A Week of Dance
It’s a busy dance-filled week! From social dancing to ballet to dance in pop culture, my week spans quite the diverse dance spectrum. Feel free to join me and escape from your day-to-day routine through the beauty of movement. Here’s what on tap for my dance agenda.
I’m starting off my summer with “New York’s hottest outdoor dance party,” Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing at the Damrosch Park Bandshell. The Nelson Riddle Orchestra opens this year’s festivities with a classical big band sound and pays tribute to American music icons Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. I’ll be working the event for Lincoln Center, but that won’t stop me from enjoying the sweet tunes and showing off a few moves of my own. Dance lessons are from 6:30 to 7:15. Live music sets are from 7:30 to 8:30 and 9:00 to 10:00.
“So you think you can dance dance dance…” It’s summer and with summer comes Fox’s reality competition So You Think You Can Dance. Now in its 9th season, the series is one of the original dance on television programs. Slightly embarrassed to admit it, I’ve watched the show since the beginning. It’s not my typical dance style preference, but the show has delivered some standout moments (I wish they’d bring back Wade Robson!). This year, I’m covering all of the on and off stage drama for Dance Informa. Each week, I’ll provide a mid-week spoiler alert as well as a recap of the week’s episode. This Wednesday, we learn which dancers make it into the Top 20 and see them perform together for the first time.
To read my recap of Vegas Week, last week’s episode, click here.
Thursday marks another evening staying in to catch another reality dance show. DIYdancer has been following the CW series Breaking Pointe since its premiere at the end of May. Heavy on the drama, light on the dancing, the series is supposed to be an introspective look into life in a regional ballet company. The guinea pigs for Season 1 are the dancers of Ballet West and, while the last few episodes have improved, I’ve been underwhelmed overall.
Chelsea stepped in for me the last two weeks while I performed with Ballets with a Twist, but I’m back this week. It’s opening night and the stakes are high. I’ll be tweeting my thoughts and posting a recap about how the dancers handle the pressure. Follow along with #BreakingPointe.
The end of the work week means another night at the Damrosch Park Bandshell. I’ve been the most excited for this night of Midsummer Night Swing, featuring New Orleans-style hot jazz vocalist Meschiya Lake and her musical ensemble, Dem Little Big Horns. With an eclectic background of trades from glass-eater to professional mud-wrestler, Lake seems like one cool chic who can really wail.
Saturday night’s dance event takes me down to the Bowery for Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, a Manhattan-based contemporary ballet company led by the Chair of the Dance Department for NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts–Cherylyn Lavagnino–at Danspace (St. Mark’s Church). Accompanied by period instrumentation, the company premieres Triptych, an evening-length ballet set to a three-part score. Performances run Thursday, June 28 through Saturday, June 30. Check out this rehearsal footage, featuring company dancers Laura Mead and Justin Flores.
La Danse, a documentary about the Paris Opera Ballet, airs on PBS this Sunday. The film follows the rehearsals and performances of seven ballets: Genus by Wayne McGregor, Le Songe de Medée by Angelin Preljocaj, La Maison de Bernarda by Mats Ek, Paquita by Pierre Lacotte, Casse Noisette by Rudolph Nureyev, Orpheus and Eurydice by Pina Bausch—which receives it’s New York premiere this summer at Lincoln Center–and Romeo and Juliette by Sasha Waltz, as well as delving into the administrative and behind-the-scene dealings of one of the world’s greatest ballet company.
For New Yorkers, catch La Danse at 12:30 on WNET Channel 13 and 3:30 on WLIW21. For those outside of the New York area, check your local listings for broadcast times.