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Who would be on your list of "dance icons changing the face of dance today"?


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Yesterday The Huffington Post published an article b Katherine Brooks entitled "17 Ballet Icons Who Are Changing The Face Of Dance Today".

 

I am delighted to see that Michaela dePrince and Cassa Pancho are on the list because they would have been on my list too but there are some surprising omissions. For instance, I would have included Tamara Rojo for the impressive way that she has managed her company and popularized ballet.  Having seen the Mariinsky last week there are some impressive dancers there including Kimin Kim and our own Xander Parish who spoke about his wider visions to the London Ballet Circle on Monday.

 

Some of the people on the list like Acosta and Guillem are ballet greats rather than folk who are still changing the face of dance.

 

I'd be interested to see some alternative lists.

 

 

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The word 'changing' makes it challenging when speaking of dancers - and, here, they seemed largely reserved in number to the ballet which is, of course, fine (and most fitting for this site) .... Glad to see Whelan still listed amongst that number, should think that (Tiler) Peck and (Robbie) Fairchild should be, perhaps Mearns and Smirnova and (Ed) Watson deserve mention.  Certainly Woetzel is stirring things up a tad as is Farrell much as Mitchell, Villella and Thomasson did in the past  - but none of those are still dancing in front of the paying public .... Ferri and even Baryishnikov (amazingly) are still going apace and trying to stretch things a bit ... and certainly Rojo ... Lendorf comes happily to mind ... Osipova is MOST deserving in terms of moving human targets ... (myself I'd like to include Sarafanov and of the current Mariinsky crowd Shklyarov ... oh, and Stina Quagabeur if for no other reason than VERA) ... So glad that Chi Cho, the glorious Jose Manuel Carreno and Aesha Ash (who I doubt was EVER seen here but who fought oh, so many very real battles and whose difference made is even now clearly evident) made the list.  STILL, above them ALL right now - if we are talking dancers on the international scene - and about currently active 'dancers' who are currently changing/challenging international perceptions 'iconically'  ... I'd have to put JUSTIN PECK down for (sadly not much seen here but for one very short but very fine piece with the LA Dance Project) fairly obvious reasons. Even CC on that occasion was able to see through the oft clouding fog of his historic mist and champion the future via this dancer's extraordinary depth of perception.

 

The fact that Justin Peck WASN'T included in yesterday's list makes it a tad suspect in my eyes.  How could you NOT NOW include him with 'changing' and 'dancers' in your title, especially while wanting to plant such in a balletic field.  

Edited by Bruce Wall
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I think they have approached this from the wrong angle.  On the whole I don't think it is the dancers who change the face of dance but the dance makers and directors.

 

I would agree that Cassa Pancho should be on that list and Tamara Rojo and for the UK I may also include Christopher Moore (BTUK) and Darius James (Ballet Cymru) who are forging ahead with small very companies producing great full length ballets.

 

Having said that, I was very gratified to see Chi Cao on the list (even if the bit of writing about him was a bit namby pamby).  In a list of dancers I would also include Celine Gittens of BRB.

Edited by Janet McNulty
Edited to correct name to Ballet Cymru
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I think they have approached this from the wrong angle.  On the whole I don't think it is the dancers who change the face of dance but the dance makers and directors.

 

I would agree that Cassa Pancho should be on that list and Tamara Rojo and for the UK I may also include Christopher Moore (BTUK) and Darius James (Ballet Clwyd) who are forging ahead with small very companies producing great full length ballets.

 

Having said that, I was very gratified to see Chi Cao on the list (even if the bit of writing about him was a bit namby pamby).  In a list of dancers I would also include Celine Gittens of BRB.

 

I agree with everything you say.  

 

As to your first point, I think the reason why the author of that article refers to individual dancers is to reinforce her point that they are no longer all of one race.   I don't think much of her point.

 

I am not sure that it is choreographers or directors who change the face of dance. It is the men who control its funding. For instance,one of the biggest influences on the development of  ballet in this country was the economist Lord Keynes who helped to set up what is now the Arts Council. He was also married to Lydia Lopokova, a Russian ballerina, but that's another story. Keynes amassed an enormous fortune for himself and his college by shrewd investment and he donated some of it to the arts.

 

I also like Chi Cao and Céline Gittens.  

 

Isn't Darius James with Ballet Cymru which is based in Newport?  I was not aware of a Ballet Clwyd and can't find references to it on the internet. I agree that they are a fine company perhaps not so much for their performances as their outreach work. They are doing wonderful things with Stuck in the Mud in co-operaton with GDance. I hope to see it in Llandudno next month. Skydancer and I admired their Beauty and the Beast which we saw in Lincoln in June and I also liked their Romeo a Juliet last year.

Edited by terpsichore
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Very irritating article which is very confused about what point it is trying to make. It appears to be saying that ballet is a white persons pursuit, but then goes on to list many people from other racial and ethnic backgrounds that have been super successful. In fact ballet is far more encompassing and has a far wider global reach than many other arts/sports e.g. does anyone ever write articles about changing the face of rugby or cricket?

 

The other point it tries to make is that some people may be excluded because their racial background means they don't conform to the physical ideal of ballet. Well ballet physique is niche but 99% of white people don't meet the requirements either!!

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Very irritating article which is very confused about what point it is trying to make. It appears to be saying that ballet is a white persons pursuit, but then goes on to list many people from other racial and ethnic backgrounds that have been super successful. In fact ballet is far more encompassing and has a far wider global reach than many other arts/sports e.g. does anyone ever write articles about changing the face of rugby or cricket?

 

The other point it tries to make is that some people may be excluded because their racial background means they don't conform to the physical ideal of ballet. Well ballet physique is niche but 99% of white people don't meet the requirements either!!

 

I read this in Dance Links and, I'm afraid, rather dismissed it as a poorly thought through hotch-potch of names.

 

Maybe but at least one company was glad to see one of its dancers listed in the article. I picked up the article from the Dutch National Ballet's Facebook page and the dancer herself favorited and re-tweeted my tweet about the article.

 

Is there such a thing as bad publicity?

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Isn't Darius James with Ballet Cymru which is based in Newport?  I was not aware of a Ballet Clwyd and can't find references to it on the internet. I agree that they are a fine company perhaps not so much for their performances as their outreach work. They are doing wonderful things with Stuck in the Mud in co-operaton with GDance. I hope to see it in Llandudno next month. Skydancer and I admired their Beauty and the Beast which we saw in Lincoln in June and I also liked their Romeo a Juliet last year.

 

Thanks for spotting my slip up.  I've corrected it.

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