The Art of Dance
21st Century Dance and Issues in the Performing Arts
Curated by Susan Davis Cushing
The Times’s chief dance critic reflects on how the varied dance forms of India have extended his idea of dance itself, what it can be and signify.
Profoundly well-written, this is Alastair Macaulay's journey through indian dance. Whatever your level of knowledge on the subject, It will make you want to dig much more deeply into the country's dance rituals.
"Spring is a time for change, for jumping up and heading out. As effective social action becomes increasingly more difficult in a society that is deeply divided, unjust and often toxic, it's urgent to question our direction and ethics. I am both excited and honored to be collaborating with Live Arts.” ~ Laurie Anderson
"Curated by world renowned visual artist, inventor and performer Laurie Anderson in conjunction with New York Live Arts’ Artistic Director Bill T. Jones, the 2015 Live Ideas festival combines the arts and social issues in synergistic ways. Featuring five days of musical performances, lectures, original dance works, panels, a late-night lounge and more, S K Y – Force and Wisdom in America Today will bring together some of the world’s most celebrated innovators and provocateurs to build an explosive meeting of contemporary art and ideas. Join us as we creatively examine the most important political, social, environmental and artistic issues facing society today." Starts Wednesday, April 15" Click through for ticket availability. Serious Creative Forces at work here
“I like the piece,” Mark Morris said of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” a few weeks back as he sat in his papaya-green office at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn. “But I’m tired of the mythology, that runic Madame Blavatsky kind of stuff. I’m not interested in a virgin dancing herself to death, you know?”
Wonderful article by Marina Harss, who pokes around in the lyrical mind of choreographer Mark Morris.
For centuries, ballet was all about presenting its glittering, performance-ready side. Then came Instagram.
Social Media, meet ballet. Ballet, social media. Oh, you know each other? Great read from Pia Catton at the WSJ.
'It's been nearly a century since the Bauhaus Ballet, more commonly known as the Triadic Ballet, was first developed by Oskar Schlemmer. In 1916, the notion of avant-garde was also in its infancy, thus the two came of age together. The ballet toured all during the 1920s, helping to spread the philosophy of the German art school — that is, extreme minimalism and functionality — throughout Europe and the world.'
Jin Young Lin performing as part of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times
"Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet was the envy of many in New York’s dance world: It had a wealthy patron who loved dance, provided good pay and benefits to its dancers, built the troupe a chic Chelsea home and almost single-handedly bore the brunt of the company’s costs.
"But the perils of relying on a single donor became clear this month when Cedar Lake’s founder and benefactor — Nancy Laurie, a Walmart heiress — had a change of heart and announced that she would close the company after performances in June at the Brooklyn Academy of Music."
(more after the click)
History repeats Itself: "With a wealthy patron, the company had been the envy of many in New York’s dance world. Then its benefactor had a change of heart."
If Neil deGrasse Tyson's version of "Cosmos" hasn't convinced you of the beautiful drama hidden within the scientific community, perhaps this dance opera -- filmed inside CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland -- will twist your arm in the right direction.
"Symmetry" - new new collision of science and art - assembles as a film. Click through to see the teaser on Vimeo.
The choreographer and Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, a professor of biology, collaborated on this work about climate change, set to premiere March 25, at the American Museum of Natural History.
It is oddly disquieting to think of the 20th-century's leggy punk-rock ballerina (then musician's Rhys Chatham's counterpart) as being an activist for climate change.
This article details that almost inevitable path towards environmental awareness so many of us are experiencing.
"For Dr. Ehrlich, collaborating with Ms. Armitage and the museum is a way to reach the public on a personal level. “One of the things that we’ve proven beyond a shadow of a doubt is that telling people what the science is doesn’t change their behavior,” Dr. Ehrlich said. “What we need is to change attitudes.”
Merce Cunningham performs in his 'Antic Meet,' 1958. (Photograph: Richard Rutledge / Merce Cunningham Trust)
"...In a rather Buddhist-like aside — and his other half, as we know, was a wholehearted practitioner of Zen — Cunningham adds:
Falling is one of the ways of moving.
The human body moves in limited ways, very few actually. There are certain physical things it can’t do that another animal might be able to do. But within the body’s limitations, I wanted to be able to accept all the possibilities.
In reflecting on his work as a teacher, Cunningham champions the idea that we find ourselves by getting productively lost:
My hope is that in working the way I do, I can place the dancer (and this is involved in my student work too), in a situation where he is dependent upon himself. He has to be what he is. He has as few guides or rules as need be given. He finds his way. It’s concerned with his discovery. I think a good teacher keeps out of the way. That’s why, in the classwork, although there are certain exercises which are repeated every day, they are not exact repetitions. They are varied slightly and radically. Each time the dancer has to look again. The resourcefulness and resiliency of a person are brought into play. Not just of a body, but of a whole person.
Later in the interview, Cunningham recounts his own upbringing and one can’t help but trace the origin of this philosophy to his own formative years — to the idea that, like a good teacher, a good parent “gets out of the way” and that sometimes, even when active encouragement isn’t present, the mere absence of discouragement is enough to let genius take its course:
My family was never against my wanting to be in the theater. My father was a lawyer, and my mother enjoyed traveling. But they had no particular awareness of the arts. They didn’t stop me from tap-dancing when I was an adolescent. My father said, “If you want to do it, fine. All you have to do is work at it.” There was no personal objection. It is curious perhaps, since my two brothers followed him, one being a lawyer, the other, a judge.
But perhaps his most poignant point goes to the heart of creativity — the notion that we are the combinatorial product of everything we ever read, saw, heard, and otherwise experienced, which William Faulkner elegantly articulated and which accounts for the perilous psychology of “cryptomnesia.” Beyond the influence of Cage and “his ideas about the possibilities of sound and time,” which Cunningham readily acknowledges, he speaks to the impossibility of tracing, or even registering, the myriad external ideas that leave an impression on us and shape our own:
An excerpt from a Maria Popova article about Merce. It begins,
"A good teacher keeps out of the way."
Nothing is impossible, it seems, not even levitation. Photographer and dancer Mickael Jou appears to levitate, magically hovering over the ground, in his pictures, which are taken while leaping through the air. Using a remote and tripod, Jou captures his photographs at the perfect moment mid-jump, making it appear as though he is actually suspended […]
Dancers have of course, been capturing themselves in this manner even before David Parson's legendary "Caught" http://youtu.be/UB1ZnvCuXzg . Both Parsons and Jou stand on their own artistic statements. And it's lovely to have an excuse to remember how "Caught" shifted our capacity to see movement. I've included a brief excerpt.
The early works of modern dance are in danger. The danger is neglect.
This is an opinion piece worthy of discussion in modern dance circles. #sundayreading
"Kylli Sparre first came under our radar in September 2013, when we noticed that the fine art photographer's stunningly surreal scenes were inspired by ballet. Trained as a ballet dancer, the photographer seamlessly incorporates dance into her photos through the graceful movement of her subjects.
#As she states, 'I spent years training to become a professional ballet dancer. When the studies were over, I realized it wasn't the path for me.' "
And yet every one reflects her dancer background.
Thanks to reality-augmenting editing techniques, Julie Gratz's dancers exist simultaneously in Brooklyn and Martha's Vineyard.
Click though to video (Corrected Version)
Bonus: The video features Sergei Polunin, also known as the "bad boy of ballet."
Interestingly, the first time this video of Polunin has been written about with grace and sensibility. Thanks Sarah Karlan!
Famed ballet dancer Anna Pavlova posing for a portrait in Belgium on September 16, 1927. (AP Photo)
"...we dug into the photographic archives of Getty and the Associated Press to find the most iconic snapshots of ballerinas and prima donnas over the ages.
.".. a brief but beautiful visual history of the art form, ranging from 1911 to 1999. From Vaslav Nijinsky to Benjamin Millepied, Anna Pavlov to Sylvie Guillem, the collection of vintage portraits gives a mostly black-and-white glimpse into over a century's worth of ballet greats. Much has changed in terms of representation and body image over the years, and while we can only hope to see more diversity, it certainly shows in these images."
Priceless set of photos straight out the the history books. Make sure you click through to catch them all. You'll laugh, you'll cry, your jaw will drop open
Sia: http://bit.ly/1sudphS Watch "Chandelier" from The GRAMMYs featuring Kristen Wiig and Maddie Ziegler.
Learn the dance from choreographer Ryan Heffington on NOWNESS: https://www.nowness.com/story/sia-chandelier-dance-tutorial-with-ryan-heffington
Gestural and sweet while slightly tormented, Kristin Wiig's presence in Sia's Grammy appearance melded dance and storytelling beautifully. Wiig brought dancers back to the essential core of movement itself, while causing some audiences to giggle. Decide for yourself how you feel about the performance.
Kudos to Rag & Bone for uniting Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lil Buck in a crazy-good "study of movement" film.
Two living legends captured on video.
Brooklyn Ballet turns to local hacker community to bring wearable technology to traditional ballet for ‘The Nutcracker’
In Case you Missed This: a belated cheer on #tututuesday to pop-and-lock and wearable technology playing with the classics :)
“The dancing part of this isn’t a miracle and it’s not a treatment, but I also see this amazing thing of the people who come into the building one way and leave another,” Mr. Morris says in the film. “And I don’t mean by a different door, I mean they’ve been transformed in a certain way.”
Mark Morris on the freedom of motion, Lilly Baldwin channeling Anne Morrow Lindberg, the joy of children's hand-clapping games: each preview took me outside the conventions of dance. The festival runs through Tuesday: some clips are embedded in Gia Korlas' delightful NYT preview.
If I had known how to bow then, I would have bowed. I would have fallen to my knees and kissed her feet. But instead I just stood there, meeting her gaze, shaking, knowing I had been given a tremendous teaching, a true gift....
A Must Read for Dancers! Sheer Inspiration!
Welcome to Planet Dance
From time to time people tell us that although they’ve watched dance performances and enjoyed them they wouldn’t mind having some kind of ‘user’s guide’ to contemporary dance. “Is it one style or many? How does it relate to other kinds of dance? Does it have a particular meaning?”
So we decided to commission dance writer and critic Sanjoy Roy and animator Magali Charrier to create a short series of films introducing the world of dance. We asked them to combine gentle humour and real ideas. To be light-hearted but not lightweight, if you like.
“Sanjoy and Magali have done a great job of introducing the world of dance with delightful illustrations, deceptively simple text, and deft humour.” Chris Thomson, Director of Creative Teaching and Learning at The Place.
Watch the first film ‘Introduction to Planet Dance’ HERE.
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Similar to other subjects, dance teachers have a variety of mobile apps to choose from. From ballroom style dance and ballet to teachers who focus on young students, the following 5 mobile apps for dance instructors will help both improve classroom focus and alleviate much of the work involved with teaching a dance class.
Apps to help teachers help beginning dancers.
"In each place, he’ll work with new teachers, all of them former dancers, each of whom will impart a few secrets. They are the tools he will use to create his own illusions. Dancer to dancer. This is how a dancer is made."
A beautiful, brief homage to the male dancer's challenges from Marina Harss. This is one for the ballet buffs.
Pixel is an innovative dance performance conceived by French performance artists Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, known collectively as the Adrien M / Claire B Company, in collaboration with hip-hop choregrapher Cie Kafig. The hour-long performance incorporates a host of digital projection