Jennifer Stahl's blog

What would your ideal body look like? Unfortunately, in the ballet world, too many of the answers you'll hear in response to that question in no way resemble a realistic, healthy physique.

 

Ever wonder what you'd do if you couldn't dance? It's a depressing thought, but one all dancers have to face.

 

Career Transition for Dancers will present a free career development workshop in Chicago this Sunday at Lou Conte Dance Studio. All dancers are invited to attend for free—whether you're just embarking on your career or already starting down a new path. You can stay the whole day from 12 to 6 or attend individual sessions as you like.

 

The New York Times just reported that David Hallberg, currently a principal with American Ballet Theatre, just signed a contract with the Bolshoi Ballet as a principal dancer for the 2011-2012 season. (The story even made the newspaper's homepage!) Hallberg will be the first American ever to join the Russian company. Read the full story here.

 

Got the choreography bug? The Bay Area's Company C Contemporary Ballet is celebrating its 10th anniversary season with a new commission project.

 

For dancers trained in ballet, improvisation can feel like a completely foreign concept. Yet so many contemporary choreographers these days ask dancers to improv as a tool for creating movement. More and more companies are even including improv as part of their auditioning process.

 

To kick of its 10th anniversary season, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater is offering a free performance. On Friday, August 28 at 8 pm in Houston's Miller Outdoor Theater, the small but mighty contemporary ballet troupe will present a mixed rep of audience favorites. The bill includes Walsh's Medea, Clair de Lune, and multidisciplinary Time out of Line as well as Mats Ek's Pas de Dans. Go to dwdt.org for more info.

Calling all NYC dancers: Dance/NYC, Buglisi Dance Theatre and The September Project are collaborating on a new work to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The Table of Silence Project, to take place at Lincoln Center will be an opportunity for the New York dance community to gather and, through dance, offer a prayer to the city.

 

There's so much great dance going on outdoors this time of year. Jacob's Pillow, Summerstage, Saratoga Springs, Wolf Trap, Vail, the list seems endless. In addition to the thrill of seeing dancers leap among the leaves, one of the best parts is that many of these events are offered for free!

 

The hugely popular Chicago Dancing Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary this year with five days of free dance events, starting on August 23. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, New York City Ballet, Ballet West and The Joffrey are all scheduled to perform at a variety of venues around the city. The Chicago Cultural Center will even screen The Red Shoes. Tickets will become available on July 19. Get 'em quick before they're all gone—past years' events have "sold out" within hours!

New York City's Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet is arguably the edgiest, coolest ballet company in the country. But what's more impressive is how they accomplish this without alienating mainstream audiences. In fact, they've been able to reach potential dance fans that most companies only dream of: This spring, they danced alongside Emily Blunt on the big screen in The Adjustment Bureau. And on Thursday, they'll be streamed into your living room as guest artists on So You Think You Can Dance.