Inside FKA twigs’ Deeply Erotic ‘Congregata’ Shows

Halfway through the first of three sold-out shows that constitute the American debut of FKA twigs’ “Congregata” stage show last night (May 17), a group of dancers from New York City’s long-standing ballroom drag and voguing scene took over the stage at Sunset Park’s Brooklyn Hangar. Naturally this burst of energy kicked off with a bit of shade: “Did twigs say she was coming to New York?” their ringleader asked, incredulously. Adorned in varying states of glittering glamour ranging from full drag to low-cut onesies and corsets, these male dancers served up impressive aerial spins and drops, battles driven by hand performance, and plenty of catwalk realness. It was a respite from the show’s stunning high-wire eroticism, and yet the voguing break served to underline the most intoxicating element of twigs’ music: a sense of longing. The crowd still wanted to go deeper with twigs. … Read More

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Why Protesters Are Heckling an Opera About Terrorism — And Why They’re Wrong

It’s not often these days that an opera finds itself in the middle of a major imbroglio lasting several news cycles — although back in the form’s heyday people often rioted or jeered at controversial productions. But we’ve had a little taste of opera’s heated history this week, since John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer opened at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The opera, which is playing through November, has drawn protesters, artists, politicians, and Supreme Court justices — not to mention the abstract concepts of political art and free expression — into a major secondary drama. Is it anti-Semitic or fair? Should it be censored or allowed to go on? … Read More

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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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