Selected Dance Network Interviews
Selected Dance Network Interviews and Articles

WATCH Dance Network's Michael Mahany interviews RESTLESS CREATURE star Wendy Whelan

September 26, 2017

Michael Mahany sat down for an exclusive interview with New York City Ballet legend and star of the award winning documentary RESTLESS CREATURE, Wendy Whalen. 

When ‘New American Romance’ debuts in New York City later this month, it will mark American Ballet Theatre principal danseur James Whiteside’s choreographic debut with the company — and it’ll promise to be different than anything the internationally respected ballet institution has ever produced.

Right now, in the world of New York City choreographers, it seems there’s no one on more of a hot streak than Tony-nominated dance creator Camille A. Brown.

JaQuel Knight is a name you need to know. Why? Well, because he’s arguably the most influential commercial dance choreographer of a generation.

The New York City dance community came out in droves early Monday morning to rally against bullying, acknowledge and support male dancers, and to celebrate the dedication, passion, and perseverance the study of the dance demands.

 

How did they do it, you ask? By doing what dancers do best. They took class!

On the 31st day of July 2019, on a Nordic island in the middle of the Northern Atlantic — Broadway and the dance world lost a luminary in Harold Smith Prince.

 

The legendary producer, director, stage manager, theatrical pioneer, and (yes, even) US Army Veteran, passed away in Reykjavik, Iceland at the age of 91. Due in part to his passion for creating lasting and evocative work and the preservation of many of his theatrical ventures, the massive contributions to the art forms created by the beloved dance and theatre figure, will quite literally never be forgotten, while his loss will be felt for generations.

The Four Most Interesting Dance Moments From The 2019 Grammy Awards

February 11, 2019

The 2019 Grammys was one for the books! 

While the show itself was awesome, there were only a handful of truly exciting dance moments— and we’ve got them for you right here.

 

Here’s Dance Network’s list of the FOUR MOST INTERESTING DANCE MOMENTS from the Grammys.

An Interview With ‘Hamilton: Puerto Rico’ Dance Captain, Dashi’ Mitchell

January 30, 2020

Hamilton’s Puerto Rico company lowered its curtain for the final time on January 27th at the Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferré, the local venue in which it played in San Juan. The company that performed in PR is now preparing for a San Francisco, CA sit-down run before they (eventually) take off on a national touring itinerary.

 

While in the final week of its island run, Dance Network was able to catch up with HamiltonPR dance captain and swing, Dashi' Mitchell.

Tiler Peck Joins NYCDA Foundation’s ‘Destiny Rising’ Benefit To Celebrates $2.5 Million In Scholarship Funding

January 23, 2020

The Joyce Theatre in Chelsea was ablaze with the warmth of excited dancers and dance patrons even though the high in Manhattan last Monday night was only a miserable 12 degrees. Fans, philanthropists, and students were on hand to enjoy New York City Dance Alliance Foundation’s annual benefit concert— this year called Destiny Rising— which not only raised additional funds but also celebrated the $2.5 million in scholarship money the education and convention organization has given out since 2010.

New York City Ballet principal dancer and star of the hit Hulu dance documentary Ballet NowTiler Peck was a guest star of the evening’s concert. Ms. Peck, a former student of Joe Lanteri— the founder and executive director of both NYCDA and its subsequent philanthropic foundation— is still quite fond of her longtime friend.

In This St. Mary's College Program, Pro and Retired Dancers Can Literally LEAP Toward A Degree

January 15, 2020

For many dancers, jumping out of the gate early is the key to catching a majority of their professional career in their prime dancing years, but when they find they’d like to expand or ultimately to transition to something else entirely, they run into the issue of a lack of formal higher education. Often, high-level companies ask dancers still of high school age to move away from home and commit solely to their crafts, and many of these young performers don't get a chance to go through an undergraduate college degree program. 

 

Fortunately though, St. Mary’s College of California has created an educational solution called the LEAP Program aimed at both professional and retired dancers looking to earn a Bachelor’s Degree without ever having to put their career on hold.

For Broadway's Betsy Struxness, #PatioJams Is About Way More Than Just Dance

January 07, 2020

Betsy Struxness, a New York City-based performer who’s made a name for herself as one of the leading dancers in the Broadway community, creating art isn't just simply something she wants to do — it's something for which she was born. Through a new series of self-created online dance videos she’s calling #PatioJams, Struxness, a member of the original Broadway cast of Hamilton and graduate of Juilliard’s dance program, shares her passions for movement, fashion, photography, and music. 

Why It’s A Big Deal That New York City Ballet Just Announced Promotions

October 16, 2018

Last weekend, between the matinee of Robbins 100 and the evening performance of Short Stories, interim team Artistic Leader of New York City Ballet Jonathan Stafford, announced the promotion of seven ballet dancers within the company; including Joseph Gordon from Soloist to Principal, and six other corps de ballet dancers to Soloists.

 

These promotions are a big deal for the company that has struggled over the past year with a number of newsworthy yet odious transgressions, and this news should be good news to dance fans everywhere.

Justin Peck Is Set To Choreograph The West Side Story Film Remake; What Does That Mean To The Dance World?

October 03, 2018

It was announced last week that the TONY® Award-winning New York City Ballet resident choreographer and Soloist Justin Peck, is set to choreograph the film remake of the Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, and Leonard Bernstein masterpiece, West Side Story.

DANCE NOW, Inspiring Creativity Through Artistic Limitation

September 05, 2018

The 23rd annual DANCE NOW Festival begins this week at The Public Theatre’s cabaret space, Joe’s Pub.

 

The festival has grown into a highly anticipated annual autumn event drawing some of New York City’s brightest emerging and established talent. Working within given guidelines of “limitation”, the festival pushes dancers and choreographers to create within the mantra of “less is more”. The festival has produced consistently exciting work and set in motion the career advancement of numerous choreographers over its two decades.

Paul Taylor; Legendary Modern Dancer and Choreographer, Gone At 88

August 30, 2018

Paul Taylor, the legendary modern dance icon passed away Wednesday in New York City at the age of 88.

Neil Simon’s Legendary Contribution To Theatre Dance

August 29, 2018

Neil Simon, playwright and book writer to countless Broadway plays and musicals, passed away Saturday evening at Manhattan’s Columbia Presbyterian Hospital after complications of pneumonia. He was ninety-one.  

Hamilton’s Stephanie Klemons Is Reshaping The Way Art Can Heal With Katie’s Art Project

July 31, 2018

Undoubtedly by now, you know Stephanie Klemons. The dance and theatre powerhouse has worked hard to make a name for herself on Broadway; she’s as an original cast member, the associate choreographer, and current global dance supervisor of the monumental mega-hit musical Hamilton— yet, her work outside ‘the room where it happens’ makes this major player of the dance world, a superstar.

Believe NYC; Making Dreams Come True And Raising Autism Awareness

August 07, 2018

Believe NYC isn't your normal, run of the mill New York City Broadway travel connection organization. At Believe NYC, students get a first hand, real-life look at Broadway, but moreover, the outreach work that’s developed from its success has made it something far, far more special.

Finding The Science In Dance

July 17, 2018

Proponents of arts education have, for years, preached the benefits of artistically enriched schooling and access to after-school programing. The growth witnessed in participating children, time after time, seems to produce confident, adept critical thinkers willing to expand personal horizons and more openly accept and work with peers. Yamilee Toussaint, founder and CEO of STEM From Dance, is no different from her arts education colleagues, yet the angle from which she approaches her work might be, well, to use the mathematical term, a little more obtuse.

The Happy Hour Guys’ The Broadway Brews Project

July 03, 2018

James Ludwig and Mark Aldrich certainly know a lot about theatre. “Jimmy” Ludwig, who was on Broadway in the 2003 revival of Little Shop Of Horrors and the original company of Spamalot, and Aldridge whose credits include the 2009 revival of Ragtime and the original company of Newsies, have also both amassed remarkable resumes on the stage and in television and film, but the two also have another, secondary, common passion: beer.

Broadway Bares: Game Night’s Record Breaking Evening

June 19, 2018

Over 200 of Broadway’s best dancers and performers came together Sunday night at The Hammerstein Ballroom on West 34th Street in Manhattan to raise money for the annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’s Broadway Bares. This year’s event, titled Broadway Bares: Game Night, raised a record breaking $1,875,090.00 for the charitable organization.

The 2018 TONY® Awards

June 11, 2018

The 2018 TONY® Awards, which aired live on CBS Sunday night, certainly provided both the live audience at Radio City Music Hall and viewers at home a bright night of Broadway stars, exciting performances, and, of course, some surprises.

National Dance Institute’s 2018 Annual Gala; Dance Network’s Red Carpet Recap Of The Star Studded Event

May 02, 2018

Monday marked the 42nd Annual Gala for the National Dance Institute, and some of New York City’s biggest dance, theatre, television, and film stars were out to celebrate the beloved organization. Dance Network was back with a prime spot on the red carpet for the second year in a row covering all the action.

Off-Broadway’s New Hit Play; Clare Barron’s Dance Nation

May 18, 2018

With all the focus this month leading up to the TONY® Awards on June 10th, it’s easy to forget about what’s happening, both literally and figuratively, Off-Broadway. Over at Playwright’s Horizon, the award winning Off-Broadway company revered by the theatre community, a new and profound play is taking a larger look at what it’s like to be a preteen girl— through the lens of competition dance.

Broadway’s Shannon Lewis’ New Voyage At The Secret Silk

April 26, 2018

Broadway dancer and choreographer Shannon Lewis’ career spells out like a dream to anyone seeking a professional life on the Great White Way. An over two decade resume of performance credits that has taken her to Broadway at least ten times, from Susan Stroman’s early nineties Crazy For You, to the most recent revival of The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, Lewis has worked with nearly every major contemporary Broadway choreographer in the book. Recently, however, Lewis’ venture into the role of the choreographer itself has brought her some new and beautifully unique opportunities— not just in New York, but on the high seas.

The 32nd Annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Easter Bonnet Competition

April 24, 2018

Monday and Tuesday of this week brought the Broadway community together to celebrate the annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Easter Bonnet Competition. Performed at the Minskoff Theatre, the home of Disney’s The Lion King, the thirty-two year old tradition brought company members from at least fifteen different Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, representatives from the Actors’ Equity National Touring companies, and other affiliated organizations side by side, to perform skits and model their originally designed bonnets, all in the name of charity.

Alicia Graf Mack Is Bringing A New Light To Juilliard’s Dance Division

April 17, 2018

Quietly, during a week chock full of huge dance news— everything from the announcement of the 2018 cast of Dancing With The Stars to the opening of the Justin Peck choreographed Carousel on Broadway— a very special announcement came out of The Juilliard School’s Dance Division. A piece of news that in another week may have garnered more attention, should be given it’s due notice; the famed institution's prestigious school of dance announced last Tuesday that Alicia Graf Mack will become the new Director of Dance beginning July 1st.

Our Five Favorite Things About Jesus Christ Superstar Live

April 03, 2018

At this point, you’re probably just stating to come down from your excitement cloud after watching Jesus Christ Superstar Live Easter Sunday night—so, we at Dance Network are here to help you get back up onto your powder puff of musical theatre joy once again!

Dance Network has put together a list of our FIVE favorite things about Easter Sunday’s performance of Jesus Christ Superstar Live. Check them out here:

The Road To Recovery; How Broadway’s Mikey Winslow Is Working To Reverse The Stigma About Injuries In The Dance World

March 27, 2018

Professional dancers have long been respected for their arduous work ethics, steadfast dedications to their art form, and an uncanny ability to perform through pain. Often to the detriment of their instruments, dancers, for generations, have masked injury and risked chronic damage in order to get or keep a job. That stigma—however respectable or repugnant it might seem to be— has pushed some dancers too far, and has left a unremovable stain on the dance world.

 

One performer, however, a formidable Broadway veteran and profound dancer, Mikey Winslow, has had enough.

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance Has Been Making Waves All Month at Lincoln Center

March 20, 2018

Since 2015, through an initiative with Lincoln Center, PTAMD company members have brought a month long festival celebrating the highest echelons of modern dance to the uptown dance community. Paul Taylor’s company, with all of its New York City lower-east-side flare, offers the more traditional ballet crowd a look into the legacy of the American born modern dance style.

NEW BLOG SERIES: What It Takes To Make It. First Up, A Conversation With Broadway Makeup Designer Joe Dulude, II

February 27, 2018

Ever wonder what else you need to know— besides having a strong technique and a unforgiving drive and passion— to make it in the dance world? Well, Dance Network is rolling out a new blog series called What It Takes To Make It where we’ll talk about all those other things; the skills, the crafts, and the knowledge that pro-dancers should know, and you’ll hear it all from the people that do it best. We’ll chat with everyone from makeup designers, physical therapists, to wardrobe supervisors, stagehands, and those running dance auditions— all the folks that go into making, supporting, and sustaining a dancer and performer’s career.

 

In our first undertaking, we spoke with Broadway makeup designer Joe Dulude, II. Dulude’s vast resume includes works for film, television, and at least sixteen shows on the Great White Way, including four currently running: Spongebob SquarepantsAnastasiaBeautiful: The Carole King Musical, and the long running smash about Broadway’s favorite green-girl, Wicked.

Turns Out The Thoroughly Modern Millie Reunion Concert WAS Epic

February 20, 2018

About a month ago, we told you about the official announcement from The Actors’ Fund about a benefit concert reuniting some of the original cast members of the Broadway hit Thoroughly Modern Millie, and its potential to be EPIC.

 

Turns out, it was MORE than EPIC; not only did the concert go off without a hitch last Monday night here at New York City’s Minskoff Theatre, but it brought back some of the show’s biggest stars to raise money for a very good cause.

Valentine’s Day Special — An Interview With New York City Ballet Principal and star of Romeo And Juliet, Tiler Peck

February 13, 2018

If you’re still looking for some great Valentine’s Day plans, you need to look no further than New York City Ballet’s current production of Romeo And Juliet.

 

This production of R&J— the third incarnation of the former NYCB Ballet Master-In-Chief Peter Martins’ version— stars a rotating cast of some of the biggest and brightest names at City Ballet; including fan favorite, principal dancer Tiler Peck, who’s danced the role of Juliet in all three of NYCB’s manifestations.

Why The NFL’s Dirty Dancing Spot Was The Super Bowl’s Best Commercial—And, An Exclusive Interview With The Ad’s Associate Choreographer, Alison Solomon

February 06, 2018

These days, the Super Bowl isn't just about football— we, over at Dance Network, know so many people who show up to the party for the food and tune into the game just for the halftime show and the commercials alone. During this year’s gridiron showdown, however, we got it all: an AWESOME game (go EAGLES!!), a fantastic (and somehow, controversial) halftime show performed by Justin Timberlake, and, as always, some hit and miss ads. This year, though, it definitely goes without saying that for dancers, the NFL’s Dirty Dancing commercial was a home run…. err, touchdown, I should say.

The Two Best Dance Moments From The 2018 Grammy® Awards

January 30, 2018

The 2018 Grammy® Awards ceremony was a night full of powerful performances, passionate political displays, artistry, and a celebration of the music industry’s power in culture. The festivities took place inside New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden, which meant that the 60th annual presentation of music’s biggest awards marked the end of a 15 year drought in which the broadcast had been away from the City That Never Sleeps, and although this particular season’s telecast didn’t feature a large array of dance performances, there were two fantastic movement presentations that stood out.

Why Phantom Of The Opera’s 30th Anniversary Is Great News For Dancers

January 23, 2018

Tonight, January 26th, Broadway’s Phantom Of The Opera celebrates it’s 30th birthday on Broadway! This never before seen feat, is EXCELLENT news for the dance community, because during Phantom’s thirty year— and counting— run, the musical has employed thousands of dancers and performers all over the world.

The Broadway and Dance Communities' Make The Matinee March

January 23, 2018

This passed Saturday, when an estimated one million people marched nationally in the 2018 Women’s March, the dance and theatre community held their own supportive and concurrent event.

The Thoroughly Modern Millie Reunion Concert Has The Potential To Be EPIC!

January 16, 2018

The Actors Fund will be presenting a one-night reunion concert of the 2002 hit dance musical Thoroughly Modern Millie in February. The musical, which won six of the twelve TONY® Awards for which it was nominated, was one of the most celebrated productions of the early 2000’s, and helped usher in some of Broadway’s current top talent.

What We're Excited About In 2018

January 02, 2018

It’s officially 2018! With the new year comes so many new works making their way straight to the stages of the Big Apple. Dance Network has got a look forward at some of what we’re excited about in 2018.

Performing Over The Holiday Season; What’s It Really Like?

December 24, 2019

During the holiday season, many folks think of time with family, airports, road trips, or some much needed time away from work, but for many professional New York City performers the case is just the opposite. 

A Love Affair With Dance; A Dance Network Exclusive Interview With Broadway’s JoAnn M. Hunter

December 18, 2017

“As for a show biz family? Well that was not us,” JoAnn M Hunter told me as I prepared questions for our exclusive Dance Network interview, “No one in my family ventured into theatre or any of the performing arts.  I was, and am the lone wolf.”

How Do You Make A Successful Career In Dance? We Asked New Adventures Star, Sam Archer

November 28, 2017

New Adventures Dancer Sam Archer is known for his work in ballets like Play Without Words, Edward Scissorhands, and The Red Shoes, so we at Dance Network asked him all about his career, creating new work with Matthew Bourne, and his advice for future dancers. See the full Dance Network interview by clicking the link. 

San Francisco Dance Film Festival’s Co-Laboratory Project

September 26, 2017

Picture this: two artists, each at the top of their respective games, paired together; one from the world of dance, the other from the world of filmmaking. They’re given a budget, the resources they’ll need, and a location. Their task: to create and shoot—(in one week!)— a new, original dance short film to be premiered on the final night of the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

The Stars Were Out Last Weekend In New York City

October 03, 2017

t was a busy weekend here in New York City with both New York City Ballet’s Fall Fashion Gala last Thursday evening, and New York City Dance Alliance’s Bright Lights, Shining Stars on Sunday night. Dance Network had exclusive access to both red carpet events and was there to capture it all.

An Interview with the Creators of NDI's "Dream Project"

September 26, 2017

 A deep dive with the creators of National Dance Institute's D.R.E.A.M. Project. Michael sits down Master Teacher Kay Gayner, and board certified pediatric physical therapist Agnes McConlogue Ferro to discuss in depth how this program is changing the face of arts education, dancers with disabilities, and their ultimate goal, "to get the world dancing."

The SWANS Of New York City Ballet’s Swan Lake

September 29, 2017

The revival of Peter Martins’ version of Swan Lake opened New York City Ballet’s 2017-2018 season last week at the David H. Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center. This is the second staging of Martin’s take of Tschaikovsky’s musical masterpiece for NYCB since 2006— which begs the question: with the popularity of the Natalie Portman led film version, the world renowned Matthew Bourne staging, and the original Ivanov/Petipa/Balanchine choreographed version of the work being produced regularly around the ballet world, how is it that New York City Ballet continues to push the bounds of modern day classical dance with a re-staging of a fairly recent and oversaturated ballet?

A Midsummer Night Swing

September 19, 2017

Michael takes an in-depth look at Lincoln Center's annual Midsummer Night Swing dance event. 

An Interview with Miss America Choreographer, Shea Sullivan

September 12, 2017

Michael sits down with theatre and Miss America choreographer Shea Sullivan to find out the success of her twenty years working on the talent portions with some of the top ranking competitors.

New York City Dance Alliance's Summer Intensive

September 05, 2017

Michael goes inside the Summer Intensive with one of New York City's most sought after and celebrated student programs: New York City Dance Alliance.

The Ghostlight Project Unites Performing Artists Across America

August 22, 2017

A look at the launch of Tina Landau's led Project GhostLight in Times Square. The event was shared around the nation, at the same time.

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