Monday, August 13, 2012

NBC hates dance

Ok, it might be overstating it a bit to say NBC "hates" dance, but in addition to the overall grousing that has surrounded some of NBC's choices on what to air during the 2012 Olympics broadcast, dance fans do have reason to complain because the network decided to leave the dance sequences out of coverage of both the opening and closing ceremonies.

The opening ceremony included a contemporary piece for 50 dancers choreographed by Bangladeshi/British dance maker Akram Kahn. The piece was a memorial for victims of the terrorist attack in London in 2005. Instead, American audiences saw an interview of Michael Phelps with Ryan Seacrest. Here's an article from the BBC about the upset. (After it had just happened I could find some excerpts online of the dance sequence, but I'm having no luck at this point. Did they take it down?)

And the closing ceremonies featured former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, Darcy Bussell, and over 200 students of the Royal Academy of Dance, which she now heads. You can see some still shots from Ballet News and an announcement on the Royal Opera House website. I don't know what was put in its place or if it was just cut for length. Either way, it's sad that dance was left out not once, but twice! So are we supposed count ourselves lucky that we actually got to see some of Shen Wei's choreography for the Beijing opening ceremony in 2008? If anything, I would think that the popularity of televised dance has increased rather than decreased in the past four years (So You Think You Can Dance did top the ratings last week). But apparently NBC doesn't agree.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

KSU dance program becomes a department

Congratulations to Kennesaw State University's dance faculty and students for becoming a Department of Dance, separate from the theater department where it was housed up till now. As the department continues to grow in size both in space and numbers, we look forward to seeing more great dancers develop through this program (and hopefully stay in the Atlanta area to keep dancing!)