Document(s): Georgina Parkinson: A Dancer in Her Time / Making the Blueprint

“Georgina Parkinson: A Dancer in Her Time / Making the Blueprint” is from the Document(s) series, a library of commentary on people and issues in the dance field. This repository of essays includes interviews by writers and thinkers on dance, as well as “dance discursions,” which offer opportunities for reflection on the field of dance commissioned by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

For the dancer, learning a role is more than simply memorizing a series of steps, particularly in the realm of ballet where dances are frequently restaged long after the choreographer has died. Individual coaching and mentoring is essential to the interpretation of a role. Ballet répétiteurs work one-on-one with dance artists to articulate and find the essence of a character or particular portrayal that becomes distinctive to their physicality. This article, along with “Patricia Ruanne: A Conversation with a Ballet Répétiteur” and “Julie Lincoln, Répétiteur: Inhabiting the Bodies of Others,” offers a glimpse into the life of an influential woman who inhabited this role.

From the article:

“A former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet in London, Parkinson was steeped in a particular ballet legacy that shaped her identity as a performer. Her mature artistry was cultivated within a specific lineage commonly referred to as the ‘Royal’ style. Moreover, Parkinson came of age and flourished as a dancer as part of a generation, circa 1955–75, that marked a golden era in British ballet history. Yet the traditions that raised her did not limit her as she entered her second career as a coach and regisseur. To the contrary, they gave her a solid foundation from which to embrace change wholeheartedly.”

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Dancer Megan Bridge gives an insider’s perspective on performing Lucinda Childs’ work at the soft opening of the new FringeArts space.

Pennsylvania Ballet will perform In the middle, somewhat elevated by choreographer William Forsythe as part of its 50th anniversary celebration. The Ballet originally acquired this piece for performances in 2010, with Center support.

Revisit Center-funded The Dance Apocalypse in Brooklyn with The Dance Apocalypse/Solos. Creators Gabrielle Revlock and Nicole Bindler describe the piece as ” a radical challenge to the paltry circumstances in which artists seek funding and a heart wrenching end-of-the-world love story with pizazz.”

At the February launch of the Center’s new multimedia online publication, A Steady Pulse: Restaging Lucinda Childs, 1963–78, Lucinda Childs and Judy Hussie-Taylor, executive director of Danspace Project, discussed Childs’ career and artistic influences.

Spanish dancer and choreographer Rosario Toledo choreographed an original dance for Pasión y Arte, marking the company’s first collaboration with a major flamenco artist.

Michelle Heffner Hayes will provide context for the development of flamenco as a technique, its gendered conventions, and the standardization of its norms.

A web-based keywords anthology designed to provoke discovery and generate shared literacies across disciplines, In Terms of Performance features essays and interviews from more than 50 prominent artists, curators, presenters, and scholars.

Toni Shapiro-Phim’s portrait of the Brownings, co-founders of the World Music Institute, highlights their pioneering work in the curation of world music and their organization’s impact on the field.

Grants & Grantees

Philadelphia Dance Projects produced the Local Dance History Project, reuniting five prominent Philadelphia dancers to examine the development of contemporary dance in the city.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ain Gordon is a three-time Obie Award-winning writer, director, and actor. From 2011–13, he served as the Center’s Visiting Artist.

Leading hip-hop artist Raphael Xavier brought together masterful street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music by saxophonist and composer Bobby Zankel for a contemporary circus-style performance in City Hall’s courtyard that paid tribute to the soul of the urban street.

Grants & Grantees

Michael O’Reilly is a producer and a 1994 Pew Fellow.