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Dance online this summer

Posted on May 20, 2020

New York City Ballet in Coppelia. Photograph by Susanne Faulkner Stevens.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has announced a week devoted to dance that runs from May 40 to June 4. Part of Lincoln Center at Home, the offerings of Dance Week, which will be streamed at lincolncenter.org and on Lincoln Center’s Facebook Page, were filmed during more than 40 years of performances on the venue’s campus by such renowned institutions as Ballet Hispánico, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the School of American Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Some of the broadcasts have not been seen in decades and are being unlocked as Lincoln Center offers gems from its media archives, including landmark New York City Ballet works by George Balanchine, the company’s co-founder, with some dancers in the roles that Balanchine created for them.

Dance Week will include special themed Pop-Up Classrooms, with a full schedule to be announced at a later date. Lincoln Center will also make available some of its most loved Broadway productions for free with Broadway Fridays, beginning on June 5, with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel with the New York Philharmonic.

American Ballet Theatre in Les Sylphides Photo by Louis Peres

American Ballet Theatre in Les Sylphides. Photograph by Louis Peres, courtesy of LCPA.

Another online highlight this summer is American Ballet Theatre OffStage: A 2020 Virtual Season. As the global health crisis has forced American Ballet Theatre (ABT) artists out of the theatre and into their homes, these online offerings include a slate of daily activities timed to align with ABT’s previously planned New York 80th Anniversary Spring Season, from May 11 to July 4.

In a week-by-week online celebration, American Ballet Theatre OffStage offers diverse behind-the-scenes experiences of America’s National Ballet Company. Daily programming includes conversations, ballet classes, orchestral concerts, guest artist spotlights, hair and make-up tutorials and a historical review. American Ballet Theatre OffStage will run across company online platforms at abt.org, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

BalletBoyz presents Deluxe Bradley 4.18. Credit George Piper

BalletBoyz in Bradley 4.18. Photograph by George Piper.

BalletBoyz’ 20th anniversary dance show Deluxe has its TV premiere on BBC Four as part of the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine on May 27 and will be available on BBC iPlayer for 28 days following the broadcast until June 24. Deluxe was filmed during the opening venue performances of BalletBoyz’ 20th anniversary UK spring tour before it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Bradley 4:18, choreographed by Punchdrunk’s Maxine Doyle, is inspired by the lyrics and story of spoken word artist Kate Tempest’s Pictures on a Screen, about Bradley, a seemingly successful young man struggling to connect with the world around him. The work presents the six BalletBoyz dancers as different iterations of the character Bradley, and how he might act at 4:18 in the morning, and is set to a score by London-based composer, arranger and alto-saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi.

Ripple is the UK debut production from Chinese choreographer Xie Xin to a highly detailed electronic score by composer, lauded tap dancer and her long-time collaborator Jiang Shaofeng. The piece explores movement inspired by the memory of a person and the flow of energy that such memories and feelings possess. Fluid and lyrical, it sees the company express new styles in contrast to their familiar athletic and strength-oriented work.

Further treats can be enjoyed through the BBC iPlayer in the form of a wide selection of classic movies from Hollywood’s golden age. RKO Pictures was one of the Big Five studios of Hollywood’s golden age during the 1930s, producing some of the best-loved and most revered films in cinema history, and working with some of the biggest stars and directors ever, including, of course, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the likes of Top Hat and The Gay Divorcee.

Main photograph: New York City Ballet in Coppélia. Photograph by Susanne Faulkner Stevens, courtesy of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. 

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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