A finance leader and Michael R. Bloomberg’s partner, Ms. Taylor is the first woman to chair the company’s board.Appointing a new leader to guide the company through its much-awaited reopening, the New York City Ballet voted to approve Diana L. Taylor — a finance leader and the partner of the former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — as the new chair of its board of directors, the company announced on Wednesday.Ms. Taylor will be the first woman to assume the role in the company’s 73-year history.As Mr. Bloomberg’s companion throughout his three terms as mayor, Ms. Taylor performed the typical duties of a first lady (such as attending City Ballet galas) while also leading her own career in government and finance. During Mr. Bloomberg’s tenure, she served as the superintendent of banking for the State of New York in Governor George E. Pataki’s administration, then as a managing director for a private equity firm.As for dance, Ms. Taylor recalls that her parents had a subscription to City Ballet and she would attend with her mother, but involvement in the art form is mostly new to her.“I’ve always liked the ballet; I don’t know that much about it, but I’ve liked it,” Ms. Taylor said in an interview. “I’ve never really been involved in the arts except as a spectator.”Mr. Bloomberg, on the other hand, was known as an arts-focused mayor, mostly because of his own personal giving. During his tenure, he gave more than $200 million to arts and social service groups around the city. (City Ballet lists Bloomberg Philanthropies as one of its midlevel donors, having contributed between $25,000 and $49,999 during this fiscal year.)It came as a surprise to Ms. Taylor when a member of the City Ballet search committee approached her to ask whether she would be interested in the position.“I practically fell off my chair and said, ‘Well, why me?,’” she said. “I went back and thought about it and said, ‘Wow, what a great experience.’ It’s such a well-respected ballet company; it’s one of the oldest in the world; it’s arts and culture in New York City, which is going to be so important in bringing us back from the pandemic.”Ms. Taylor’s experience in finance and nonprofit leadership were no doubt of interest to City Ballet as it seeks to bounce back from the pandemic, which led to the cancellation of four consecutive seasons and the 2020 “Nutcracker.” In a news release, the outgoing board chair, Charles W. Scharf, called Ms. Taylor a “formidable business leader” and the “ideal person to drive and guide the company forward into a thriving future.”Ms. Taylor — who briefly contemplated a run for public office — adds this role to a list of other board positions on her résumé, including at Citigroup and Accion, a microfinancing nonprofit.Leading City Ballet at this juncture will involve advising the company on numerous pandemic-related issues, including decisions around mask mandates and testing protocols as the season progresses. City Ballet says that it lost about $50 million in earned revenues because of the pandemic, but Ms. Taylor said the company entered the pandemic on solid financial footing and has remained in “pretty good shape” after cost-cutting and adapting to pandemic restrictions.City Ballet is set to return to the stage on Sept. 21 with a program featuring George Balanchine’s “Serenade.”Continue Reading

For the dancer, choreographer and director Francesca Harper, an “Ailey baby,” this new role is also a homecoming.Ailey II, the second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, has a new artistic director, Francesca Harper, the company announced on Wednesday.Harper, a dancer, choreographer and director, whose career has spanned the worlds of ballet and Broadway, may not have danced with either Ailey company, but she is no stranger to the organization. Her mother, Denise Jefferson, directed the Ailey School from 1984 until her death in 2010. Harper didn’t just attend dance classes at the school; she practically grew up there.“I’ve always admired how she navigated her career, sort of coming up as an Ailey baby but then charting her own course,” said Robert Battle, the artistic director of the Ailey company, who with Bennett Rink, the executive director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, chose Harper for the role. “She’s an inspiration for being bold and trying different things. The other part of it is just her as a teacher: She has that nurturing quality that is so important. I think she has the right amount of empathy, but discipline, to impart.”As a young dancer, Harper, who begins her new job on Sept. 7, was drawn to ballet. Alvin Ailey, who knew her since she was a toddler, encouraged her. “He used to walk around in socks, which was really fun,” she said. “He would come into the student lounge and he would ask us how we were, how our grades were all the time. I remember complaining about my feet being too big. And he says, ‘Francesca, the better to balance on. Don’t ever be self-conscious of your feet.’”Harper went on to become a member of Dance Theater of Harlem and William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt. She said Ailey told her: “‘You always have a home waiting for you.’ And here I am. Isn’t that something?”Harper, whose Broadway credits include “Fosse,” “All Shook Up” and “The Color Purple,” has taught at the Ailey school for more than two decades; she has choreographed two works for Ailey II and one for the main company. Since 2005, she has directed the Francesca Harper Project, but will be giving that up.During the pandemic, she has kept busy, but working behind the camera: She produced 16 virtual films.Harper first became interested in film in Frankfurt when Forsythe incorporated it into his work. “That’s also been one of my passions,” she said. “I could sit and edit at the computer for hours. It’s similar to choreography for me.”Battle said he was attracted to that breadth of artistry. “As we start to expand on this digital footprint into collaborations with different kinds of artists and companies and platforms,” he said, “she has already been leaning into that.”Harper succeeds Troy Powell, who was forced out of his job last summer amid allegations of “inappropriate communications” with adult students in the company’s training program.Ailey II will return to the stage in December with the Ailey company’s annual season at New York City Center, in which it will perform in Ailey’s “Memoria” and will present its own 2022 New York season March 23-April 3 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, as well as a U.S. tour.While some members of Ailey II go on to join the main company, there aren’t spots for all. Harper, who called herself a “contact queen,” has relationships in all facets of the dance world. Connecting dancers with directors and companies is part of the job that she relishes.“That’s what I also saw my mom do, and she just got such pleasure,” Harper said. “I think that’s really just making these dreams happen. You fall in love. I know I’m going to fall in love with these company members and I want to make sure I take care of them.”Continue Reading

The digital season will include the premieres of four commissioned pieces and new duets by Kyle Abraham and Liz Gerring.Baryshnikov Arts Center will hold another free online season before welcoming audiences back to its theaters in spring. Mikhail Baryshnikov, who founded the institution in 2005, said the main reason for remaining virtual was a long-planned replacement of its building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, which is to get underway in fall.The coming season will include the premieres of commissioned pieces by River L. Ramirez, a comedian and musician (Oct. 18 to Nov. 1); the dancer Sooraj Subramaniam (Nov. 1-15); Jordan Demetrius Lloyd, a New York City dance artist (Nov. 29 to Dec. 13); and the dance duo Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith (Jan. 10-24).This is the second round of new work that the center has supported during the pandemic. The first was streamed during its spring 2021 season, and featured pieces by Stefanie Batten Bland, Mariana Valencia and Bijayini Satpathy.“Instead of doing virtual galas, we decided to celebrate artists and their creativity,” Baryshnikov said of the choice to focus on commissioning. This emphasis, he added, is in keeping with the center’s primary mission, which is to help artists develop and experiment “without commercial pressure.”The choreographers Kyle Abraham and Liz Gerring will also present new dances through the center this fall. Each has made a duet in response to Merce Cunningham’s “Landrover” (1972). Their contributions, commissioned by the center and the Merce Cunningham Trust, will stream Sept. 20-30 in an online program alongside solos and duets from Cunningham’s work performed by Jacquelin Harris and Chalvar Monteiro of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.Two filmed solos by the Swedish choreographer Mats Ek (streaming Oct. 4-14); and “Pigulim,” a filmed dance-theater work by Ella Rothschild, an Israeli choreographer and former Batsheva Dance Company performer (available Dec. 13-23), round out the announced slate.For Baryshnikov, it has been “a pleasant surprise” to see that the performing arts can be successfully created, shared and enjoyed in digital forms. “Thousands of people have been watching the online programming and we got so many responses from all over the world,” he said.There are creative benefits to filming work that would otherwise be presented live onstage as well. “We gave artists the opportunity to really be in charge of their own presentation,” he said. “It’s a new medium — you have to be a cameraman or a director besides being a choreographer or a composer or an instrumentalist or a singer.”Continue Reading

Tango Rouge Company

…un tango che prima di immergersi nei lustrini del palcoscenico… Tango Rouge Company Tango y Nada Mas …un tango che prima di immergersi nei lustrini del palcoscenico ha attraversato la polvere delle strade. Un tango che irrompe nei giochi dei bambini, prima di stravolgere le dinamiche di seduzione degli adulti.UnContinue Reading

Nel 2009 il tango viene dichiarato “patrimonio culturale dell’umanità”: lo ha deciso il Comitato intergovernativo dei patrimoni intangibili dell’Unesco, l’agenzia Onu per la cultura, la scienza e l’educazione. Nel 2009 il tango viene dichiarato “patrimonioculturale dell’umanità”: lo ha deciso il Comitato intergovernativo deipatrimoni intangibili dell’Unesco, l’agenzia Onu per la cultura,Continue Reading