Dance/Opera

All the Right Moves: Dance Movie Types and Tropes

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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

Exclusive: Bill T. Jones Talks Dance

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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.
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25 More Essential Dance Sequences in Film

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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.
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The 35 Best Dance Sequences in Film

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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.
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Dancing About Architecture, and Other Art Mashups in Chelsea

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One way to describe the difference between art and architecture is that architecture is an extension of design, which exists to solve a problem. Art, on the other hand, is created out of the ether, a realization of an individual’s imagination. These loose definitions take on new life in the current exhibition at Chelsea’s Hendershot Gallery: combining multimedia artwork (dance, sculpture, photography, painting, and video) as a response to the built environment, “Architecturally…” is a collection of synapses firing between multiple artistic disciplines. We’ve got details on the closing ceremony this weekend, plus images of a massive painted installation on the roof of the… Read More

Video of the Day: Square Dancing Flash Mob-Style

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Thanks to Oprah’s “Kickoff Party Dance” the Flashmob phenomenon has arrived in North Dakota. The video after the jump features the F-M Square Dancers from Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota performing to the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feelin’.”

There are a lot of good moves here including but not limited to: the down clap; recycle & row; headphones; pray; slo-mo run. What’s your favorite?
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Video of the Day: Cedar Lake Premieres New Epic Dance Work

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Dance, like other performing arts, is tragically hit or miss. This beautiful clip from Cedar Lake’s epic production of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s new full-length work Orbo Novo is the former. We saw a special press preview of the piece earlier this year, and it’s an awesome exploration of the power of the brain, placing the audience inside a woman’s mind as she’s having a stroke. Dancers squeeze their bodies through an intricately designed cube and writhe together in perfect harmony and dissonance to beautiful music marked with pointedly profound… Read More

How a Book Club Reading Steinbeck Begat a Dance

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Winifred Haun has been making dances in Chicago for twenty years. She started while a member of the Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater, and has had her own company, Winifred Haun & Dancers, since 1991. Several Chicago companies have presented her choreography over the years, including the Chicago Ballet. From 1994 to 2001, she was the force behind Chicago NEXT Dance Festival, recognized as a top producer of new and emerging choreographers in the Chicago area. She is currently a modern dance teacher with the Hubbard Street dance… Read More

Exclusive Q&A: Dancer/Choreographer Nora Chipaumire

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Zimbabwe-born dancer and choreographer Nora Chipaumire has joined forces with with exiled Chimurenga poet/musician Thomas Mapfumo and his band, The Blacks Unlimited to create a new multimedia performance that she explains is about “about loss, grief, displacement, trauma and a confrontation with those African brands that we have become complicit in selling, consuming and perpetuating.” lions will roar, swans will fly, angels will wrestle heaven, rains will break: gukurahundi premiered last night at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and will tour the United States through 2010.
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