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Teachers, Are You Looking for Great Material to Enhance Your Online Curricula?

This Bitter Earth. Photo by Sam Wootton, courtesy of NYCB

Create a Watch Party! Here are four free offerings from New York City's most celebrated arts organizations to share with your students and their families.


New York City Ballet

Excerpt of Christopher Wheeldon's This Bitter Earth performed by Sara Mearns and Adrian Danchig-Waring.

"Words cannot fully capture the beauty or essence of this moving pas de deux, but for me it speaks to our times," says Wendy Whelan, who originated Mearns' role when the ballet premiered in 2012. "It honors where we have come from and the challenges we face moving forward into the unknown. The choreography inspires reflection from both its performers and audience and I hope, for you, conveys a peaceful sense of hope for the future."

American Ballet Theatre

Every week, Monday through Thursday, @ABTSchool Instagram and YouTube offers daily virtual classes taught by former ABT dancers, ABT JKO faculty and ABT teaching artists, who are all certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum.

#ABTots (Ages 2–4): Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am EST

Primary (Ages 5–8): Mondays and Wednesdays at 2 pm EST

Lincoln Center at Home

#Concerts for Kids: Wednesday, April 8 at 4 pm

Zeshan B brings an Indo-Pakistani feel to soul, blues, and more

For family audiences, #ConcertsForKids are new, short concerts recorded by the artists themselves. The performances will premiere at LincolnCenter.org, Lincoln Center's YouTube Page, and on Lincoln Center's Facebook Page and will be available after, on demand for families to enjoy whenever is convenient.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Full-length videos of the company's repertory.

April 2–5: Ailey II in Yannick Lebrun's Saa Magni and Bradley Shelver's Where There Are Tongues

April 9–12: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Judith Jamison's Divining

Technique
Nan Melville, courtesy Genn

Not so long ago, it seemed that ballet dancers were always encouraged to pull up away from the floor. Ideas evolved, and more recently it has become common to hear teachers saying "Push down to go up," and variations on that concept.

Charla Genn, a New York City–based coach and dance rehabilitation specialist who teaches company class for Dance Theatre of Harlem, American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Hispánico, says that this causes its own problems.

"Often when we tell dancers to go down, they physically push down, or think they have to plié more," she says. These are misconceptions that keep dancers from, among other things, jumping to their full potential.

To help dancers learn to efficiently use what she calls "Mother Marley," Genn has developed these clever techniques and teaching tools.

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Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

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Teachers Trending

Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

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