I don’t know if Albert Einstein really ever said that “Dancers are the athletes of God.” Whoever said it was a pretty smart individual, though. The statement sets dancers apart from other athletes. Physically proficient and powerful, yes, but with a deeper, perhaps more spiritual connection to the self and to the enigmatic force of creation (which, depending on your view, may indeed be a higher power).
Archives for January 2010
Tap festivals are everywhere and are probably coming to a city near you! These fabulous wood-shedding events allow tap dancers of all ages, levels, and backgrounds to meet together and share in a non-judgmental and nurturing environment. Hoofers are honored at nearly every fest, giving young dancers exposure to the greats – the masters perform and teach in an intimate setting at most events.
In 2004, Houston Dance Critic Molly Glentzer in her review of the book for Dance Magazine stated, “Li’s tenacity is an inspiring lesson to any reader, dancer or not. It’s the stuff of which great movies are made. Expect this one soon, and bring Kleenex. But read the book first.” A handful of years later, Li’s story is now a motion picture. It has already done well in Australia but unfortunately distribution in the U.S. is still speculative.
Cross-training for strength and endurance is also a good idea for any dancer. In particular, dancers who aren’t training heavily, keeping the heart rate up or working up a sweat for 20-minutes or longer during class or rehearsal multiple times per week, may need to add cross-training activities to their schedule.
When I teach dance I always start with the concept of space. It doesn’t matter if I am teaching 3 year olds or 63 year olds, space to me is a blank canvas. And I want to teach my students how to fill it.
The painter Degas seemed to enjoy capturing the natural asymmetry of dancers in training. He preserved the everyday moments of dancers between barre exercises, waiting or tying their ribbons, or shared with viewers the skewed perspective of performance from the wings.