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By Wendy Perron
What better way to ring in the new year than watching a fabulous new talent—a “25 to Watch” in fact—dancing? That’s what I did during the photo session with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Kumiko Tsuji, who slithered and soared and rippled through a phrase of Dwight Rhoden’s Smoke ’n Roses. While jumping and turning over and over again, Tsuji’s facial expression hovered somewhere between joyous and serene.
That burst of new energy is how we feel about this issue. We have two new columns we’re excited about. “From the Heart” will consist of two alternating topics. The first is “Why I Dance,” which will be a personal expression of the desire and commitment that we all feel but can’t often articulate. For the first installment, Julie Kent, the great American ballerina, speaks eloquently about why she dances. In “Dancers in Love,” which starts next month, we’ll get intimate stories from dancers whose romantic lives and dance lives are intertwined.
But dance does not exist on desire alone, so our other new column is about technique. You’ll find “The Next Level” in the pages of the “Teach-Learn Connection.” Each month we’ll zero in on one aspect of technique. This month it’s pirouettes—a feat everyone can use help with whether they struggle through a double or can whip off a quadruple.
And we are renovating our health column, which used to alternate between “Health & Fitness” and “Mind Your Body.” Now they are under one roof, so to speak, and we’re calling it, simply, “Your Body.” When we talk about injury prevention, nutrition, or sleep, we are talking about what you need to stay in peak dancing form.
In our always popular Summer Study segment, we have inspiring stories about classical Russian ballet in Maine, commitment to diversity in Connecticut, and Broadway babies in New Mexico. And we’ve got 55 (!) pages of listings to help you choose a program that’s right for you.
Also in this issue are three especially thought-provoking stories: one on choreographers who make work about social issues (“The Movement Is the Message”), another on aging dancers who can still bring the house down (“Dancing Forever”), and a third on the dilemmas of reconstructing the dances of great choreographers (“Reviving the Past”).
This is one of those issues that you will want to refer back to all month long—or all year long. We want you to be great in ’08!
Wendy Perron, Editor in Chief