Former ballerina Susan Jaffe to lead American Ballet Theatre
Dance ABT Leader FILE - Dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, right, performs with Susan Jaffe during a gala performance in honor of the great Soviet ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, at the Wang Center in Boston on March 28, 1988. American Ballet Theatre has named Jaffe its new artistic director (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) (Elise Amendola)NEW YORK — (AP) — American Ballet Theatre has named its first new artistic director in 30 years, and she's a former top ballerina at the company. Susan Jaffe, who was a celebrated principal dancer at ABT for more than two decades, takes over from Kevin McKenzie in December. “What a profound honor it is for me to come back home to lead the artistic helm of American Ballet Theatre,” Jaffe, 59, said in a statement. Jaffe also served for eight years as dean of dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.wftv.com
Twyla Tharp, nearing 80, isn't slowing down. Next question?
NEW YORK – The new PBS documentary on dancer-choreographer Twyla Tharp is called “Twyla Moves.” In retrospect, that sounds a bit weak. AdGiven all that, it would seem obvious that something like a global pandemic wouldn't force Tharp off course, or keep her on the sofa binge-watching Netflix. Tharp explains it simply: "Part of the adventure for me has always been a physical challenge." In one old clip, TV host Dick Cavett asks Tharp what she does to relax after a long period of work. Tharp didn’t want the film, directed by Steven Cantor and part of the American Masters series, to feel like a biography.
American Academy of Arts and Letters expands, diversifies
(AP Photo)NEW YORK – One of the country's oldest cultural instititutions, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, is undergoing some of its biggest changes in more than a century. AdHarjo, the first Native American to be appointed U.S. poet laureate, said she looked forward to having an influence on future academy choices. “There are so many incredible Native visual artists,” she told the AP, while also citing such authors as N. Scott Momaday and Leslie Marmon Silko. But the academy will still call itself an academy, while working to make itself more accessible to artists and to the general public. Besides choosing members, the academy also gives dozens of prizes and grants each year, totalling more than $1 million.