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Skylar Brandt. Photo by Jayme Thornton

Take a Free Class With Skylar Brandt

What is the secret sauce to Skylar Brandt's seemingly superhuman technique? (Those balances! Those turns!)

Well, the American Ballet Theatre principal is ready to share some insights. Take a free online class with the cover star of our February issue through Dance Media Live! On Wednesday, March 3, at 4 pm ET, Brandt will teach a 45-minute ballet barre, followed by a short Q&A with participants.

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Artists of The Australian Ballet perform the "Kingdom of the Shades" from La Bayadère. Lynette Wills, Courtesy The Australian Ballet.

Catch The Australian Ballet’s Livestreamed Season Premiere This Weekend

After a yearlong hiatus, The Australian Ballet is ready to return to the stage. The company's season opener, titled Summertime at the Ballet, packs a great deal of firsts: It marks the ballet's first performance before a live audience since the start of the pandemic; the first time the company takes the stage under the leadership of its new artistic director, David Hallberg; and the first time The Australian Ballet performs at the Melbourne & Olympic Parks Margaret Court Arena. Another important first: The performance will be livestreamed not only in Australia but all over the world. Summertime at the Ballet will be broadcast February 28 at 11:45 am AEDT (that's 7:45 pm EST on February 27 here in the U.S.), with bonus features, such as interviews and commentary. It will be accessible for 48 hours to accommodate all time zones.

This livestream will be provided via The Australian Ballet's newly launched digital platform, Live on Ballet TV. "One of my main goals is for the company to be seen by as many people around the world as possible," says Hallberg, the American-born international star who took the helm at The Australian Ballet in January. "Which is why Live on Ballet TV is such an integral part of my vision artistically."

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Joffrey Ballet dancer Hyuma Kiyosawa on set during the shoot for Interim Avoidance. Michael Kettenbeil, Courtesy Action Lines.

Action Lines' Digital Art Installation, Starring Joffrey Dancers, Brings Virtual Ballet to the Chicago Public

This past year, dance has taken a flying leap into the world of virtual performance, with dancer-led enterprises emerging along the way. Laptops and television screens have hence erupted as leading performance venues. But for the new Chicago-based production company Action Lines, co-founded by Joffrey Ballet artists Xavier "Xavi" Núñez and Dylan Gutierrez, and film producer Eric Grant, dance has found another home: a 3,300-square-foot media-installation wall in downtown Chicago.

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Kyle Froman

Using Physics to Explain "Centered Placement," and How It Can Impact Your Dance Longevity

Could dance science help to prolong your performing career?

What if I told you that a few changes to your alignment, and, specifically, more targeted hamstring usage, could make a huge difference? This change could empower your dancing and impact longevity. The muscles are more available to recruit to fire, energy is conserved when executing movement (so stamina is increased), and consistency in balances, turns, jumps and lines could be more easily attained.

I've been fortunate enough to collaborate with dance physicist Dr. Kenneth Laws; we primarily focused on alignment and weight placement. Using an electronic barre (which uses the weight of the hand to measure various forces), we discovered that the even distribution of weight over a vertical axis (the supporting leg) resulted in a more stable center, which translated into dancers having greater freedom of movement. Alignment departing from this centered placement meant that the body usually gripped with opposing muscles.

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The Constellation Project's detailed orbit of Dance Theatre of Harlem co-founder Arthur Mitchell. Digital design by Natasha Hulme, Courtesy MoBBallet

Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet's "Constellation Project" Maps the Complex Histories of 6 Dance Pioneers

Last week, Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet celebrated the start of Black History Month with the launch of The Constellation Project, a star-studded online exhibition of dance history. The project maps the lives of six influential Black dancers—Arthur Mitchell, Mel Tomlinson, Lavinia Williams, Mabel Jones Freeman, Doris Jones and Claire Haywood—across a digitally rendered galaxy of historical events, institutions and more. The result is an educational experience that, much like its galaxy-inspired title, will no doubt only continue to grow.

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