Dance Archives - Michigan Opera Theatre

Josephine Baker: The Black Pearl

Born June 3, 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker grew up in a low-income neighborhood. A street dancer with no formal training, she would become the highest paid female entertainer in the world; reaching audiences throughout the United States, Europe and South America. She was controversial in that she was very outspoken in terms …

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Revisiting Greenwood

It is not unique for a work of art to be inspired by injustice or born as a response to tragedy. But when Donald Byrd was commissioned by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to choreograph a new work and chose The Tulsa Race Massacre as his subject matter, he could not possibly have foreseen the …

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Spotlight on Tinka Gutrick Dailey

Tinka Gutrick Dailey is currently a dance instructor in the Theatre Department at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. She had a professional career as a performer with Lee Theodore’s The American Dance Machine in New York, and has performed on Broadway, at Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center, as well as toured the …

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Michigan Opera Theatre Announces 2021-22 Season

Michigan Opera Theatre (MOT) is pleased to announce its 2021-22 season, under the artistic leadership of Yuval Sharon. This marks Sharon’s first full season since being named the inaugural Gary L. Wasserman Artistic Director in September, a five-year appointment made possible by a generous gift from MOT Board member Gary L. Wasserman. MOT’s 2021-22 season is a statement of principles of …

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Aureole: Exploring Paul Taylor’s Landmark Work

Paul Taylor, one of the most important choreographers of the 20th century, was prolific. He created 147 dances for the Paul Taylor Dance Company which was founded in 1954. In 1962, his 30th work, Aureole, marked a significant departure from his previous avant-garde aesthetic. Earlier works, such as 1957’s Duet, “danced” in stillness to a …

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Les Sylphides: The Origins of Abstract Ballet

With swans, snowflakes and ghosts, the ballet blanc or “white ballet” genre is known for its story ballets like Swan Lake, Giselle and La Bayadére. Considered a revival of the romantic ballets of the ballet blanc genre, Les Sylphides adds another credit to its name as the first “abstract” or plotless ballet. This one-act, ballet of “romantic reverie” consists of several “sylphs” (wood nyphs) dancing with a “poet” in the …

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The Story of Swan Lake in Black and White

  Swan Lake is perhaps the most well-known ballet, next to The Nutcracker. Petipa choreographed this famous ballet, danced to a glorious score by Tchaikovsky, in 1877. Swan Lake is the love story of Prince Siegfried, who on a hunting trip encounters a flock of swans, falls in love with the Swan Queen, Odette, and …

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Dance Dialogues

Welcome to MOT’s Dance Dialogues. Similar to a book club, this is a monthly virtual gathering to view and discuss dance together. MOT will share digital dance works of certain themes to view on your own. Then we will all meet via ZOOM on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6:00 PM (ET). Each …

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Ballet Blanc: Shades, Shadows and Spirits

The term ballet blanc – literally translated as “white ballet” – refers to a genre of classical ballets in which the ballerina and the female corps de ballet are costumed in white tutus. These ballets represent the Romantic style of 19th-century ballet, and the ballet blanc ballerinas usually represented fairies, ghosts, or other supernatural creatures.  The earliest example of ballet blanc dates back to 1832, with Marie Taglioni (the first ballerina to wear pointe shoes). She danced the title role in La Sylphide, a full-length …

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