Document(s): Julie Lincoln, Répétiteur: Inhabiting the Bodies of Others

“Julie Lincoln, Répétiteur: Inhabiting the Bodies of Others” 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 “Georgina Parkinson: A Dancer in Her Time / Making the Blueprint” and “Patricia Ruanne: A Conversation with a Ballet Répétiteur,” offers a glimpse into the life of an influential woman who inhabited this role.

From the article:

“In the last 30 years, the deaths of Anthony Tudor, George Balanchine, and Frederick Ashton—choreographers whose works are regarded as touchstones of 20th-century ballet—have prompted attention toward the methods by which bodies of choreographic work are maintained in the absence of their creators. Conventional opinion declares dance to be the ‘most ephemeral’ of the arts; that it happens only ‘in the moment’ and then ‘vanishes.’ On the one hand, these canards imply that keeping such transitory artistry alive at all may be a meaningless exercise; on the other hand, they allude to the hybrid work of artists who strive to revive and maintain ballets by deceased choreographers.

“‘Naturally we can’t keep dance in a time warp–you have to push beyond and improve,’ Lincoln acknowledges. ‘But within the framework of what has come before, of what we all learned from those earlier generations who are the foundation of the Royal Ballet, who is properly safeguarding this legacy? Where are all those people with the passion that can do these things?’”

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Grants & Grantees

Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre creates performance with a focus on devised work that often includes forays into pop culture, political satire, and the human condition.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ashon Crawley is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside.

Grants & Grantees

This exhibition, the first major survey of Kasten’s work, broadly situates her legacy in relationship to contemporary art, beyond a strictly photographic history.

Grants & Grantees

Composer Michael Gordon is a co-founder of Bang on a Can, an international organization dedicated to the support of experimental music since 1987.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, NewsWorks, and other outlets feature the Arden’s current production and the company’s unique approach to staging a Chekhov masterpiece.

Grants & Grantees

As a presenting arts organization, the Painted Bride offers a wide range of work in music, dance, spoken word, and theater.

Questions of Practice

The premiere American Impresario article comes from one of the nation’s most adventurous radio producers, WNYC’s John Schaefer, host of Soundcheck, New Sounds, and the New Sounds Live concert series.

Questions of Practice

We speak to postmodern dance pioneer Anna Halprin about her introduction to dance, various turning points in her artistic career, and the importance of creating dance that responds to pressing social and political issues.

Grants & Grantees

Steven Donegan is a visual artist and a 1998 Pew Fellow.

Anna Drozdowski, a curator of performance, hosts European duo Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion for a two-week retrospective of their collaborative career. The two juxtapose the formality of music composition with a radical and open approach to performance, composition and audience.

Mendelssohn Club Artistic Director Alan Harler and a panel of experts will lead a discussion on Mendelssohn’s editing choices in considering Bach’s original score.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage announced its 2014 grants in support of Philadelphia’s arts and cultural community today. They include 12 new Pew Fellowships of $60,000 each, 35 project grants in amounts up to $300,000, and two Advancement grants of $500,000 each.