in Florence, MA, of ovarian cancer. Messages from all over the world registered shock, sadness and poetic memories on social media.

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Photo by Kyle Froman
Update March 31, 2020: This article was first published in Dance Teacher, February 2009.

One of today's leading ballet masters, German-born Wilhelm Burmann exerts a magnetic attraction on the professional students he teaches five days a week at Steps on Broadway in New York City. “Taking Willie's class" has become a tradition for many top dancers of both New York–based companies and those simply passing through town.

Standing ramrod straight at age 69, Burmann embodies the authority and skills he acquired during an extensive global career. He was a corps member of the Pennsylvania Ballet and New York City Ballet, a Frankfurt Ballet principal dancer, Stuttgart and Geneva company principal and ballet master, and ballet master for The Washington Ballet and Le Ballet du Nord, among others. After he retired from dancing in 1977, Burmann took up guest teaching and is still in great demand at prestigious American and European companies and schools: This year he will teach in Florence and Milan, Italy.

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