Dance/Opera

Sir George Martin Revisits the Beatles with Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Love’

Otherwise known as the Fifth Beatle, Sir George Martin produced every one of the Beatles’ albums except their last, Let it Be (1970). Having worked closely with the Fab Four for so many years, it should come as no surprise that the English pop-culture knight has amassed scores of outtakes, unreleased recordings, and master tapes from the Beatles’ sessions at Abbey Road Studios. Pairing rare highlights with ubiquitous Beatles tunes, Sir George and his son Giles Martin have put together a sonic odyssey that serves as the musical backdrop for Cirque du Soleil‘s mesmerizing tribute to the Beatles: Love. … Read More

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"Bodies in Urban Spaces" Takes Over the Financial District

Yesterday morning choreographer Willi Dorner and a crew of performers connected to the French Institute Alliance Française’s Crossing the Line Festival took to the streets of New York City’s Financial District to put on “Bodies in Urban Spaces.” According to ARTINFO, a crowd of about 100 onlookers gathered around dawn to chase performers across the urban landscape. Approximately 20 dancers dressed in bright neon colors proceeded to wedge themselves into different spaces — between awnings, in phone booths, up against columns — for 50 minutes of carefully-orchestrated, totally bizarre movement.

“Bodies” has been put on in many cities around the world, including Austin, Paris, and Philadelphia. If you’re in New York, you can catch an encore performance tonight at 5:46 pm, just in time for rush hour. Click through for a photo preview. … Read More

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Pic of the Day: Dancers in Motion

If you still have a pulse this late in a Friday afternoon, then Brooklyn-based photographer William George Wadman’s Motion series will make you want to get up and dance around your office. Thanks his use of long exposures, we get a hazy play-by-play of each twirl, jump, and dip, to absolutely stunning results. According to one of the featured dancers, “It was really difficult to move at the exact right speed to capture the ribbons of movement, but after a few hours, I finally figured it out. If you actually had been sitting in on the session, I would have looked like a crazy, dancing monkey trying to cross about six feet of space fluidly in about six seconds.” Luckily, it paid off. … Read More

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Video of the Day: Dancing at the Movies

Because nothing makes a Tuesday morning more exciting than a really well-done montage of cinematic dancing scenes from over 40 different movies. Especially when it’s set to Kenny Loggins. Enjoy! … Read More

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Watch Clips of The Guardian’s 10 Best Dancers in Action

Over the weekend The Guardian put out a list of the 10 best dancers of all time. Yes, it overlooks modern dance pioneers like Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Katherine Dunham, and Merce Cunningham; contemporary heroes like Mark Morris, Bill T. Jones, and Twyla Tharp, as well as names famous outside of the world of dance, like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, and Ginger Rogers. But it goes without saying that anytime you try to pull together something this epic, there are going to be glaring omissions. (That, and we can’t hate on any list that includes Josephine Baker.) So instead of nitpicking their choices, we’ve decided to pull some clips that demonstrate why each of their selections earned their spots. Enjoy! … Read More

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Video of the Day: Nude Ballerinas Perform on Crutches

Many thanks to Vulture for tipping us off to this insanely-beautiful, albeit probably NSFW, piece of choreography from Marie Chouinard, as performed by the kind of nude (hello, nipple caps!) Compagnie Marie Chouinard from Montreal. The YouTube commenters are calling it a rip-off of the 2006 horror film Silent Hill, but this dates back to 2005. Conceptually, it actually reminds us more of Lady Gaga’s VMA performance of “Paparazzi.” Or maybe David Cronenberg’s Crash. But you know, with less fake blood. … Read More

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All the Right Moves: Dance Movie Types and Tropes

Kitsch-appreciation and guilty pleasures aside, dance movie scripts are formulaic at best. But, really, we all know that the plot is just a vehicle, a secondary excuse, for the choreographed routines themselves. As our previous posts on essential movie dance sequences have illustrated, dance routines run the gamut of styles and, in most cases, aren’t just there for theatrical flair. They have a particular significance to story and scene, communicating essential information about the characters, plot, and narrative tension — especially given the genre’s established conventions in recent years. So whether you’re someone who’s foolishly dismissed the dance movie category, or someone who already mentally choreographs routines for your own life, here’s a guide to understanding the different types of dance sequences and what they each… Read More

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Exclusive: Bill T. Jones Talks Dance

Bill T. Jones is a mover and a shaker. He’s one of the most widely recognized dancers and choreographers working today, as well as the artistic director of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Performing and creating dance and theater works for more than 30 years, Jones is celebrated for his hybrid mix of movement, drama, and staging. An educator who has taught nearly as long as he’s performed, Jones is one of the nine mentors — along with Placido Domingo, Frank Gehry, Julian Schnabel, Liv Ullmann, and others — taking part in HBO’s Masterclass. We recently spoke to Jones about mentoring and his creative process, and he had lots to share. … Read More

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25 More Essential Dance Sequences in Film

We’re impressed by how passionate our readers are about cinematic dance sequences. After reviewing the list of 35 dance numbers that we came up with last week, you took to the comments and let us know about all of the great moments we didn’t include in our roundup. To remedy this, we’re back with 25 more great dance sequences in film, most of them generated by you (thanks, btw). Check out the list after the jump, and see if your favorite made it this time around. … Read More

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The 35 Best Dance Sequences in Film

Forget the so-so acting and formulaic plots — there is a long and illustrious history of great dance moments captured on film. Be it Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire tap dancing, John Travolta doing the disco, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray practicing lifts in the water, or Julia Stiles fusing ballet and hip hop, everyone has a favorite dance scene that they have tried to memorize and perform. After the jump, we have compiled our favorite dance scenes from film in chronological order. We’re willing to bet you won’t stay in your chair for long. … Read More

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