tough topics

Dance/USA broadens its scope to a more inclusive future

By on July 13, 2016

AUSTIN – “How do we facilitate a more robust conversation about art?” @dusaorg “As art practitioners, when do we need a mirror and when do we need action?” @wocaonline “How can we expand the notion of aesthetics to be more inclusive?” @dusaorg The 2016 Annual Conference for Dance/USA, a national service organization for American dance companies, convened in […]

That’s (not just) Entertainment: Dance as a tool for cultural dialogue and social change

By on July 18, 2014

In 2013, Chicago-based Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) became the first American dance company to appear in the 15th annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience in Durban, South Africa. JOMBA!’s founder Lliane Loots first connected with Deeply Rooted through the tireless work of Lorna Johnson, a DRDT board member and consultant on international exchange programs. Last year’s appearance, sponsored […]

Choreographers team together for “Fostering Dreams through Dance”

By on March 16, 2014

Producer Jesse Welch and professional dancer Melanie Buttarazzi teamed together recently with a vision to enrich the lives of foster youth through dance. Welch and Buttarazzi recruited choreographers Sean Cheeseman, Stacy Walker, Gustavo Vargas, and Robert Chino Lopez, who have worked with world renowned entertainment giants the likes of J Lo and Michael Jackson, as well […]

Chicago Sinfonietta’s ’13-14 Season Opener (review)

By on September 16, 2013

Can classical music and hip hop dance truly be friends? I don’t know… …but the Chicago Sinfonietta had the guts to try it in its opening performance for the 2013-14 season at Symphony Center Saturday night. The first half of the evening was a fascinating salad of Swan Lake, Hip Hop Dance, symphonic Americana, and […]

Cristina Tadeo and Nicholas Davio’s “Bread & Butter”: A Complex Issue in Analog Form (preview)

By on August 14, 2013

Young choreographer and recent Columbia College grad Cristina Tadeo set out to make a duet this summer with no other objective than paying her dancers.  Ironically, as the work started to come together it became more and more about the thing she set out to do. I watched the fifteen minute piece last night – […]

Rockford Dance Company: Thoughtful, Talented Dancers Who Are Really Far Away

By on April 14, 2013

Once a thriving small city in the middle of all that corn, Rockford, IL has been hit hard with an economic downturn that has been infamously compared to Detroit and Flint, MI. Add to this a total lack of public transportation from the Chicago metro area, and Rockford is a place that most Chicagoans only […]

How I am Celebrating Eating Disorders Awareness Week

By on February 25, 2013

February is Eating Disorders Awareness Month, and there has been quite a bit floating around the blogosphere with respect to this poignant topic in the dance community. It’s just too bad that we are still faced with a serious problem when it comes to dancers and eating disorders, but the fact that the community is now […]

Deirdre Kelly Gives the Dirt on Ballerinas

By on January 13, 2013

Last weekend I saw Les Miserables in the movie theater, and it was ironically appropriate given the book I was reading at the time: Ballerina by Deirdre Kelly.  Les Mis theatrically reveals the squalor that was the French Revolution, a period in which ballet was undergoing a great deal of development.  Going to the ballet, at that […]

Superhumans (or not)

By on May 24, 2011

  You may not know this, but I'm a HUGE cycling fan.  So the news of Lance Armstrong's alleged use of performance enhancing drugs on 60 minutes last Sunday was a disappointment, if not a shock, and a horrible reminder that these figures that we put on pedestals have not always achieved superhuman feats of athleticism through […]

Nobody puts baby in a corner… The Politics of Pregnancy

By on January 5, 2011

  Deep in preparations for her Cecchetti Grade II teacher's exam, my friend and colleague Enid Smith got news that she wasn't allowed to take the exam.  The reason? She's pregnant with her second child.   We in the scientific community are pretty solid on the idea that dancing, or exercise in general is safe […]

Antiquity and idiocy:

By on December 10, 2010

I'm certainly not the first blogger to write about the recent scandal surrounding Alastair Macaulay's review of NYCB's Nutcracker, and the subsequent follow-up.  In the review, Jennifer Ringer and her dashing cavalier, Jared Angle, are acused of having "eaten one sugar plum too many; and Jared Angle, as the Cavalier, seems to have been sampling half the Sweet […]