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ComiNgs & goiNgs
At Pacific Northwest Ballet, Benjamin
griffiths has been promoted to
principal, Angelica generosa and
matthew Renko to soloist. ■ At Co-
lumbia City Ballet, Philip ingrassia has
been promoted to principal, Annie Ruiz
and Reinaldo Vergara soto to soloist.
■ maria mosina will retire from Colorado Ballet at the end of the 2016–17
season after 21 years with the company.
■ The suzanne Farrell Ballet will shut
down at the end of the 2017–18 season.
Farrell will become a resident teaching
artist at the Kennedy Center.
Ralph Lemon has been
awarded a National
Medal of Arts by
President Obama. ■ Bill
T. Jones has received
Humanities Prize from Washington University in St. Louis, including $25,000.
■ At the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy
Awards, Quest Crew (“America’s Best
Dance Crew”) and Kathryn Burns
(“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) each received an
award for Outstanding Choreography. ■
Chicago Human Rhythm Project recog-
nized michelle Dorrance and Nicholas
Young with the JUBA! Award for Ex-
traordinary Contributions to the Field. From
Dance Machine for the
21st Century teams up with
Steps on Broadway.
When the curtain comes down on a Broadway
musical, what happens to its choreography?
That’s the question Broadway dancer and choreographer Lee Theodore sought to address
when she launched American Dance Machine
in 1978. Her goal was to create a “living
archive” of musical theater choreography, so
that great works—and the techniques behind
them—would be preserved. The original
organization folded after Theodore’s death in
1987, but in 2012, Nikki Feirt Atkins revived
it as American Dance Machine for the 21st
Century. The current incarnation seeks to continue Theodore’s vision and educate younger
generations on musical theater history. In the
years since, ADM21 has staged several well-received shows at New York’s Joyce Theater,
and gained increasing recognition.
When Diane Grumet, co-artistic/managing
director of Steps on Broadway, approached
Atkins about teaming up, she jumped at the
opportunity. Through the new partnership,
which began in September, ADM21 is in
residency at Steps, offering repertory classes
and a Ballet for Broadway class for intermedi-
ate and advanced dancers. “If we’re going to
reconstruct work and preserve it, we need to
teach it to today’s dancers and choreographers
so they can experience it,” Atkins says. “It’s
so important for dancers to have that history,
even if they’re doing new work.”
A rotating faculty of dancers, choreog-
raphers and directors—many of whom have
staged work for ADM21’s performances—
teach the repertory class, which begins
with the original ADM warm-up created
by Theodore. The program launched with
Donna McKechnie teaching “Tick-Tock”
from Company, originally choreographed
on her by Michael Bennett. Others, like
choreographer Warren Carlyle, have taught
historic works by luminaries such as Carol
Haney, Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins.
Ballet for Broadway is taught by former
American Ballet Theatre and New York
City Ballet principal Robert La Fosse, who
was Tony-nominated for his role in Jerome
Robbins’ Broadway and has staged Robbins
works for ADM21.
The courses are generally geared towards
pre-professional dancers, and the repertory
classes are required for Steps’ conservatory
program students. “I think it’s creating a great
sense of community,” Grumet says. “It’s important to have working artists working with
students, developing them, mentoring them.”
She hopes it will also lead to networking and
Talks of expanding the offerings are
already in the works, and Atkins has a long
list of artists she’d like to bring in, including
choreographers from some of Broadway’s
more recent productions, like Andy Blankenbuehler, Joshua Bergasse and Josh Prince.
Lorin Latarro is already on board. ADM21
is expanding in other ways, too—a possible
Broadway production of their Joyce show is
in the early stages of development, targeting a
fall 2017 opening.
In the meantime, the partnership with
Steps is opening new doors for both organiza-
tions—but it’s also, in some ways, a reunion.
When Steps opened its studios at 74th Street
32 years ago, founder and artistic director
Carol Paumgarten still remembers who taught
the very first class: Lee Theodore. “I feel as if
it’s gone full circle,” she says.
ADM21 performs a scene from Golden Boy
during a performance at The Joyce Theater.