Supplemental Resource for Alastair Macaulay Interview on ‘Serenade’

Posted by on 01.23.2017

This week on the “Conversations on Dance” podcast, we have the pleasure of speaking with New York Times Chief Dance Critic, Alastair Macaulay.  For the past 30 years Alastair has been researching George Balanchine’s ’Serenade’ and has recently complied his work into a Symposium at the New York Public Library entitled “Balanchine’s Serenade: An Evening of Films, Commentary, and Memories.”  Today he sits down with us to discuss this historical and iconic ballet and it’s history.  Click here to listen.  This is one of our more technical episodes, so we suggest reviewing the ballet after listening to the podcast. Below, find a list of...

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Incorporating History into Dance Education

Posted by on 06.25.2015

One of the great things about summer layoff, is that I have the wonderful opportunity to teach and coach the next generation of dancers.  Yesterday I sat down with my students and asked them if they had done the homework I had assigned to them on Monday.  A few hands shot up in the air with excitement.  “OK,” I told them, “Let’s talk about George Balanchine.” We started with his birth in 1904 in St. Petersburg, Russia and his death in New York in 1983 at age 79.  I asked them why they thought I had them research George Balanchine. That elicited some quick responses: “Because you want us to understand his style,” and “You wanted us to look up...

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Summer Teaching Diaries: Fostering Young Dancers’ Love for Ballet

Posted by on 07.22.2014

Dancers all know that more work is put in offstage than onstage.  The same goes for young people studying ballet.  Though they may not be assigned “homework” as they are in school, education outside the studio is just as important as the education they are receiving at the barre. There are many small dance studios across the country and around the world. Not every aspiring dancer has the great fortune of attending a professional school where the tradition of ballet surrounds them day in and day out. Not every student has access to professional quality performances, showcasing generations of beloved productions. However, in today’s high-tech society,...

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The Dancers’ Artistry: How We Are Evolving

Posted by on 05.11.2014

I recently came across a very thought provoking article in Dance Magazine about the delicate balance between artistry and emphasizing the execution of  ballet steps with technical proficiency.  This is a big topic of conversation these days as reality television brings dance into our homes more than ever before.  On shows like “So You Think You Can Dance,” we see remarkable tricks: daunting jumps, lifts, turns, etc.  It always amazes me what the audience chooses to react to on these shows: they clap and scream for a simple press lift, while seemingly missing the talent and artistry behind the fast footwork that follows.  In an effort to please an...

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Profile of a Great Ballet: La Valse

Posted by on 04.01.2013

George Balanchine’s La Valse has been a staple of Miami City Ballet’s repertoire for years.  Not only have we performed this excellent work all across South Florida, we waltzed on the Parisian stage where the music premiered in 1920.  Since performing this ballet in a beautiful theater with such history, this Balanchine work has become incredibly close to our hearts. I recently decided to delve more into the story and premise in order to have a more complete understanding of Balanchine’s vision.  He choose to create a plot within this 30 minute work, but as is often the case with Balanchine choreography, the story is complex and open for...

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Profile of a Great Ballet: Apollo

Posted by on 01.19.2013

I am ashamed to admit it, but until the beginning of this season, I had never seen George Balanchine’s Apollo. OK, well maybe I had seen it, but I had never really seen it.  Life changed for me on that Thursday evening sitting in the house of Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.  I know that sounds dramatic, but it gave me a whole new respect for Balanchine’s choreography (and if you are a regular reader, you know I am already a big fan.) The morning after my first real viewing of Apollo, I sat with my coffee and my Balanchine books to study up on the ballet’s story and history before seeing it again that evening.  I...

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