Reliving History at the Dance Magazine Awards

Last night, the Dance Magazine Awards at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York City had more ballet candy than any DM Awards I can remember. The delightful Ashley Bouder opened with an excerpt from Balanchine's Square Dance, staged by awardee Patricia Wilde, once a New York City Ballet principal and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre artistic director. Then we got a video dose of the dagger-footed Sylvie Guillem dancing Mats Ek's work. (We also learned that the choreographer's last name is pronounced with a true E: "eek," not "eck.")

Another video montage, this time of San Francisco Ballet principal Yuan Yuan Tan, reminded me of how otherworldly she was when I saw her earlier this fall in Ghosts, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, who presented her award. I loved hearing Tan talk about venturing into Balanchine roles for the first time—she never saw his work or even heard Stravinsky throughout her training in Shanghai.

Damian Woetzel gave us a firsthand account of the rush you get from Philip Glass' music in Jerome Robbins' Glass Pieces. I felt a little starstruck when Glass himself came onstage, but the feeling melted quickly once he started talking. With great sincerity, Glass emphasized how humbled he is by the dancers and choreographers he's tirelessly composed for.

And then, a childhood dream of mine came true: Alessandra Ferri passionately performed a portion of award-winner Martha Clarke's Chéri, which opened in New York on Sunday, with the equally extraordinary Herman Cornejo. As a young dancer, I remember watching one American Ballet Theatre tape of Ferri in Romeo and Juliet over and over. I nearly died when she retired—I lived in Minnesota and had never gotten the chance to see her live. What an honor it was, to see history reverse and repeat itself, all evening long.


For video highlights of the 2013 DM Awards, click here.

Latest Posts

Laurent Liotardo (post-production by Nik Pate), Courtesy ENB

Catch English National Ballet’s Rising Stars in the Emerging Dancer Competition Livestream

The coronavirus pandemic may have postponed English National Ballet's annual Emerging Dancer competition last spring, but the show must go on—digitally! You can still watch ENB's best and brightest talent during the competition's livestream, taking place on September 22 at 7:20 pm BST (that's 2:20 pm ET). Now in its 11th year, the competition for the Emerging Dancer Award will be broadcast live from the company's East London production studio for the first time. Tickets are available for $6.99 per device and will remain available to view on demand until September 29.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
From left: Alaina Broyles, Courtesy Werner; Courtesy Underwood

Gaynor Minden's Latest Dancer Lineup Features a Body-Positivity Activist and Its First Guy

Pointe shoe brand Gaynor Minden recently welcomed 32 young dancers to its coveted roster of Gaynor Girls. But this year, the company included two applicants who push the boundaries of what it means to dance on pointe. While both Mason Simon Underwood and Colleen Werner are longtime GM wearers, they stand out from the rest of this year's group: Underwood is the first ever Gaynor Guy, and Werner is a body-positivity activist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Dylan Giles, Courtesy Festival Ballet Providence

Festival Ballet Providence's New Leap Year Program Gives Dancers Facing a Gap Year a Place to Grow

A new training program at Festival Ballet Providence called Leap Year is welcoming pre-professional and professional dancers who don't have a studio or company to dance for this season.

The endeavor is the brainchild of Kathleen Breen Combes, FBP's executive and artistic director. "I kept getting these emails of dancers saying they just need a place to train this year," says Combes. "I thought, What if we could provide a space for dancers to get stronger, experiment and try new things in a nonjudgmental and no-pressure environment?"

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks