*** Today, Friday, May 17, is 2013 CCDC Photo Day! ***
Swan Lake Rehearsal Schedule
(subject to change)
Friday, May 17th
7:30-8:30 Ballet 5/6 & Siegfried
Saturday, May 18th
2:30-3:30 Pas De Trois
3:00-4:30 Ballet 4 Town people..........................3:30-4:30 Queen & Siegfried
4:00-4:30 Ballet 5/6
8-9 Big Swans
Sunday, May 19th
2:30-4:30 Odette & Siegfried
Monday, May 20th
7:00-9:00 Swans, Odette, Siegfried
Saturday, May 25
3:00-5:00 Ballet 4 & Queen
3:00-6:00 Act 1 all level 5/6 (Siegfried, Pas De Trois, 5/6 Siegfried Friends)
6:00-8:30 Act II (Swans, Odette, Siegfried, Rothbart)
May 28th-June 1st
2013 CCDC Summer Intensive Faculty
CCDC 2013 Summer Intensive Ballet/Character/Repertory Instructor Peter Pawlyshyn has recently been the School Director at Kansas City Ballet. Before joining Kansas City Ballet School, Peter served for six years as associate artistic director/ballet master of Eugene Ballet, in Eugene, Oregon.
Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, Mr. Pawlyshyn graduated from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and later joined the Company. His teachers included Julia Arkos and David Moroni. Mr. Pawlyshyn also holds a Graduate Certificate from the Pavlo Virsky Character Academy in Kiev, Ukraine.
In his career, he has danced with Louisville Ballet and Nevada Dance Theater, also serving as Assistant Ballet Master. He has appeared as Principal Guest Artist with Boston Ballet and was invited to join the staff of the Boston Ballet School. He spent seven very successful years at the school as a teacher and coach.
He has been a guest teacher at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, International Ballet Competitions in Jackson, Mississippi, Hartford Ballet, Joffrey Ballet II, Atlanta Ballet, Harvard University, University of Iowa, Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater, the Cecchetti Council of America, Cecchetti Society of Canada, Dance Masters of America and the Royal Academy of Dance. Mr. Pawlyshyn has coached and restaged numerous ballets. He has choreographed such ballets as Cinderella, La Boutique Fantasque, Natalia (an original full length ballet) and Tango.
Former professional ballet dancer, Kimberly Nygren Cox is now a certified Pilates, Zumba and yoga instructor in Iowa City. Her dancing career of 14 years was spent primarily with the Louisville Ballet Company where she was a soloist and performed a wide variety of classical and contemporary roles. While in Kentucky, Kim taught regularly for the Louisville Ballet School and Allegro Ballet Theater, and she has been a guest instructor for many other organizations, including Capital City Dance Center. She has become an established choreographer and has also been active in stage management and production. In 2010, Kim was commissioned to create a new work for the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble that was later adjudicated and chosen to be presented as part of the SERBA (South East Regional Ballet Association) festival in Montgomery, Alabama. She was also awarded the 2011 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship for Choreography by the Kentucky Arts Council. Kim and her husband, Joseph Cox, have two young children who help keep her on her toes, even though it's been years since she danced en pointe!
2013 CCDC Summer Intensive Modern/Improv Instructor Sean Laughead is currently a junior at the University of Iowa attaining a BFA with Honors in Dance and a certificate in Performing Arts Entrepreneurship.
Previously, he danced for a season with Ballet Minnesota under the artistic direction of Andrew Rist. There, he performed the roles of the Nutcracker Prince in "The Classic Nutcracker" and the Bluebird in "The Sleeping Beauty," as well danced in the world premieres of Andrew Rist's "Mozart's 40th Symphony" and "George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue." With Ballet Minnesota, Sean also worked with Kari Jensen Milich's Moving Arts Ensemble in "A Single Thought, Amplified."
As a dance major at the University of Iowa, Sean has enjoyed a number of performance opportunities with guest choreographer Jennifer Muller and faculty Alan Sener, Jennifer Kayle, Deanna Carter, Eloy Barragan and Armando Duarte. He has also worked with graduate students Christopher Masters, Melinda Myers, Michael Medcalf, Zoe Bennett, Jeremy Blair and Joseph Cox. Sean is a member of Dancers in Company, the University's traveling dance troupe and writes for the Dance Department's Halsey Herald.
Prior to college, Sean Laughead trained at Capital City Dance Center in Des Moines, Iowa with Melissa and Emery Uyehara. There, he danced the roles of James Ruben in "La Sylphide," Basilio in "Don Quixote," Solor in "La Bayadere," Prince Siegfried in "Swan Lake," the Peasant Pas de Deux in "Giselle," and the Bluebird in "The Sleeping Beauty." Sean spent summers across the nation on scholarship training at various intensive courses including: School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School and Milwaukee Ballet School.
Contemporary/Lyrical/Jazz Instructor Delaney Rhoads is from Des Moines, Iowa and has been dancing for 15 years. Growing up, she trained and danced competitively at her family's dance studio. She has trained in jazz, tap, ballet, modern, contemporary, hip hop and tumbling. Ms Rhoads is currently enrolled in the Dance Theater Conservatory Program at American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, California. At AMDA, she trains in several dance styles, acting and voice. Delaney has choreographed for her home studio's competition team and Iowa C.A.T.S All Stars. She also choreographed for Roosevelt High School's competitive dance team. Following her training at AMDA, Delaney plans to sign with a dance agency and continue her journey of becoming a professional entertainer and artist. Delaney is the proud sister of CCDC Instructor Roni McCann and plans to bring the freshest west coast choreography to the 2013 CCDC Summer Intensive.
05.17.2013: Rx For Exercise
Take two plie's and call me in the morning. Another argument for CCDC Adult Ballet or Pilates classes:
(Capital City News) — Exercise has been shown to be an effective treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD), both when used alone and in combination with other treatments. There's now sufficient research data to provide specific guidance on how to prescribe exercise for depressed patients, according to a report in the May Journal of Psychiatric Practice.
"Despite the substantial evidence supporting the use of exercise in the treatment of MDD, previous studies have not provided a clear indication of the proper dose of exercise needed to elicit an antidepressant effect," write Chad Rethorst, PhD, and Madhukar Trivedi, MD, of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. To fill this gap, the authors reviewed available data from randomized controlled trials, with the goal of developing specific and detailed recommendations for clinicians on how to prescribe exercise for their patients with MDD.
Randomized trials have shown that exercise is effective in reducing depressive symptoms in patients with MDD, on its own and in conjunction with other treatments, such as antidepressant medication and/or psychotherapy. Exercise may help to meet the need for cost-effective and accessible alternative therapies for depressive disorders—particularly for the substantial number of patients who don’t recover with currently available treatments.
Based on the available data, aerobic exercise is the preferred form of exercise for patients with MDD—although there is also support for resistance training, Drs Rethorst and Trivedi note. In terms of session frequency and duration, they recommend that patients participate in three to five exercise sessions per week, for 45 to 60 minutes per session.
In terms of intensity, for aerobic exercise, they recommend achieving a heart rate that is 50 to 85 percent of the individual’s maximum heart rate (HRmax). For resistance training, they recommend a variety of upper and lower body exercises?three sets of eight repetitions at 80 percent of 1-repetition maximum (RM—that is, 80 percent of the maximum weight that the person can lift one time).
Data suggest that patients may experience improvement in depressive symptoms as little as four weeks after starting exercise. However, Drs Rethorst and Trivedi emphasize that the exercise program should be continued for at least ten to twelve weeks to achieve the greatest antidepressant effect.
Some people have questioned whether patients with MDD will be willing to participate in an exercise program. But Drs Rethorst and Trivedi note that, in the studies they reviewed, only about fifteen percent of patients dropped out of exercise programs—comparable to dropout rates in studies of medications and psychotherapy.
The authors discuss strategies that may help improve adherence to exercise programs, such as consulting patients about their preferred types of exercise and providing individualized educational materials and feedback. They also provide some practical tips for clinicians on how to estimate exercise intensity using readily available information.
Even if the depressed patient can't reach the target intensity and frequency levels, exercise can still be helpful. "Taken as a whole, these findings suggest that exercise doses below the current recommendations may still be beneficial for patients with MDD," Drs Rethorst and Trivedi add. "Therefore, clinicians should encourage patients to engage in at least some exercise, even if they do not exercise enough to meet current public health recommendations.”
05.16.2013: Small (Dance) World After All
Got way too much money and way too much time on your hands? Looking for something dance-related to do this fall in southern Asia? Just got this unsolicited invitation in the emailbag: (Contact them at your own risk!o)
To, Folk Dance Artist / Group,
International Folk dance Festival "SAAC FOLK" 2013, Gandhinagar, INDIA during 24th to 28th October 2013.
Shyama Academy of Arts and Culture is nonprofit Organisation (NGO) situated in Ahmedabad city, Gujarat State, India, Which aim is connection people through festivals of folk dance, Arts and Culture. Establishing culture cooperation, presentation, tradition between different cultures and nations from all over the world.
Mission of the festivals is to celebrate special events to bring together different cultures from all over the world through Music, dance, Arts, Culture and traditional national costumes of the nations.
The purpose of the festival is to put communication and cooperation between folk dance group and presentation of their own national culture, exchange experience and information’s getting new friendships, get to know new places.
With pleasure we Invite you to participate on International Folk dance Festival "SAAC FOLK" 2013, Gandhinagar, INDIA during 24th to 28th October 2013.
The intention of our Invitation is to invite you to celebrate together the festival and to present the culture tradition of different countries and to provide an opportunity for the members of groups to get together, to establish friendships and culture presentation through dance and music.
International folk dance festival Participante Information : http://shyamaacademy.org/festivalindia.html
International folk dance workshop and Navratri Festival during 4th October to 18th October, 2013
Participant information : http://shyamaacademy.org/international.html
Free Invitation Pass to visit the Festival for International Artist.
Shyama Academy Of Arts & Culture
C/o, Sun International
G-50, Navjeevan Mill compound,
Gujarat State, INDIA.
E-mail Us :
For Artist and Group Information:
For festival Information:
For Workshop Information:
For Invitation Letter and visa Information:
05.15.2013: Degrees of Dance
Hey, Class of 2013 and younger! Graduating from high school doesn't mean you need to hang up the dancing shoes. This resource might help you find a good post-secondary fit:
The Annual Dance Magazine College Guide for 2012-2013
Dance Magazine College Guide brings a dancer's perspective to college planning.
Part guidance counselor, part search engine, the annual College Guide delivers it
all in one convenient source. Put it to work for you today!
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05.14.2013: Swan Synopsis
The 2013 CCDC Spring Showcase and Recital "Swan Lake...and More!" is just over two weeks away! To help you appreciate the plot developments in the ballet excerpts, here's a reprint from the last time we presented Swan Lake from the blog archives:
4.16.2007: The Legend of Swan Lake
Once upon a time, in a land far, far from farfegnugen (long before the automobile was even invented, in fact), there lived a handsome young prince. (And, no, that is not redundant. For every William, there is a Chuck after all!) And, all the young girls in the kingdom were all atwitter one fine day. Preparations were getting underway for Prince Siegfried's birthday celebration and the rumor was, now that he had come of age, the Queen would command him to take a bride! All the eligible young women in the country were hoping against hope that it would be them. So, they were busy helping each other frantically primp up for the Prince's arrival.
Suddenly, the royal trumpets sound the fanfare for the uncommon man. Siegfried is arriving earlier than expected! Bedlam breaks loose as last-minute preparations and prettifying hurriedly take place!
The Prince bursts on the scene and greets the townsfolk. A few tweak protocol and break ranks to introduce themselves to Siegfried. And, the big dance of the pleasant peasants pleases the Prince. But, before another step can be taken, another fanfare signals the arrival of the Queen and her young courtiers.
The Queen congratulates her son on coming of age. She commands a royal present to be revealed. It is a state of the art crossbow! But, as soon as it is uncovered, she waves it away. Enough time for hunting and weapons of war later. Instead, it's time for the big mother-to-son, Queen-to-Crown Prince heart-to-heart. She tells him now that he is old enough, it is time to pick a bride and produce a Royal Heir to the throne. The Queen dismisses his protests that he has not met anyone that he truly loves. She says true love is not always for heads of state. And, if he doesn't choose a proper bride, she will arrange a marriage for him. Then, she waves to the crowd and disappears inside the castle.
But, before the Prince can fully express his disappointment, the young courtiers begin to dance. And, then, two bold peasant girls convince him it is time to dance with them. And, because dancing is a joy to him, he can't dwell on maternal commands or demands while he is so engaged. But, one can't dance forever and reality intrudes when the trio is finished.
And, even in the middle of a crowded courtyard and frolicking festivities, the Prince feels isolated and alone. He cannot refuse the direct order of the Queen Mother, but, he only wishes to find his soul-mate, someone he can love with all his heart who will love him back as much. Why must life be so difficult? Siegfried is feeling the pressure of his situation, when two of the young courtiers return with his mother's gift: the crossbow!
But, even the state-of-the-art weaponry can distract him from his frustration only so long. He sets it aside and imagines meeting and dancing with a special someone. When he's done, the melancholy Prince retrieves his crossbow. That's when something high in the sky catches his eye. A flock of majestic swans, silhouetted above the sunset, is circling the courtyard. He watches the beautiful birds begin to land in a distant part of the forest that people seldom visit. There was a lake there rumored to be of a mother's tears. Siegfried would go there and hunt game to take his mind off his troubles.
Thus ends Act One. Act Two, is the meeting and courtship of Odette, the Queen of the Swans and Crown Prince Siegfried.
The Prince arrives in a deep and hidden part of the eternal forest. In the distance is a lake where the swans have landed. He is aiming at one of them when, suddenly, it morphs into a human being, a lovely young woman adorned with white feathers. What strange magick be this! He watches in wonder as all the swans transform into young women. Finally, the most beautiful of all the swans arrives. Surely it must be the Queen! Yes, it is Princess Odette and she turns into the most lovely of all the young lasses. Siegfried's heart melts. His prayers are answered, he is lost in love. He resolves to meet her.
But, that first meeting doesn't go well, Odette is frightened and tries to flee the handsome stranger. But, even as she tries to elude the Prince's grasp, she realizes, too, that her heart is also lost. Come with me, says the Prince. I cannot, says Odette. I am under a spell. That lake you see is made up of my mother's tears. The vile necromancer Rothbarta has condemned me to fly as a swan by day...and dance as a young girl all night. The only way the spell can be broken is by a true love that never strays. But, the Prince is nothing but persistent. And, finally, Odette realizes her heart overrules her head and she timidly approaches as he goes to bent knee.
But, just then, the dread sorceress Rothbarta bursts on the scene disguised as a gigantic owl. (Editor's note: Usually played by a man in most professional productions. Title IX strikes again!o) She is enraged! She had been planning to marry her own daughter, Odile, to the Crown Prince and Odette was ruining the best laid plans of sorceresses and necro-monsters. Rothbarta chases the Prince off in flurry of fury! She laughs mightily to herself once he's gone. Absolute power has driven her absolutely insane. Rothbarta summons the flock of swans to dance for her pleasure, finally revealed as young maidens all, transformed and enslaved by dread magick, most fowl.
The swans dance and dance and dance some more. But, unbeknownst to the Sorceress, the Prince returns to woo his troth to Odette. The act ends in a heartbreaking, yet, love affirming pas de deux. The final scene is a tableaux of tenderness and a tribute to love as the curtain falls.
Thus ends Act Two. The final one or two acts not performed tonight, tell the tale of the Sorceresses' Revenge. Rothbarta transforms her daughter into the Black Swan Queen, Odile. A duplicate in every detail of the White Swan Queen, Odette. (Editor's note: Most often, in modern professional productions, one ballerina portrays the duality. It is considered a pivotal, make-or-break role in the development of an aspiring young dancer. Just as Swan Lake is considered le blanc du blanc, la creme de la creme, the purest test of all the white ballets.) The famous 32 fouette' turns are performed in the ballroom scene as Odile bedazzles the Prince into swearing his love to her. That seals Odette's fate and the spell of the Swan Queen can never be broken. In most versions, she throws herself into the Lake of her mother's tears. And, the Prince, heartbroken at being tricked into betraying his one true love, soon follows. But, many modern versions dispense with the tradition of tragedy and show the lovers triumph instead. Whichever future full-length version you will hopefully watch and/or perform, know that Le Lac du Cygnes has a legacy that reaches back centuries, spans the continents and has survived the test of time, one dancer and audience member at a time.
05.13.2013: My Guilty Pleasure
Play-by-play of the latest DWT***:
Road to the semi-finals! Down to the final half-dozen! The deadwood is being trimmed. Two routines this week! Trio round is this week's twist.
Team Zendovsky: Val's asking for more details and more competitiveness in this foxtrot. Her smile is magickal. Makes me happy!. She's lovely in a shimmering floral print! Floats like a dream! Great frame and head line! She needs to forget this acting thing and concentrate on professional dancing! What great spirit! She deserves a ten! "You took my breath away!" Real judges: 9, 10, 9! "A TEN from LEN!"
Team Shawnatroyd: Tango. The Bachelor says he enjoys dancing and feels himself getting better everyday. That's the key right there. She's challenging him to bring more aggression...and PASSION! He knows he's dancing on borrowed time! Theme of a jilted lover to a Katy Perry song. He's improved. Stronger, Sharper, but is it too little too late? Frame is better but, his core is still loose. I'll give him an eight. "Took a step backwards." "Little bit ugly!" Sean does clean up well in that classic blonde Bond tuxedo! (Love these little dancing interludes they bump back into action with! The more dancing the better as far as I'm concerned!) Real judges: 7, 7, 7
Team Jakobina: Waltz. Karina coaching more finesse and technique to complement his natural charisma. Dang! He's got natural line. His sway needs some work. He's a natural dramatic dancer. Frame is better on the outside, but, not strong enough in the middle. He rips his shirt open to Carrie Ann's delight! Whoo! He picks Karina off the floor with no help! I'll give him a eight or nine! "Nice surprise!" "Waltz looks easy, but, is VERY, VERY hard!" "If momma likes it, LEN likes it!" Real judges: 9, 9, 9 Oooh, Momma not satisfied! And, she lets America know about it!
Team Kimgo: Survived the bottom two! Need to step it up in the foxtrot! The physical demands are proving to be a hurdle for the soap star. But, the bright lights bring out the performer in him! He starts with great elan and flair. The lights, the music, the costume, the crowd pushing him to a very good performance. Good heel leads. great expression. I give him an eight! "By far, your best posture!" "Looked like Gene Kelly!" Real judges: 8, 8, 8
Team Pickough: Viennese Waltz. Revealing her emotions. Dancing for her gramma! Honest emotion in her dancing. Nice arabesque line. smooth back and forth. Dancing in clouds of smoke. Some little, little moments of indecision. Are her emotions getting the best of her? Great metaphorical end as Kelly collapses to the floor! Technique gets a nine from me. Emotions get an eleven! "You went beyond the steps today!" Real Judges: 9, 9, 10
Team Alyss: Argentine Tango! Becoming the seductress. Play the harlot! Difficult for the young gymnast. But, she starts off dancing older than her eighteen years. Her flixibility and strength are a strong asset in the performance. Okay...a little lacking in the passion department! I give her an eight. "Mood and atmosphere!" "I had no idea you could be so good at being so...bad!" "Sensational!" Real judges: 9, 10, 10! Highest scores of the night!
Zendaya plus Gleb: Salsa with Princess Zendaya. Gleb says he feels like the third wheel in rehearsal. The actress starts off . She's in flat sneakers to keep her from towering over the shorter boys. Great energy! Great hips and shoulder shimmies! Her hiphop attack helps in her presentation. Her dancing makes me happy to watch! I'll give her a nine or ten! "You are the Queen of the Salsa!" Real judges: 10, 10, 10! First perfect thirty of the season goes to the Disney star!
Sean plus Sharna: Jazz trio:Uh oh...the white boy approach to funk attack reappears! He's endearing in a goofy, flatfooted way. His isolations and body awareness needs work. I give him a seven in this one. "Attack came in...and style went out!" (Whitney featured in the bump back) Real judges: 7, 7, 7 Probably time to say goodbye to the Bachelor.
Jaoby plus Cheryl: Paso Doble! Strong natural arrogance! Feels like a tennis ball bouncing between the two girls in rehearsal. His competitiveness will take him far in this competition. Good strong walks. He COMMANDs the stage. Big and tall enough to dance with the far girl in a double girl hold. AND, he throws the girls around in the lifts. Tosses the cape at the feet of Cheryl who deftly manages to kick it aside. Runs for a jump and turns it into a slide! I give him a nine..or ten! Real judges: "You've become a contender tonight!" "It was like a Tarantino film!" 8, 9, 8 Crowd not happy!
Ingo adds Lindsey: Ingo plays the geek to the two hot blondes! He plays the role well with engaging charm. But, not the best jive technique. Very charming! I'll give him an eight! "Energy was great! Needs to be sharper!" Channeling his inner Andy Dick! Real judges: 8, 8, 8
Kelly adds Tristan: Paso Doble. "Dragging a lion out of a kitten!" Contines where the last dance left off! What a concept! Welcome to my world says Tristan, the UNDERWORLD! Audience leaps to its feet. SOO SHARP. Boyz are perfect and Kelly is not backing down! Strong attack. Watch those shoulders! The music is powerful and so are the dancing and the steps! She and the two gets Tenz! "That was Masterpiece Theater!" "OH MY GOD! That took my breath away!". Real judges: 10, 7, 10! Odd scoring! Uproar in the ballroom! Derek takes risks...gets some rewards!
Ally adds Henry: Jive. Counting impaired! Good! Sharp She's counting the music without showing us she's counting! She just needs to stop singing! She also needs to focus outward more and not down! Good performer for a gymnast! I give her a nine! "Consistent!" Real judges: 9, 9, 9
Not necessarily the bottom two. Sean and Jacoby taking the walk of shame. The script is being played out for all the drama they can squeeze out of it. But, it's a far gone conclusion: Cya Sean! Valiant attempt. A likable guy...but, the dancing didn't serve him in the end. Out of his comfort zone! Good for him stepping up to the challenge! "Humble and wonderful guy!" Now, Ingo looks to be living on borrowed time as we head into the end game! (And, don't forget the premiere of SYTYCD this week!o)
05.12.2013: Two-Wheel Tour
Biking event this Mother's Day:
2013 Bike Month “Bike to Art” Tour Announced
Tour Highlights DsM Architecture and Public Art
Capital City – Join the Architectural Foundation and the DsM Bicycle Collective for an afternoon of architecture and art on the third annual “Bike to Art” tour of downtown. The bicycle tour will take place on Sunday, May 12, 2013.
The two-hour guided ride provides an opportunity for local residents and visitors to appreciate the rich architectural heritage and public art of Iowa's capitol city. This year’s tour route will include many of downtown’s major attractions: Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Court Avenue Entertainment District, Principal Riverwalk, and the State Capitol Building and Grounds. Participants will learn about architectural detail, style, and elements, along with intriguing factoids and the historical significance of the buildings and works of art that shape the downtown skyline.
The tour will begin at the Lucas State Office Building (312 E. 12th Street) just east of the steps of the WWII Monument at 2:00 PM. The route is approximately 6.5 miles of easy peddling. A donation of $10.00 per person or $20.00 per family is recommended. The rain date is Sunday, June 2, 2013.
The “Bike to Art” tour is part of a series of events being held in May to honor Bike Month. “This is one of our favorite events to offer, because it allows participants to see the downtown area in a completely different way,” explained Tim Heilkema, event organizer. “The architecture and artwork come alive when you are riding a bike and really taking it all in.”
The Architectural Foundation is a charitable organization established in 1989 to promote awareness and appreciation of architecture and design. The Foundation pursues its mission through youth education programs, community design charrettes, architectural walking tours, and an annual lecture series.
The DsM Bicycle Collective is a nonprofit organization that promotes bicycling as a means of active transportation, wellness, and recreation. The Bike to Art event is part of the Passport game.
05.10.2013: Performance Posting
Dance haps this weekend at Party Hearty U:
Dance department presents undergrad concerts May 9-11
The University of Iowa Department of Dance will present an undergraduate dance concert at 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11 in Space Place Theater of North Hall.
The performance will feature:
Anticipatory Postural Adjustments, choreographed by Claire J. Mueller and featuring dancers Erin Corcoran, Irina Gass, Marisha Johnson, and Melissa Krienke.
(w)Hole. Being., choreographed by Elizabeth Dickson and featuring dancers Marie Brown and Ethan Rome.
“Excuse me, I have Complaints”, a duet, choreographed and performed by Topeka Ellis.
The First Thaw, choreographed by Emma Carson and featuring dancers Jingqiu Guan, Marie Mortensen, Michelle Sullivan, Katie Rosenberger, and Josh Raheim.
discrepancies of self, choreographed by Marisha Johnson and featuring dancers Madeline Curry, Ashley Michalek, and Arianna Russ.
Look at Her, choreographed by Madeline Curry and featuring dancers Danielle Beeman, Erin Corcoran, Kristen Vasilakos, and Chase Willman.
Quantum Poetics, choreographed by Lauren Linder and featuring dancers Carolyn Kalscheur and Arianna Russ.
Femme Fatale, choreographed by Makinze Meiners and featuring dancers Malinda Baty, Molly Lamb, Alee Ronchetto, Kristen Vasilakos, Chase A. Willman, and Lindsey Wong.
TBA, choreographed by Ashley Michalek and featuring dancers Elizabeth Dickson, Topeka Ellis, Marisha Johnson, Carolyn Kalscheur, Claire Mueller, Arianna Russ, Anne Shalo, and Hope Spear.
Admission is $12 ($6 for senior citizens and youth, free to UI students with a valid UI ID); tickets are available in advance through the Hancher Box Office at 319-335-1160, 800-426-2437, or www.hancher.uiowa.edu/tickets.
05.09.2013: Crowd Control
Most young dancers start off their real performing career by being a "face in the crowd" in a story-ballet. And, many adult dancers can continue or begin their performing career by being a "super" on stage. Now, the old stage adage is: "there are no small parts" and I'm here to tell you that each role is what you make of it. Unlike the mind-numbing majority of most people's real lives, EVERY THING and EVERY MOMENT is important on stage! You should always "be someone" and "do something" all the time on stage. Acting is reacting! Everything the principals or soloists do should ripple out through the crowd and back. If you watch video of Russian ballets, the crowds are always acting and reacting to the action on center stage. (Russian supers are trained to raise their arms in salutation whenever a soloist dances nearby. Easy to do. Hard to teach to younger American dancers.) It's very difficult for directors or choreographers to set or suggest action and motivation for EVERY SINGLE PERSON during a big crowd scene. They'll usually provide broad strokes and it's up to the individuals to amplify. I remember getting praised for making up some action on the side while playing an adult in the party scene of one of my first Nutcrackers. I remember once asking my "wife" to faint when Fritz scampered by with a mouse in hand. I caught her and a few of the other adults and I walked her over to a chair where she "recovered" by fanning herself while I got her a drink of water. Now, you have to make sure you don't do so much that it distracts from the main narrative (it's called "upstaging"). But, otherwise, the more the merrier! Think marketplace scene in Romeo and Juliet! My go-to move was to gesture towards the soloist and turning in amazement as if to talk with anyone standing next to me. Introducing and greeting people on the side, slapping them on the back, bowing, curtsying, throwing hands up and laughing, all usually good crowd behavior. And, having fun with a small role will prepare you for when you actually get a larger role. And, parents, friends or siblings who think it might be fun to be on stage with their dancers: we can always use more people for the CCDC crowd scenes! Dads, brothers and boyfriends (even potential boyfriends) especially encouraged!o)
05.08.2013: Must C MTV
Update from CCDC's Rothbart on CCDC's Nikiya1:
"...here is the link to the music video"Aurora2" recently did--she has short hair now so that is how I recognized her. Apparently the band is pretty well known among folks who are not classical geeks like me.....
thought you might enjoy seeing it-- mamaK..."
05.07.2013: Dia de los Madres
CCDC students! Mother's Day is this Sunday! No rehearsals or classes scheduled so you can spend some time with Mom. And, here's a suggestion if you're still searching for a Mother's Day gift: commit to spending some time with her improving her health! Sign her up for a CCDC Pilates Class and commit to going WITH her! Wednesday evenings or Saturday mornings or BOTH! At least one CCDC mother-daughter combo already does this as their schedule allows. This is a real win-win-win for everyone concerned. YOU get to cross-train and improve your dancing. Your MOTHER gets more exercise that she needs and is always complaining about not getting. You BOTH spend more time together! You can buy a CCDC dance-card for her and the extra classes are no extra charge for you if you're already at the unlimited rate for classes. Try it for six weeks! Make good health a habit! Spend more time with Mom and help her reach her health goals! And, once you get her in the studio, you can work her up to CCDC Adult Ballet or other classes! ...Now, what about Father's Day...hmm...what's good for the gander...
The race to the DWT*** finals gets intense!
DWT*** Latin Night
Here whee go! Ole', Ole', Ole'!...Dance for immunity? What's that? Two rounds of competition? Juanes, I've vaguely heard of thanks to iTunes, but...
Team Jacobina: Salsa. One couple gets immunity. Those lifts look dangerous! Brutal rehearsals.
Misses a day for massages and ice bath.Says his dance training regimen is harder than it is for professional
football. Okay! Looks like he's a natural for salsa! Good tricky handwork and good hips. Very musical! Great feeling! Very watchable! Great entertainment. Good lifts! I give him a eight, maybe a nine. "You could fart salsa"? Really was that necessary? Real judges scores: 9, 9, 9
Team Radamonson: Rhumba. White man hips problem. Good work ethic! Good lines. He's better
than we expected. Plays the leading man well. better line and sense of line. It's better! He's better! I give him an eight as well! Judges say he lost the connection. Real judges: 7, 8, 7
Team Picklough: Struggling with her performance schedule. Samba. Derek enters via minitramp a la
faux Jacoby and has no shirt on a la faux Jacoby. Think he's emulating Jacoby? She's a performer! Sharp
and smooth. great extensions, great swivel hips. Dance slows down dramatically and then speeds back up.
Great expression! Great strong creative finishing series of lifts! I give her a ten! Real judges: 9, 10, 10
Team Sharnick: Rhumba. Basic movements, focusing on the technique. Needs to access his inner
latin passion. Wow! She has NICE feet! He's playing the bumbling gringo to her Latin lover!. Still flat footed and she just makes him look silly. She's so good, he suffers by comparison! I give him a six, maybe a five. "A little spazzy!" He's listening intently to the comments, he wants to get better desperately! Real judges: 5, 6, 6
Team Ballman: Salsa! Shake your maracas, Ally! Mark suffers an injury, but, the show must go on!
She starts with good enthusiasm! Nice bounce! Mark dancing despite injuries. Like her attack! Ouch! That
can't be good for his back! non-stop energy on display. Mark limps over to the judges for their reaction. I give her an eight! Real judges: 10, 9, 10 Ally's highest scores! Tied with Kelly for tops this week!
Team Lowegatroyd: Rhumba. She brings in his fiance to feel the love. He's not an actor, but, we'll see if the training technique helps. He whips Peta around during the lift sequence. Boy is strong. A little better. But, still not feeling the love! Maybe he needs his fiance to improve his performance! I give him a six. Real judges: 8, 8, 8
Team Zendayovsky: Paso Doble. Dance of power and intensity. This girl starts off with intense
castanet work. Opposite ends of the dance floor they stalk and pursue each other. Oh, SO GOOD!. Sharp
accents. NICE! Big break in the music...and a false ending! WOW! SO STRONG! I give her a ten! Wow!
Judges are nitpicking! Has she set too high a standard too early?Real judges: 9, 9, 9 She was ROBBED!
Round two: Dance-offs...Kelly and Derek immune
Ally vs Andy: Cha-cha. Ally starts off good in cha-cha! Good feeling, good expression. She's saucy
she's sassy. Andy not so much. tentative. awkward. flat-footed. Again, his partner makes him look bad by
contrast! Real judges: clean sweep for Aly+Mark
Zendaya vs Jacoby: Jive! Val no fear! He picks Jacoby! To be the best you gotta beat the best! Battle of the heavyweights! Love to watch her dance. Maybe not the most suitable for her long-limbed style, but she makes everything look good. She's so cool. But, Jacoby is good too! He's got feeling and flavor. Look at those legs go. This could be too close too call! Big straddle jump over Karina!. I give it to Zendaya because she was so good for so long. Real judges: Zenday and Val...clean sweep!
Ingo vs Sean: Rhumba. sean looks better in his second effort. Like the song...but, don't love the
dancing. Ingo, much better line. much better feel by comparison. Hips are better. Making the most of his
second chance. I give it to Ingo. Real judges: Ingo+Kym two, Sean+Peta one vote
Results show: touching story of the boston marathon amputee. Twitch and Allison Holker dance. Andy gets
voted off the island. he should be proud of lasting as long as he did. Very emotional. Lasted until week
seven! Tribute to his likeability....his dancing? Not so much! The tribe has spoken!
05.03.2013: Double-Dutch Dance
Thinking about matriculating at one of the two Universities that offered me a scholarship out of
high school? Here's some webvid of what that experience at Party Hearty U is like for
05.02.2013: Ballet Mime
The 2013 Capital City Dance Center "Spring Showcase and Recital" is coming up at the end of this month! It'll be here before you know it! CCDC dancers are busy preparing for performance! Act I+II of Swan Lake and contemporary, modern, tap, hiphop and other pieces will fill out the program at Drake University. And, in keeping with our mission statement of educating dancers and the audience about some of the traditions of the classical artform, here's a little primer on classical ballet mime you will see in our version:
"Let us dance": hands held overhead making rolling gesture around each other
"Prince" or "Princess": One flat hand makes the sign of a crown emanating from forehead
"King" or "Queen": Two flat hands make the sign of a crown emanating from forehead (alternative: one hand makes two signs of crown)
"You": gesture with one hand to person with palm up, sometimes with index finger almost fully extended
"Me": gesture to self with one hand
"Love": one or two open hands placed over upper chest or heart area, chin lifted
"To Marry": right hand gestures to left ring finger on flat hand extended palm-down to audience
"Tall": hand held flat over head rising
"Short": hand held flat closer to ground
"Beautiful": To describe a woman, back of hand makes half-circle from side of face to other side under jawline, chin raised
"Handsome": To describe a man, gesture starts in front of face with one open hand and ends below chin with closed fist as if stroking a beard
"To Think": tap or place one or two fingers to temple with thoughtful expression
"Comes here": point finger off in distance and make sweeping motion down to close ground
"No": raised flat hand to face of subject and/or shake head side-to-side, or cross two flexed hands in front of the body and seperate while shaking head.
"What" or "Why": two arms opening with palms up, questioning expression, raised eyebrows
"I Beg" or "I Plead": interlace fingers with palms facing each other, extend to subject with bent arms and a little shake, head tilt optional
"I order" or "You will": Point to subject with index finger full extended, fist facing palm down, chin lowered
...Impress your friends, kids or other relatives! Confound your enemies as you translate the most obscure ballet mime passages with ease! If our mini-mime descriptions aren't clear, ask a CCDC dancer or instructor to demonstrate! The more you know, the more you will be able to enjoy the classical ballet segments of the 2013 CCDC Spring Showcase: "Swan Lake"...And More!
05.01.2013: May (Day) We Show You Ballet?
Hey Gleekz o' da Weakz! In case you missed it, nice to see real ballet dancers (albeit too briefly) featured in everyone's guilty pleasure from Fox: (Not those "pretend" ballet dancers they show in the background at NYADA!o)
...And, here's a more traditional version of "At The Ballet" from Western Carolina University:
Time to practice your French! Or direct me to someplace that can translate this e-mailed performance announcement from a Swiss dance studio #TeamAdrian visited prior to the 2013 Prix de Lausanne:
"...Chers Danseurs, Amis, Elèves, Parents,
Nous sommes heureux de vous annoncer le spectacle du Studio de Danse Fusion qui aura lieu
à la Grande salle d'Epalinges les 6-7-8 juin prochain !!
Le spectacle sera divisé en 2 parties:
Tout d'abord, l'école avec 80 participants qui danseront "l'Arc-En-Ciel"
et dans la 2ème partie le Jeune Ballet vous présentera "Chaises Musicales" une chorégraphie commune à 5 chorégraphes.
Venez nombreux admirer l'enthousiasme et l'énergie des ces jeunes danseurs.
Les billets sont en vente dès aujourd hui directement au Studio, Rue Centrale 31.
L'accès à Epalinges se fait en métro et bus et il y a un immense parking derrière la salle de spectacle.
Nous nous réjouissons de vous présenter ce spectacle que nous préparons depuis des mois :)
Daniella Serey, Clémentine Delay, Michal Mardas, Robert Russell, Luca Gianola et Pascale Gaud..."
04.29.2013: Dancing On The Tube
Rainy days and Mondays always get you down, Karen? Here's the antidote! Our recap of the haps from the happiest place on television...DWT***!
The Stevie Wonder Episode
Who's Hunter Hayes? And, why does he get to jam with Wonder? Am I out of it? Down to the Elite Eight! All music by Stevie Wonder! And the Team Competition!
Zendaya/Val: Cha-cha! "Funky flair!" Val is raising the barre!. Wow! Look at those legs! Great expression! Nice hips! The costume keeps dancing around her! She can shake and shimmy! She's flirting with the camera. Sharp and clean! Lotta turns! I give her a ten! "Snap, crackle and pop!" Real judges: 10, 9, 10! Sets the bar high!
Andy/Sharna: Samba "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" Flat-footed. Awkward! Lotta energy, but, clumsy. No sense of line. Little off rhythm. Yuck! I give him a five...maybe, a six. Real judges: 6, 6, 6 Puts him in the danger zone!
Sean/Peta: Samba. Problem with shimmying! He always has great enthusiasm. BUT! he's too bouncy, not grounded enough! Once again, it's dance by numbers! Peta takes his shirt off to try and distract from dancing.I give him a six, maybe, a seven! Real judges: 7, 7, 7
Aly/Mark: Fox Trot. She's dancing for her hometown of Boston. "Isn't she lovely!" Great smile. nice frame, good head angle. She looks like she's having fun. I actually like Mark's choreography. I give her an eight! "Heading towards perfection!" Real judges: 9, 9, 9
Ingo/Kym: Tango. Looks like he's putting in the work. better frame, better line. Yes, he's stepping it up this week! nice lines. Oops! just a little hunched. Hard to hold that frame for so long for an untrained dancers. But, he's better! I give him an eight for his birthday dance! "This dance really suited you!" Real judges: 8, 8, 8 His highest scores of the competition! "Bingo, Ingo! What a tango!"
Kelly/Derek: Quick Step. She's needs a little more enthusiasm, I think! Look at her frame! Great enthusiasm in the dance! Does very well with trick footwork. Good frame! Sharp legs, kicks and flicks! I'll give her a ten, maybe a nine! "Best dance of the season!" Real judges: 9, 10, 10 Len's first ten! Her highest scores! Derek has to buy her shoes now!
Victor/Lindsey: Rhumba. Victor not feeling the love. I want him to be better, but. He just not very good. Misstep he bangs into her. Great smile. No feeling in his body. Hesitant moves! May be time to say good bye to Victor. I give him a six. Real judges: 6, 6, 6
Jacoby/Karina: Quickstep! Pigeon-toes make him susceptible to low scores. Not bad first pass. strong frame. Sharp, decent attack. nice heel lead. Very musical. Boy got rhythm! Is that not PC? Great feeling! i enjoy watching him dance! His enthusiasm is contagious! I give him a nine! Real judges 8, 7, 8.
Awkward segment of lifts by Tony and Anna. Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should! But, what a privilege to dance to live music with Stevie Wonder playing!
Team Paso: All the boys are shirtless. Zendaya is worth a couple of points all by herself. She's more than holding her own alongside the professionals. Victor is the weakest link. Ingo makes up for lack of technique with great enthusiasm!. Jacoby is a powerhouse! Great natural line...and world-class athleticism! Can't take my eyes off when her when Zendaya's on stage. She's a tigress...the camera loves her!. Skirts become capes! Strong routine, strong finish. I give them an eight. Real judges: 7, 8, 7
Team Samba: Disco era Samba. Strong Women. Guys mustache the question Why? Strong women and Aly is no slouch. Andy's strong suit is his enthusiasm and earnest attempt. Kelly doesn't suffer next to the pros as well. I give them and eight as well. Derek has never lost a team dance, I think his string of success is safe! Real judges: 8, 9, 8 Derek's string is safe! Amazing actually, a credit to his choreographic skills!
Time to put Victor out of his and our misery! Andy gets saved first. Sean and Victor take "the walk of shame" down the stairs to the bottom two. He's been there before, but...now it's his time to exit the competition. The champ gets kayoed!. "I had a blast! I made great friends!" What a classy competitor! He invites Cast 16 to be ringside at his next championship bout! It was his time! Lindsay did well for her first time as a pro on DWT**. Hope to see her performing in segments the rest of this season...and hope to see her again with a better contestant next fall! What a future lies ahead of her (Think Julianne Hough!) Lindsay's only 19!
04.26.2013: Pat On The (Feed) Back
Thinking about taking classes at Capital City Dance Center but, not sure about making the change? Just got this in from the parent of a student who switched to Capital City Dance Center recently:
"...I just wanted to keep you informed. (My dancer) HATES missing (her CCDC dance classes). In fact, she would rather go to dance instead of school!
Thank you for all you do with the students. We have really appreciated the hard
work and dedication you and Emery put into CCDC. She is learning so much and I can tell she now views dance in different light. I'm looking forward to recital
and Swan Lake. It will exciting to see how far she has progressed this year.
04.25.2013: Performance Posting
Dance of inclusion beginning tonight:
"...Hancher celebrates physically integrated dance with AXIS Dance Company
Company challenges assumptions about the possibilites of movement.
The University of Iowa’s Hancher will present AXIS Dance Company on Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Space Place Theater, located on the first floor of North Hall on the UI campus. It is the company’s first Hancher performance.
Based in Oakland, Calif., AXIS Dance Company is one of the few companies that includes dancers with and without physical disabilities. The company grew out of a simple movement class which focused on exploring movement possibilities for people in wheelchairs. AXIS dancers have included people using wheelchairs, both power and manual, crutch users, and people with prosthetic limbs. The company has aimed to develop “physically integrated dance,” a dance form that uses physical limitations as a means to push choreographic boundaries, rather than viewing differences as an obstacle.
Redefining traditional notions of dance, AXIS Dance Company is committed to excellence in the physicality and creative content of their work. AXIS dances are virtuosic, athletic, unexpected, and thoughtful. The company has a repertoire of over 60 works, including collaborations with choreographers like Joe Goode, Margaret Jenkins, Bill T. Jones, and Stephen Petronio. The company’s performances have won numerous awards, and the company has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad. AXIS also offers a wide range of education programs for youth and adults of all abilities, encouraging people to problem solve, think creatively, and experience movement in a new way.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, contact Hancher in advance..."
04. 24.2013: Gottlieb Goes Bollywood!
The best dancers on the small screen return when the new season of SYTYCD premieres next month. Good time to catch up with an SYTYCD alumnus courtesy of Dance Informa:
"...Lauren Gottlieb has gone from So You Think You Can Dance to the silver screen, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon! Scoring a role in India’s first 3D dance film, Any Body Can Dance, Lauren is fulfilling her dreams of becoming an actress.
While in India at the premiere of the box office hit ABCD, Dance Informa caught up with the talented actress and dancer. Lauren filled us in on the difficulties in filming a Bollywood movie, career highlights such as working with Tom Cruise at the MTV Awards, and what the future may hold.
Congratulations on your role in Any Body Can Dance!
Thank you! I have been waiting for this moment my whole life. I started out my career in TV, but always had my heart set on film. The fact that my first lead role as an actress was also a dance film is just one of those things I call ‘fate’. As it’s India’s first 3D dance film it’s also a part of history, and I couldn’t be more thankful for such a wonderful life experience. The film released with smashing box office numbers and broke the record for being the highest grossing film-opening weekend with a non-star cast in the history of Indian cinema. A very proud moment in my life!
Can you tell us about the character you play?
I play ‘Rhea’, an Indian girl who comes from an upper class family and is a trained contemporary and ballet dancer. After an altercation with her teacher ‘Jehangir’ (Kay Kay Menon) she decides to follow her sir, ‘Vishnu’ (Prabhudeva), to a more underground urban dance crew in the slums. All in all, it’s a story about the underdogs rising to the top, and something I think the whole cast can relate to. Through hard work and dedication we all paved our way from nothing to seeing ourselves on the silver screen.
How was it working on an Indian film? Would you like to shoot again in India?
It was a huge risk taking this project on. I had to move from Hollywood to Bollywood and jump right into a new culture and lifestyle, and film my first movie not in my language. It was all so foreign to me and such a challenge to learn my Hindi dialogues so quickly, that at times I didn’t know if it was possible. I really turned to God to help keep me on track. I had an amazing Hindi coach, Kishor Sadhwani, and together we combined my Hindi script in my left hand and the English version in my right. Now after having months of experience living in India and learning more and more of the language everyday, I could only imagine my next Hindi film being ten times easier than the first. A huge part of my heart is in India and now I have a big platform as an actress and dancer. I’m excited for my next project in Bollywood!
You must feel grateful to So You Think You Can Dance for providing you with amazing opportunities.
I have always been extremely grateful for all the opportunities the show has brought me. It did wonders for me, the other contestants, and dance in general. Instead of dancing behind artists, we were the solo artists and our names were in lights. From there it gave me a platform to pursue other passions I had with acting, choreographing and teaching. The show has also played in 100 plus countries around the world, which is exactly how Bollywood found me!
What was it like choreographing for Tom Cruise at the MTV Awards?
Working with Tom taught me a lot! He showed me you could be extremely talented and successful, and still treat everyone with respect. He’s a very gracious man. What was also unexpected was how open he was with learning from me. I was assisting Tyce Diorio on the project, but when Tyce couldn’t make it, Tom was still all ears and worked harder than most so he could give the best performance possible.
Congratulations on being featured in Glee. Is the show as much fun as it looks?
Glee is terribly fun to work on! The choreographer, Zach Woodlee, is a dream. The rehearsals are a mixture of extreme intensity and downright silliness. We are either sweating it out or laughing our butts off, but usually we are doing both at the same time. I was in the pilot episode and most of the first season dancing with the hit rival crew ‘Vocal Adrenaline’. It was exciting to see a show go from the first episode where no one knew about it, to being a hit that everyone couldn’t stop talking about.
What’s next for you?
I’m at a huge crossroad not only in my career, but also in my personal life. I have accomplished so much as a dancer performing on stage, film, TV and movies. I now have a great platform as an actress, which is a direction I had always hoped my career would take. The life crossroad is Hollywood or Bollywood? I always let my intuition guide me. You’ll have to wait and see what the next step will be!
04.23.2013: Performance Posting
Heading to the 'Paris of the Plains' soon? Good opportunity to catch some ballet!o)
Going to Kansas City
May 3-12 at the Kauffman Center
Experience a night out on the town that takes you back to the era of nightclubs and dance halls when Kansas City was considered the 'Paris of the Plains.'
3 Hot Dances Put the Sizzle in Spring!
Order Your Tickets Today at kcballet.org.
Call the Ballet Box Office at 816-931-2232 to order by phone.
Energy Made Visible by Karole Armitage
A World Premiere
Internationally acclaimed choreographer Karole Armitage brings Kansas City Ballet a new work, in which Kansas City saxman Bobby Watson will perform live on stage, along with video impressions of the paintings of Jackson Pollock in this multimedia ballet.
William Shatner's Voice Rocks Margo Sappington's Ballet Common People
Choreographed to the spicy vocals of actor William Shatner and music by Ben Folds, Common People will rock crowds with this nationally acclaimed piece..."
Starts off with tribute to Boston.
Halfway done with the competition!
Featuring the return of Maximumus ego Chermokovsky! For everyone who was missing his egregious ego. Dancing intro of the contestants to Pitbull choreographed by Lacey Schwimmer. Even in the group: Zendaya stands out in a good way along with Kelly...and Andy and D-L stick out like non-dancing well sore thumbs.
Challenge: "Len's side-by-side challenge". Same choreography along with the professional dancers! Bright side: Always something good to look at for the viewers! Down-side? Bad dancers will look even worse by comparison!
Team Ingym: Tony and Emma are the pro couple. Cha-cha! Ingo's hips are a liability! He's hoping to "skate by"...not a good tactic! Ahh...always nice to see the pros strutting their stuff! Steps are basic, but, done with an experienced professional's flair. Side-by-side reveals the weaknesses of the non-dancer. He's got good expression, but, the moves lack crispness and execution! Footwork is fumbly. His core needs even more work! Doesn't finish movements, but, I give him a seven. "Got the care, need the flair!" "No intimidation!" Real judges: 7, 7, 7. He sets the minimum level and is hoping the public will vote to save him!
Team Jacobina: Jive, is like the Skip! Jacoby is a competitor. And the competitiveness of Max is good for him! Looks like potential! Max and Anna show how it's done. Wow that jive is fast. Max isn't holding back a bit. Okay side by side. Jacoby has the chops to keeping up! Jacoby peels off his jacket and he's getting it done! great expression with occasional goofy looks. He's getting nines tonight> Wow HUGE Straddle jump over Karina!! The boys is an athlete! fast kicks good footwork! Geat expression. Plays to the crowd. Give this football player a pat on the back and a NINE! He crawls over to the judges! Standing ovation! Real judges 9, 8, 9!
Team Vixenzy: Tristan and Emma. Viennese Waltz. He's going through an emotional triangle during rehearsal. The one one one with a male lead really helps. Mannequins come to life as Tristan and Emma demonstrate the professional standard of waltz. Very musical. Nice rise and fall. Side by side. He promises to put the emotion of his break up to the performance. Not really seeing it. Will he be relegated to the bottom two again? He's a little better. Not as clumsy or vicious! She did that spin on the floor all by herself! I give him a seven, maybe a six. "Better than last week". Real judges: 7, 7, 7 Does that mean Carrie-Anne would've given him an eight without the lift?
Team Alark: Samba. Tony and Whitney are the pros. Pro couple helps inspire the star. Looks like the scoreboard leader has a chance to stay on the top. Pros are hitting IT! Side by side shows Aly was a good student! Mimickry is the sincerest form of flattery. Sharp! She clears her hair . What she was afraid of actually happened. Good hip action. Needs to finish straightening the legs! Little stumble on the rondies back. I give her an eight or maybe, a nine! Real judges: 8, 8, 9. Little step back for the Olympic gymnast. She tweets she dedicates her dance to everyone back home in Boston!
Stevie Wonder next week? Wow! What an opportunity for the stars, pros and audience!
Team Sheeta: Tristan and Chelsie. Again good for the guy to have a male show him the steps. He's mimicking the pro, but, revealing his weakness instead!. Quick Step. Side by side isn't too bad. Fortunately it's a small stage. When they go off, he starts off with gallumphing galloping chasses. But, he steps up! After that. Great smile. of course. Starts off with better frame, but, the longer it goes on, the weaker it gets. Better foot work True test of stamina. I give him a eight, maybe a seven. "Best dance so far"! Real judges 8, 8, 8,
Team Kellek: Fox Trot. Henry and Anna the pro couple. Nice to get a girl to give a girl tips! Pros, as expected, very good! Smooth and sophisticated. Head placement the ballroom extreme. Side by side. Kelly does not suffer by comparison at ALL! . She's GOOD! WOW! Little more expression all the way through would be my critique. Good if not spectacular frame. Doesn't need that wig. She's pretty enough on her own. She's an actress! during the performance at the end! Ten for the choreography! give her a nine or a ten! Real judges 9, 9, 9 Highest scores of the night! Back on top the leader board!
Team DeryL: Sasha and Chelsie are the pros. Tango. D-L needs to meet his body. Too much in his head. He needs to connect his core to his movements. He needs to listen to the music. he needs to FEEL the music! He needs to hold his shoulders down and back. I'll be surprised if he's not the one to go this week! Choreography was designed to disguise his lack of technique! "Like a decaff coffee!" I give him a six. "Comedians have poor track record on this show"! Real judges 6, 6, 6...the number of the beast! Could it spell the end?
Team Zendayal: Lotta Chermokovskys on the floor at once! Max and Anna are the pros. Argentine Tango. Both neophytes to the dance. "I want you to feel" "Teach a girl to be a woman" She's never been in love. But, she's an actress. Time to pull out the chops. Max may be an egomaniac ("May"?) But, he can dance! Always nice to see a big man dancing big! one-handed lift shows his strength. As I suspected Anna better watch her back in the side by side. Zendaya's the young turk. AH! There's the intensity. She's light enough for Val to life effortlessly! Hmm. little less anger and a little more passion is my suggestion for the expression! I give her a ten! Max is leading the applause! "Gem of a dance!" Real judges 10, 9, 10. First tens of the season!
Team Andarna: Paso Doble alongside Sasha and Emma. Playing Zorro! Three professionals and...Andy. Sharp professional performance. Sharp, fast and smooth. Andy Dick comes in on a zip line. Weak dancing. Andy does suffer by comparison. His upper body needs a lotta help. Lotta walking around instead of stalking. WEAK footwork. Flatfooted. All the special effects don't cover up the lack of core strength and he bounces in his last foot stomp. I give him a five or six. "More Pasa-dena than Pasa Doble!" Real judges: 6, 6, 6
Time to send one of the clowns home!
Results show: A nice pas de deux on a piano. Some Bollywood with Selena Gomez. And, D-L gets shown the door! He's a class act! Good sport loser. "I will always dance now"! That's what I like to hear! Now, time for Andy or Sean to go home. But, it might be Vicious, I'm afraid!
04.19.2013: Ballet In Cinema
If you don't have class, rehearsal or performance, the next best thing is watching ballet on the big HD screen.
Here are some coming performances starting this weekend:
Carmike Wynnsong Johnston
5233 Stoney Creek Rd
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Ballet): May 5: 2:00 pm, 7: 7:00 pm
Giselle (Royal Ballet): May 19: 2:00 pm, 21: 7:00 pm
04.18.2013: Shawn of the Live
The CCDC alumnus, former professional dancer and 2013 CCDC Summer Intensive Guest Modern Instructor nicknamed "GitUrFaShawn" sends in this update from "Party Hearty U":
"...Hey! I know you guys are busy, but just so you know, next Thursday (April 25th) I'm having a independent show for part of my degree. It's an hour-long concert of my own choreography... more information here!..."
..."SABoy1" neglects to mention that another CCDC alum "Thai Dyer" will be performing in that "series of dance vignettes". Merde, guise!o)
04.17.2013: Memories of Maria
The passing of NYCB Principal ballerina Maria Tallchief last week brought back more than a few
memories. The former Mrs Balanchine played a small, but, pivotal role in my dance career after I left
my hometown for the bright lights of the big city. Her Chicago City Ballet company had folded, but,
she still ran a school north of the loop. Soon after I arrived in the Windy City, other boys told me of a standing offer for free dance classes for any guys who signed up for the pas de deux classes. Well, the price was right, I was Balanchine-trained and I was new to the city. I auditioned for that tuition-waiver and was approved. I actually ended up substitute teaching that class before my stay there was over. I didn't take many classes from Maria, she taught mostly in the day time to a select group of hand-selected scholarship students. (The other dancers told me that Maria would often stare at the ceiling to consult with her dead ex-husband whenever she couldn't get them to perform a certain step to her standards.) I couldn't make that class because that's when I earned my keep at the Kampai Sushi Bar just west of the Merchandise Mart in the River North area of downtown Chicago. I took classes mainly from Maria's sister, Marjorie Tallchief and Anna Paskevska, Homer Bryant and Joel Hall. I do remember taking one class with Maria when she pointed me out as an example of the proper way to do Balanchinepasse' (I'd just come from training for several years with another of Mr. B's proteges, Nolan Dingman in my home state.) But, I also remember her pulling a pas de troisfrom performance that I'd been rehearsing for months right after a dress rehearsal. Apparently, I didn't look good enough to represent the school or her legacy during the spring showcase. But, her school also proved to be the springboard to my first professional dancing gig on the mainland. A company contacted one of the instructors looking for men for their coming season. Homer Bryant said there was only one guy who was ready to go and he told me to contact them. I sent a videotape of that spring showcase and was hired on the spot. So, despite my disappointments at not performing for Maria, I owe my first professional contract to my involvement with her school. And, I can picture her now demonstrating to the angels how to dance Balanchine...and consulting with her husband when the heavenly host can't perform a step to her standards. Rest in peace, Maria Tallchief!
04.16.2013: The 2013 List
This official notice just sent out from the Prix de Lausanne:
Schools and Companies Chosen by the 2013 Prize Winners
The Prix de Lausanne is delighted to announce that the 2013 prize winners will continue their training in the following partner schools and companies:
Country, Current School
Destination School or Company
(203) Mr Silva Adhonay,
Brazil, Balé Jovem do Centro Cultural Gustav Ritter, Goiania
John Cranko Schule (Germany)
Scholarship provided by the Fondation Leenaards
(412) Mr Li Wentao,
China, The Secondary Dance School Attached to Beijing Dance Academy
Dutch National Ballet Junior Company (Netherlands)
Apprenticeship provided by the Beau-Rivage Palace
(419) Mr Yamamoto Masaya,
Japan, Yokokura Akiko Ballet School, Nomi; Australian Ballet School
Royal Ballet (UK)
Apprenticeship provided by Adveq
(114) Ms Domingues Leticia,
Brazil, Petite Danse School of Dance, Rio
Royal Ballet School (UK)
Scholarship provided by Julius Bär
(212) Mr Corrales Cesar,
Canada, Private lessons; Canada's National Ballet School
San Francisco Ballet School (USA)
Scholarship provided by the Oak Foundation
(423) Mr Woellner Joel,
Australia, Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy Ettingshausens Dyn. Arts; Ac. Ballet/V. Attard Houston Ballet, (USA)
Apprenticeship provided by Fondation Coromandel
(408) Mr Sebastião Francisco,
Portugal, National Conservatory Dance School of Portugal, Lisbon
San Francisco Ballet School Trainee Program (USA)
Apprenticeship provided by the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation
(407) Mr Zhang Jinhao,
China, College of Design and Art Tong Ji University, Shanghai; Liaoning Ballet School
English National Ballet School (UK)
Scholarship provided by Harlequin Floors
...And, semi-finalists' selections weren't officially announced, so, we'd proudly like to add this information:
(207) Mr Oldenburger Adrian,
USA, Capital City Dance Center PreProfessional Program, Des Moines
John Cranko Schule (Germany)
04.15.2013: The Play-By-Play
Another week, another review of DWT***:
The Best Year Of My Life"!
No Lisa in the descent of the stars? Preview hinted of it being "all too much"? What's up? I'm sure we'll more in a second. No Zendaya in the cavalcade of stars? What gives? She's in the video line-up, but, not in the intros? Explanation, please! Okay, sickness fells the reality star on order of doctors.
Sean/Peta: Shares about his family life and relationship of his parents. Viennese Waltz. Just wish he was a better dancer. Smoke filled dance floor. Jason Mraz song. He still lumbers around, but, the feeling is genuine! Hesitant in the rise and fall. poor hold. But, good feeling. Frame is tentative. His solo is more stumbling, but, goose bumps in the final kiss with his fiance! I give him a seven. Real judges: 6, 7,7 Deductions for lifts.
Victor/Lindsay: Paso Doble. "We Will Rock You" by Queen. Talks about his hard-luck story to win the world crown! Starts off boxing... then box steps. He's singing the words. Good attack! Still a little flat-footed and his upper body lacking details. Fails to extend lines in reach. But, the song is overpowering...too bad his dancing isn't! Upper body needs a lotta work. But, I think I gotta do some push-ups! My boy makes me feel weak! I give him a seven as well...maybe, a six. Judges: 6, 6, 6. Hmm, Brooke explains solos required by stars? Could be problematic for some.
Jacoby/Karina: What a year! Superbowl and a baby son. Talks about his role as a father. To be better than his absent father. Foxtrot. "...is for you, Junior" Good grapevinews. Nice lines. He looks good in gray and pink vest and tie. Nice to see a big guy move big. solo is committed! He's dancing for his little boy and the joy is evident on his face and shining from his eyes. Oh, needs to hold that last pose! But, I'll give him an eight! Grammy is crying real tears! Real judges: 8, 8, 8
Aly/Mark: Contemporary. Recreating her Olympic year. Titanium. Starts with the solo. Her gymmnastics prowess gives her a leg up. Her emotion is evident. rach needs a little work. "I won't fall" during lift sequence. Good on Mark. Wow, there's some moves I'd planned on chroegraphing myself. B-roll shot of gymnasts in the crowd. (Gabby Douglas!o) I give her an eight. "I was mesmerized," says Carrie-Anne. Real judges: 9, 9, 9. "Highest scores of the competition so far," says Brooke!
Andy/Sharna: Dedicates his dance to his daughter Megan. His daughter used to dance for him. Now he gets a chance to dance for his daughter. Viennese Waltz to "Hallelujah!" Dance of Redemption. Hope the emotion doesn't overcome his technique. Line is incomplete. He's not feeling the music. Not breath in his rise and fall. Upper body is a little dead. His solo is tentative and weak. Would've loved to see his daughter a little more involved in more than the ending. He gets a six from me. Carrie-Anne is moved to tears by the dance. Calls it a haiku of a dance. Real judges: 7, 7, 7 His highest scores of the competition. Appealing back story.
Zendaya/Val: Samba. Party dance! "Channel your inner diva." Channeling her innner Beyonce! Starts with Solo. Her firs isolations are SO sharp. Her walks is a strut. Her proportions are incredible. Oh, The diva is back. She's so GOOD! Her expression and eyes are dancing! Her hips are sharp and her legs are endless in those heels! WOW! She could bea ballroom competitor. DAANG! SHE"S GOOD! I give her a ten! "You are baby Beyonce!" Real judges: 9, 8, 9 GIRL WUZ ROBBED!
Ingo/Kym: "A Thousand Years" by Christina Peri. Looks like Viennese Waltz. Tentative solo, genuine emotion and acting. Oh, he's acting better than he's dancing. Good heel lead. Frame starts well, but, loses something in the transitions. Lovely swooping lean back. . Ehiku is his wife's name, good Hawaiian name. I give him a seven. Real judges: 8, 7, 8
D.L./Cheryl: Fox trot. "Nothing says Compton like the Foxtrot!" H e starts off sitting. Cheryl dances for eight counts. He stays still, while Cheryl moves all around him. Good strategy, cuz when he does move its a little like watching the reason they instituted handicapped parking: they need help! Hughley needs help! He has no clue! I give him five or six. 7, 7, 7 His best scores! They tumble to the floor in shock! "That's higher than my SAT scores!"
Kelly/Derek: Rhumba to Kyle Jacobs. Her feet are incredible! Her legs are incredible. She dances the story of her love for her husband. Starts slow. Her stillness speaks volumes! Her shoulders need to open up a bit more. But, the dynamics are incredible. Fast then slow. She makes great pictures. Her extensions are world-class! her solo is a bit clumsy until she just walks towards her husband with a smile of pure JOY!o) I give her a nine. Real judges: 9, 8, 9. Ties with Zendaya for tops tonight! (whoops! second tops)
Lisa/Gleb: Cha-cha. Celebration. Starts by partially disrobing. Starts off pretty strong. Once again dancing by numbers. No feeling. Just do the steps. Okay. Gleb's shirt comes off. Here's the solo. Looks like an aging go-go dancer. This could be a prelude to an elimination. Gives it a game effort. Give her an extra point for continuing. She looks like she's about to do a Marie Osmond. I give her a five or six. Real judges: 6, 6,6 Pretty good for her!
AT&T Spotlight dance: Brilynn/Derek: What an amazing, inspiring story. She's a blind ballerina. Nice line, good training. Bad placement. Good extensions. Inspired choreography! What a special pas de deux!
Derek is struggling to speak afterwards, not just the physical, but, emotional exertion. Transcends normal television programming. I'm a sucker for a dancer struggling against the odds story. Gets me everytime!
Another pas de deux of voices also special afterwards as Andrea Bocelli performs a duet with Jennifer Lopez. Val and Anna dance a torrid duet as well. Is he blind? He's not looking at anything. Forgive my ignorance...
Say goodbye to Lisa! And, about time! The audience puts her out of her misery! Side-by-side challenge next week. Next out should be D-L.
04.12.2013: CCDC Alumni Update, Part Deux
SHE *ALSO* LIVES! SHE *ALSO* WRITES! Yet another CCDC graduate checks in with this update:
"...To My Dearest Bunheads-
Let me just start out by saying how much I miss all of you! I hope all of you are doing really well and that recital this year will be another fabulous one!!!!! I don’t know when the last time I sent out an email but I know it has been far too long!
All is well in the crazy city of Miami, we are also very busy with our upcoming showcase in May/June. I told you before that we are doing the ballet Paquita, and I was recently asked to do a variation in it, so I am UBER excited! We have it as the third variation, but some people know it as the 1st or 2nd, so it is hard to describe! It is the slow variation with the harp and lots of arabesques...so of course you know that is right up my alley! In doing this variation, I have also started to take more advanced classes as well, which is nice. With the variation, I also do the corps roles as well, and the adagio is killer! Besides ballet, we are also working on our jazz showcase. It frustrates me so much and makes me laugh all at the same time! Currently the same 4 girls are dancing all the pieces (and haha I am definitely not one of them)! I guess I didn’t get my little sister’s genes of knowing how to “get down”.
Second, over spring break, though I was sad I could not make it home, I was given the opportunity to be a demonstrator at a teacher syllabus session. It was taught by Darla Hoover, who is the co-artistic director of Ballet Academy East. She gave lots of great corrections and some helpful tips. I think the greatest thing I experienced though was the process of teaching. I really loved it, and by learning how to teach someone how to produce a step, it allowed me to recognize what I do right or wrong.
Third, I have decided I am going to Pennsylvania Ballet for their summer course this year. A new city and new experiences! I was placed in the highest level and hope to see where it leads. And then next year I will be auditioning for companies as well...SCARY!
Lastly, I have been working on top of dancing, so I am getting myself into the career world! I work at Madewell, which is a sister store to JCrew, so that has been interesting to meet people outside of the dance world! I has also worn me out though, so I will see how much I need to cut back when it come closer to showcase! My back has had some spasms, so I have been trying to get it rested up for show, and standing all day in the store doesn’t help too much
Well, I hope I didn’t bore you with my hodgepodge of things going on in my life, but I just wanted to check in on my family and see how you all were doing! Love you and miss you all!!!!!
~(Mmmadd Skyllz)<3 xoxoxoxo..."
...YAY! Miss ya lotz, Myrtha2! LOVE when CCDC alumni check in with us back here training in the studio! (Where's everyone else...hmmmm?!o)
04.12.2013: Performance Posting
Not hula auwana, no doubt, but, hula kahiko can overcome its kitschy connotations. (A-hem!o) If you're not rehearsing or training tonight, might wanna check this out:
"...After touring China 7 times, Japan twice, Abu Dhabi, Marshall Islands, Guam, 31 states
We are now bringing Hawaii to the Capital City Area!
Polynesian Paradise Dancers
Date: April 12th 2013
Show time: 7:30PM (60 min. performance)
Location: Vaudeville Mews 212 4th Street
Tickets are $10 all ages welcome.
*family entertainment * a virtual vacation for the whole family!
The Hula Show
"POSTCARDS FROM PARADISE" is an enchanting show that will take you back on a vintage trip to the South Pacific. This vibrant performance of exotic hula dancing and heart pounding drum beats of the islands is truly an unforgettable show.
Sit back, relax and imagine it is the summer of 1959 and Hawaii has just joined the union and
surf sand and hula is rockin the nation.
In 1993, Akemi Welsh started Polynesian Paradise (PPD), a professional Polynesian
entertainment company specializing in the traditional dances and music of the Polynesian
Over the years, the company has had the honor of sharing the culture with audiences all over.
They have visited 31 states, and had 10 international tours including Abu Dhabi, China, Japan,
Guam, and the Marshall Islands.
Past performances include a daily 5-week run of the "Lilo & Stitch Hawaiian Party" at the El
Capitan Theatre (Hollywood, CA) and nightly 8-week run at the Pageant of the Masters (Laguna
Beach, CA). PPD has also performed for the celebrity red carpet premieres of Adam Sandler's 50
First Dates (Westwood, CA), and Disney's animated feature Lilo & Stitch (first in Hollywood, CA
then at Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis, TN) in which our company director was hired as a
consultant for the project. Polynesian Paradise Dancers can also be seen dancing in Adam
Sandler's movie Bedtime Stories, and television shows as Glory Days, Backyard Nation,
Tuckerville, My Tacky Room and Wizards of Waverly Place. Other highlights include
performances at the Playboy Mansion, Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Studios, the homes of
celebrities such as Rob Zombie, former mayor of Los Angeles, Jim Hahn, and former governor
of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger..."
04.11.2013: Shades Of Glee
Local high school musicals and performers to be honored:
State High School Musical Theater Awards Showcase, June 3
Tickets now on sale for inaugural celebration of Central Iowa’s young musical theater artists
(Capital City News) – DsM Performing Arts announces an evening of celebration and entertainment with the inaugural State High School Musical Theater Awards Showcase at the Civic Center Monday, June 3, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. More than 300 students from nine local high schools will be honored for their outstanding achievements as young musical theater artists. The Awards Showcase will feature performances from the musical productions the students presented during the school year.
“We’re excited to celebrate the talent of young Iowans,” said DsM Performing Arts Director of Programming and Education, Eric Olmscheid. “The State High Musical Theater Awards celebrate the arts in our schools, creating an unmatched opportunity to recognize students’ achievements in musical theater.”
Tickets for the State High School Musical Theater Awards Showcase are on sale now for $10 at the Civic Center Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster locations, charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000 and online.
The Awards Showcase is the culmination of the High School Musical Theater Awards, a year-long education initiative that DsM Performing Arts launched last fall. Throughout the school year, performing arts professionals and educators served as adjudicators to review musical productions and offer constructive feedback to each of the participating high schools.
Based on the adjudicators’ feedback, awards will be presented at the Showcase including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead and Supporting Performers, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Technical Achievement. Olmscheid said the intent of the State High School Musical Theater Awards is not about competition, but about celebrating student achievement. “The awards are based on merit, and multiple schools and students can be recognized in the same category. We hope this will build a true celebration, rather than one winner being named.”
This year, the State High School Musical Theater Awards invited all high schools within 45 miles of DsM Performing Arts to participate, with the goal of expanding the program statewide in the coming years. Nine schools are participating in the inaugural season with productions occurring October through April. Participating schools:
Ankeny High School, Ankeny – SPAMALOT
Carlisle High School, Carlisle – SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS
Dowling Catholic High School, West DsM – DAMN YANKEES
East High School, DsM – LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
Nevada High School, Nevada – THE MUSIC MAN
Pella Christian High School, Pella – FOOTLOOSE
Roosevelt High School, DsM – CHICAGO
Urbandale High School, Urbandale – ONCE UPON A MATTRESS
Waukee High School, Waukee – GUYS AND DOLLS
National High School Musical Theater Awards
DsM Performing Arts was recently selected as a partner of the National High School Musical Theater Awards, which will hold its annual program in New York City Wednesday, June 26 - Tuesday, July 2, 2013. Two students from the IA High School Musical Theater Awards will represent the state at the National High School Musical Theater Awards, culminating with a Showcase on a Broadway stage (the Minskoff Theater, home of Disney’s THE LION KING) on Monday, July 1, 2013.
The two students selected to represent the state at the National High School Musical Theater Awards will be revealed at the State High School Musical Theater Awards Showcase on June 3. “DsM Performing Arts is fostering a direct link to Broadway for these students,” said Olmscheid. “They will be the first in a prestigious group of performers from Iowa in the years to come.”
For more information about the State High School Musical Theater Awards, visit
04.11.2013: Tiny Turner
For those of you doing turns in the CCDC Tap C piece, here's your competition:
Considering matriculating at Party Hearty U? Here's a backstage look at a recent performance:
04.09.2013: Play Misty For Me
Here's a reprint of an interview with a prominent ABT dancer e-mailed by Pointe Magazine:
American Ballet Theatre fans were disappointed when an injury sidelined soloist Misty Copeland at the end of last year's spring season. But the unexpected downtime allowed Copeland to pursue other projects--including a television commercial for Dr. Pepper, which is currently airing. Copeland talked to Pointe's e-news about her participation in the brand's "/1" campaign and preparing for ABT's upcoming season at the Metropolitan Opera House:
Why did the Dr. Pepper campaign appeal to you?
As a ballerina it's rare to get this kind of commercial exposure. I liked that the campaign was about one-of-a-kind stories, which are often hard for ballet dancers to tell. Trying to be an individual in a company of 80 isn't easy!
There's been some pushback on social media about a dancer advertising for a soft drink. What's your response to those kinds of comments?
I'm all about health, of course. But I always say that I never diet, and that I like to indulge in everything in moderation. Having an occasional soda is OK, the same way having an occasional cookie is OK.
Even now you're not yet fully recovered from your injury. How have you been coping with it?
Injuries always wake you up, in a way. You reassess your body, and you look at dance from a new perspective. Physically speaking, every day I do Pilates or Gyrotonic or hit the elliptical, and I'm finally starting ballet class again, to rev up for the Met season. They always say that when you're a dancer, the work never really ends until you retire.
What are you looking forward to dancing this season?
I'm doing the lead in the first movement of Symphony in C during the first week, and revisiting the part of Gulnare in Le Corsaire the second. I haven't really looked past that! I'm taking it one week at a time. I know a lot of it will be familiar. But even the roles I've danced for 10 years can be challenging.
A lot of ABT dancers are very famous within the ballet world, but you're unique in terms of the degree of fame you've achieved outside of it. Is that intimidating, or inspiring?
I feel like it's been organic for me. It's not like I was thrust into the spotlight overnight. From the moment I started dancing I had media all around me, first because I started so late and was black, and then as an adult because I was curvy. But I'm proud to be a role model. I like people to see me as a real person and not this untouchable ballerina.
04.08.2013: DWT***, Week 3!
Finally got a chance to watch our recording of my guilty pleasure:
Zendaya is probably too young to have had an opportunity to go to prom! Starts off with a big dance all together; group prom dance. Hmmm...spotlight on couples. DL is doing the robot? Sean does the worm? Andy does the garden sprinkler? Derek almost missed the catch. Jacoby always has a bewildered expression on his face. Jacoby does a mean...hmmm...don't know what to call it. Love Brooke's eighty's hair.
Ali/Mark: Wow! She's just eighteen. Starts off slow sitting on a bench. Give choreographer credit for creativity. Waltz. She's fairly smooth. Needs to work on holding frame. I give her a seven or eight. She does clean up well! April fools! Says the judges! "middle of the back" pull up! She's never been in love! But, she's "watched a lotta movies"! Good for her! Real judges: 7, 8, 8
Andy/Sharna: Cha-cha. Wow! Dance is therapy for Andy. Starts off without a lotta dancing. His timing is off. He's plodding around. This dance doesn't allow him to hide anything! i give him a five, maybe a six! Real judges: 6, 6, 6
Ingo/Kym: Paso Doble. Great risk, great reward. Injuries plaguing the forty-two-year old. Wardrobe malfunction with Kym's skirt...fails to come off at the beginning. He's attacking the movement. Just needs better shoulder awareness. Tricky partnering work. I give him a seven. Judges say core needs work. "more to cheer than jeer". Real judges: 7, 7, 7 Give him extra points for flashing the Hawaiian "shaka" sign!
Lisa/Gleb: Viennese Waltz. She's got good attitude. They look like they have a good working relationship. Smooth so far. I think she's better at this dance form. little mishandling with the hold. It's like they're fumbling for the hands! I give her a six. Real judges: 7, 7, 7
Kelly/Derek: Jive. He has to be careful not to make her look bad by comparison. Hard to do cause she's so good. He shows off her flexibility. She's a performer. Ends in a split?I give her an eight. She did seem nervous. Putting too much pressure on herself? Real judges: 8, 9, 8. Leader in the clubhouse!
Victor/Lindsay: Contemporary. He's got the right approach. He cleans up well. Bare feet contemporary. He's strong and makes the lifts look easy. Hmm, I guess I underestimated her choreographic skills. He's better this time! I give him a seven, maybe an eight. "Breathtaking!", says one judge. Real judges: 8, 7, 8 Tied for second.
DL/Cheryl: Salsa. He's got the attitude. But... Good move by Cheryl to put them on a smaller, raised dance floor. Excuse to limit movement. He still seems disconnected to his body! I give him a six or five. For a black guy, he dances like an old, nerdy, white guy! Real judges: 6, 5, 5
Jacoby/Karina: Rhumba. He's a joker, can he find his romantic side for the dance of love? nice line. Okay, light on his feet. Good hip action. He's stepping up. This is a revelation to see him dance this way!. Just picked her up from the floor! Well done! I give him an eight! Real judges: 8, 8 , 8
Wynona/Tony: Unleashing her inner tigress. Pole dancing! To Def Leppard! Tony actually makes pretty good rocker! But, it's still hard for a big girl to make big moves. She is doing better! Timing still an issue! She needs to attack it even MORE! I give her a seven. An eight for effort! Judges are harsh! "Sedated Samba"! She thought she was hitting it, but, let that be a lesson, she WASN'T! Real judges: 5, 5, 5 WOW! Low scores of the night!
Sean/Peta: Cha-cha! YMCA by the VIllage People. His awkwardness is endemic. Marching on to the iconic music. Peta is the Indian Princess! He needs more hip action. She's making him lift her. He's the male equivalant of Wynona. muscles too big to move easily! I give him a six. Ral judges: 7, 7, 7.
Zendaya/Val: Saving the best for last IMHO! Viennese Waltz! Meaningful for her grandmother's prom. Don't practice in socks, Zen-girl! Setting yourself up to slip! Que' Sera, Sera. Her natural line is incredible! She is effervescent in her movements! Love watching her dance! Great head placement. She's all line and great feeling! She could lead this wire to wire! Oops! Little stumble at the end! I give her a nine! "Silky Smooth!" "Incredible lyrical quality!" Precocious enfant terrible! She gives her grammy a hug before ascending to the fishbowl! Real judges: 8, 8, 8 She may be a victim of her own success!
Results show: Well, Zendaya's path to her coronation a trifle derailed. Huey Lewis' heart of rock 'n' roll still beating strong! Well, that Jacoby looks like he'd be fun to go clubbing with. Encore dance is one of the weak dancers: Sean. Enjoy it while you can, Bachelor-Boy! Not going to happen again...ever! Result: out the door is Wynonna. Hard for a big girl to dance big enough to stay on the show! I say Lisa or DL should be next to ride off into the sunset with no regret!o)
04.05.2013: CCDC Alumni Update
SHE LIVES! SHE WRITES! CCDC graduate provides an update on two rather unique opportunities:
It's update time! Biggest chunk of news: Yesterday I was notified that I have been selected for a Fulbright grant to study dance in Sri Lanka. The Fulbright grant serves to promote cross-cultural understanding through sending US students, scholars, and artists abroad and sending their foreign counterparts to the US. The grant completely covers airfare, tuition, cost of living, and all other expenses for one academic year. I plan to arrive in Sri Lanka on October first and return home 9 or 10 months later. While there, I will be studying classical Kandyan dance, which can be thought of as the traditional dance of Sri Lanka. I will be training with Master Peter Surasena for 3 months, who is widely known as the most proficient performer and teacher of Kandyan dance in Sri Lanka, and thereby in the world. Then I will move to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, to study with Chitrasena-Vajira Dance Company, the most renowned and acclaimed Sri Lankan dance company in the country/world. I hope to gain technical knowledge of Kandyan dance as well as insight into how this dance form relates to nationalism and identity in Sri Lanka. I am extremely excited for this amazing opportunity, and I couldn't have done it without my excellent dance training at CCDC!
In other news, I recently danced in a music video for the rather famous indie rock band Local Natives, who are from Los Angeles. I'll let you know when it comes out. I also have about a month left until I graduate from Macalester with a degree in anthropology! Woohoo! Then I'll be back in Iowa for a few days before going to Madison, WI to study Sinhala (Sri Lankan language) on scholarship at UW-Madison for 8 weeks this summer.
Major congrats to Adrian! His accomplishments are truly amazing and he's got a very bright future ahead of him. I hope Swan Lake rehearsals are going well. Perhaps I'll be able to stop by in June, but if not I'll be around in August and September too.
Miss you all,
...CONGRATULATIONS, "Nikiya1"! You are truly an inspiration! You also set the standard for CCDC alumna keeping us updated! (Where's everyone else...hmmmm?!o)
04.04.2013: This Club Is On Fiyah!
The DsM Social Club offers a glimpse of their new home tonight:
"...It's finally here! Don't miss this sneak-peek of the Firehouse at Food For Thought!
What: Food for Thought
When: Thursday, April 4, 2013, 5pm-9pm
Where: Firehouse, 900 Mulberry St.
Time to celebrate and get an exclusive sneak-peek of our AWESOME new home. Tickets to the event are now sold out! If your tickets are purchased and you plan on attending, you'll want to arrive around 5pm, and the BBQ and formal dinner will converge around 7:45pm for a full night of live music, guided tours, collaborative painting, fire pole sliding, wall smashing, and much more. This night will mark a significant step for the Des Moines Social Club and our arts & culture community. We can't wait to celebrate this momentous occasion with you.
It's been just over a month since #TeamAdrian returned from the 2013 Prix de Lausanne competition. What an amazing trip! Immense gratitude again to everyone who made it possible! As posted earlier, Adrian made it to the semi-finals and received an amazing six offers of interest from national ballet schools or companies. As I told him at the time, he couldn't go wrong with any of the offers and he and his family just had to find out more about each situation to find the best fit. Now, Adrian says he'll be accepting an offer to train at the John Cranko Baletschule in Stuttgart, Germany this fall and attend the National Ballet School of Canada's Intensive this summer. He'll join at least one other Prix competitor in Canada and reunite with the overall winner and audience favorite in Stuttgart. When we were leaving the Theatre Beaulieu after the results were first announced, one of the staff made sure to tell Adrian that being named a finalist wasn't the only way to "win" at the Prix. He said, "We see it every year, those that don't make the finals sometimes end up with a better situation than the finalists." And, it seems that's what could be happening in Adrian's case. He'll be training alongside overall winner Adhonay Silva and what happens in the future is in his hands. The slate is wiped clean. Scores from the Prix don't carry over into real life. The experience and the friendships made and the opportunities gained are just the start of the real legacy of the 2013 Prix de Lausanne. We'll miss you, "Rocky Peterson"! Don't forget us here at CCDC! Remember to tweet at us! And, your last chance to see Adrian perform before he leaves for the summer and, eventually, the fall, will be in the 2013 CCDC Spring Showcase at Drake University this June!
...And, here's some advice for anyone considering competing in a future Prix de Lausanne (Looking at you, Kegger!): build yourself a raked stage. Get some plywood and spare marley. It doesn't have to be huge, just enough to do some pirouettes, fouettes and tours en l'air. Six, eight or ten feet square. You can stow it in pieces on the side of a regular studio. I'd build it as soon as you start planning on qualifying for the competition. Everyone had trouble with the rake at first, but, it seemed the dancers who went the furthest were the ones who adjusted the fastest to the rake. Of course, you need to get the best intensive training and coaching you can in ballet and modern dance like we offer here at CCDC, but, that rake is hard to prepare for otherwise. Adrian's family did locate an actual raked stage in a rural part of the state and he spent an hour or so acclimating himself to dancing on it one night. But, if I had to do it all over again, I'd build him a raked stage to practice on everyday.
04.02.2013: Performance Posting
Here's the announcement e-mailed out about the coming season at the Civic Center. Items of special interest to dancers have been put in bold:
"...Des Moines Performing Arts Announces 2013 - 2014 Season
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and WICKED make triumphant return to Des Moines
Current Tony Award® winners ONCE and THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS headline Willis Broadway Series
MATTHEW BOURNE’S SLEEPING BEAUTY premieres in Des Moines on its first North American tour
The Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Family Series, The Dance Series and the Prairie Meadow Temple Comedy Series continue to offer diverse programming and educational experiences
Season ticket packages for the Willis Broadway Series go on sale April 29; all other series go on sale in summer 2013
Capital City News – Today Des Moines Performing Arts, Central Iowa’s premier not-for-profit performing arts organization, unveiled its highly anticipated 2013 - 2014 season. In all, 22 productions were announced as part of the Willis Broadway Series, the Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Family Series, The Dance Series and the Prairie Meadows Temple Theater Comedy Series.
“This is just a terrific season all the way around,” said Des Moines Performing Arts President and CEO Jeff Chelesvig. “We’re very proud to bring this world-class line-up because we know our audiences truly value and support high quality professional live theater and programs that create memorable experiences.”
For each of the series, season tickets are the only way to guarantee the best seats at locked-in prices. Season ticket packages for the Willis Broadway Series go on sale April 29, 2013 and start at $160 for the five-show package. All other series’ season ticket packages will go on sale in summer 2013.
WILLIS BROADWAY SERIES
The 2013 - 2014 five-show Season Ticket package features two current 2012 Tony Award winners. Best Musical ONCE (April 22 - 27, 2014) takes the stage in its first national tour, along with Best Revival of a Musical, THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS (April 1 - 6, 2014). A new adaptation of Broadway’s blockbuster, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Sept. 10 - 21, 2014), returns to the Civic Center for a two-week engagement. IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS (Dec. 10 - 15, 2013), the stage adaptation of the classic film, will create a cozy trip down memory lane over the holidays.
The fifth production in the package is the worldwide smash hit homage to iconic rock group Queen, WE WILL ROCK YOU (June 10 - 15, 2014).
In addition to the five-show package, a strong line-up of series add-ons is also programmed.
Back by “popular” demand, Broadway’s blockbuster WICKED (Oct. 30 - Nov. 10, 2013) makes a triumphant two-week return. Premiering in Des Moines on its first North American tour is MATTHEW BOURNE’S SLEEPING BEAUTY (Sept. 27 & 28, 2013), which creates a new spin on a classic fairy tale. AMERICAN IDIOT (Jan. 24 & 25, 2014) is based on Green Day’s groundbreaking rock opera of the same name. BLUE MAN GROUP (Feb. 18 - 23, 2014), best known for its unique form of entertainment through music, comedy and technology, makes its Civic Center premier. Des Moines audience favorite, RAIN – A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES (Feb. 4 & 5, 2014), will return and celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles bringing their stardom to the United States.
“We’re able to attract these world-class Broadway tours because of our extraordinarily strong season ticket sales,” said Chelesvig, adding that this current season set a record of more than 12,000 packages. “Top Broadway producers love bringing their touring productions here because they will play to nicely-filled houses that genuinely embrace their performances.”
The 2013 - 2014 Willis Broadway Series represents 22 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Direction in a Musical, and Best Costume Design.
Des Moines Performing Arts also announced high-caliber line-ups in the Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Family Series, The Dance Series and the Prairie Meadows Temple Comedy Series.
“We’re committed to offering a variety of programs and shows that are exciting and accessible to everyone,” said Eric Olmscheid, Des Moines Performing Arts Director of Programming and Education. “Creating shared experiences is important to us.”
WELLMARK BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD FAMILY SERIES
Celebrating its fifth season, the popular Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Family Series brings five fun-filled productions enjoyed by children between the ages 4 and 10. The series opens with THE FIREBIRD, featuring the Des Moines Symphony with the Enchantment Theatre Company (Jan. 11, 2014). The series also includes SPIRIT OF UGANDA (Feb. 8, 2014), STUART LITTLE (March 29, 2014), LOVE (May 17, 2014) and CIRQUE MECHANICS: BIRDHOUSE FACTORY (May 17, 2014). Audience members can also enhance their theater experience by attending the Discovery Party, a free event one hour before each performance.
THE DANCE SERIES
The Des Moines Performing Arts’ Dance Series returns for its fourth season of presenting internationally acclaimed dance companies. ALONZO KING LINES BALLET (January 18, 2014) headlines the three-show series, joined by ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER (March 18, 2014) and the TREY MCINTYRE PROJECT (May 1, 2014). Before and after each performance, audience members will have an opportunity to connect with the company’s artistic staff and dancers through DANCEtalks.
PRAIRIE MEADOWS TEMPLE COMEDY SERIES
An eclectic mix of comedy involving Tupperware, news headlines and an intergalactic nemesis are part of the four-show package for the Prairie Meadows Temple Comedy Series. DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY (Dec. 4 - 29, 2013) will kick off the series with a return engagement to Des Moines. Also in the series is the improvisational comedy iO THEATER’S WHIRLED NEWS TONIGHT (Feb. 26 - March 9, 2014) and POWER BALLADZ: THE ULTIMATE 80’S SING-ALONG (April 10 - 12, 2014). Rounding out the series is the stage adaptation of the graphics hit novel, THE INTERGALACTIC NEMESIS BOOK ONE: TARGET EARTH (April 30 - May 11, 2014).
Des Moines Performing Arts estimates that all four series will attract more than 200,000 patrons for the 2013 - 2014 Season..."
04.01.2013: DWT**** Review
Second week, first elimination:
Ingo/Kym: Quick Step. Looks good in vest and and hat. Not too bad. Hold is better. Little hunched. So, hold still needs more work. The longer he goes, the more the flaws start to show. But, Wow! He's improved! Good feeling! I give him a 7. "Bingo, Ingo!" Improvement! Real judges: 6, 7, 7
Dorothy/Tristan: Jive. We've learned Hamill has to withdraw from the competition. But, she shows she's knows what it means to compete in this second week. She seems a little tentative. He pushes her away to maintain spacing. She's in flats to help facilitate her injury. Ouch! Sympathy pains as I watch her dance. The dancing causes her to limp over to judge's comments. I have to give her a six. What a trouper! Criticism from judges based on injury. Real judges: 5, 5, 5. She's fighting back tears! What a shame!
Jacoby/Karina: Jazz. Starts off with gimmicks and tricks! Let's see some dancing. Unfortunately, reminds me of a minstrel show. But, Dang! He's got some charisma! He's hilarious! Audience on its feet! I give him an eight! Real judges: 8, 7, 8 He's the leader in the clubhouse!
Victor/Lindsey: Jive. Both look killer in red. Victor's finding out how hard it is to do good dancing. He needs to tighten up his core and find the line. He's a real performer. Still has that killer smile! It's hard for her to teach him, because she's so young herself. I give him a seven. Real judges: 6, 6, 6 Hope their rough patches are over and they come back strong.
Wynona/Tony: Quickstep. What's their budget for props? Come in on a pair of matching Segways? Start off with very basic, simple beginner steps. I'm not sure it's going to get votes with the audience. Slow pace. I give her a six. Real judges: 6, 6, 6 Carrie Ann is right, Wynona needs to take more risks to get more reward!
Zendaya/Mark: She's hilarious! Jive. Okay she sets a high standard! Look at the speed and attack! Great smile. Wow! She's sassy! Look at her shake and shimmy! She's amazing! Look at her attitude. WOW! She's good! YOUTH WILL BE SERVED! I give her a NINE! Real judges: 9, 8, 9 She's JUST 16!
Andy/Sharna: Jazz. Maybe this genre will be good for him. The Mad Hatter theme. This piece has great music, great props... hiding as much of his dancing as possible. Her choreography is showing his strengths and his quirkiness. He's running from place to place with attitude! I give him a seven. Real judges: 7, 6, 7
Sean/Peta: Jive. Take a shower, dude! Lifeguard theme . He has more muscles than he needs for dancing. Still little flat-footed. I think his fiance may reconsider when she sees the bachelor dance! I give him a six. Real judges: 7, 6, 7
Aly/Mark: Quickstep. Okay! Good hips, Selling the expression! Nice rise and fall. Good head. just hold those shoulders in place. Good flicks. Covering space with Mark's strong lead. Hold that frame stronger! I'll give her a seven, make that an eight. Real judges: 8, 8, 8 Second highest scores of the night. Another reminder: Youth WILL be served this season!
Lisa/Gleb: Jive. She's better. But, still not strong enough! She's trying to keep up with a dancer half her age...or a third! She doesn't have the fitness to do what he's asking. I give her a six...maybe a five. Real judges: 6, 6, 6
D-L/Cheryl: At least he realizes the problem! This dancing stuff isn't easy. She's choreographed another simple basic routine for him. He's doing better, but, he's bringing a slingshot to a gunfight! He's improved, but, he needs to be tighter, hold his center stronger. I give him a five, maybe, a six. Real judges: 5, 5, 6 Better scores, but, he's at risk of elimination.
Kelly/Derek: Saving one of the best for last. Jazz. His choreographic skills are taking advantage of the genre! VERY sharp! Great extensions! Former cheerleader is attacking this piece with great effect. Funky jazz walks. He's using her strengths to great advantage. Wow! What a flexible back! I give her a NINE! Standing O from Carrie Anne! Real judges: 9, 8, 9 Tied for the top score of the night!
Next week is "Prom Night? This could be very bad! Right now it's shaping up to be a three woman competition: It's Zendaya's race to lose. Kelly will give her a run for the money with Aly pushing them both. It's all going to depend on how the pros can coach and choreograph their stars to improve and shine. I like new pro Lindsey, but, the producers did her no favors pairing her with the charismatic, but, flat-footed and rhythmically challenged Vicious Ortiz. I don't think she's a good enough teacher or choreographer to make him go further than he should. Both, Cheryl and Sharna managed to hide their star's dance deficiencies for the moment. Both comedians are finding out they can't just joke their way through this competition. But, despite appealing back stories, their numbers should be up soon. And, If I were King of DWT***, I would send home the unlikeable Lisa.
Post results show: Well, say goodbye to Olympic Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill! She makes the right decision to step out of the competition. It's sad because if she had remained healthy, she displayed tantalizing glimpses of becoming a potential contender.