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Liz Gerring, Pam Tanowitz, and Michelle Dorrance, photographed by Matt Karas.

At City Center, what you see onstage is just the beginning. Behind the back wall of the theater is a hive of creative activity: nine stories of rehearsal rooms, offices, and dance studios that were inaugurated by Balanchine in the 1940s. You might find the likes of Twyla Tharp, Wendy Whelan, and Kyle Abraham rehearsing there on a given afternoon. This season, three acclaimed choreographers will take up residence, thanks to City Center’s Choreography Fellowship program: Liz Gerring, Pam Tanowitz, and Michelle Dorrance.

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October 13, 2016 by New York City Center

“Any professional tap dancer is a historian,” said Michelle Dorrance at a raucous, impassioned discussion of urban dance at City Center on October 7, 2015. “That’s it. That’s your job.” Hosted by Dr. Nijah Cunningham of Hunter College, the panel offered a long, loving look at the art of bringing forms of street dance to the stage—from tap to Brazilian hip-hop to the bruk up.

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October 9, 2015 by New York City Center
Gai Behar and Sharon Eyal

Gai Behar and Sharon Eyal.

When they met, Israeli dancemakers Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar were from different worlds—she was performing in the venerated Batsheva Dance Company, and he was producing underground techno raves. “I remember I used to come to his parties and run away because it was scary for me,” Eyal told The New York Times. “For me, nothing is too much, but this moment was too much.”

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October 9, 2015 by New York City Center

When you’re compelled to dance for a living, you make all sorts of sacrifices. Even so, Stanton Welch may be the only contemporary choreographer who spent a year working at Kentucky Fried Chicken. (His wages paid for a ticket to America, where he studied at the San Francisco Ballet School; he is now the artistic director of the Houston Ballet.) Welch’s deep-fried work ethic is reflected throughout the dance world. “They’re not there for the money,” said choreographer Stephen Petronio of his dancers. “They’re not there for the benefits. Because it’s modern dance. The gold is the movement, and that’s what they’re there for.”

On October 6, 2015, Welch and Petronio were joined by dance critic Nancy Dalva for a Fall for Dance conversation that touched on just about everything: working with Lou Reed, being inspired by Nureyev, and why leading a dance company is like being the head of a family. “I’ve been there long enough that it’s all my…fault,” said Welch, laughing.

New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival continues through October 11.

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October 9, 2015 by New York City Center
Tiler Peck in Studio

Tiler Peck in the City Center studios, photographed by Jordan Matter.

When New York City Ballet star Tiler Peck dances onstage to the music of Mendelssohn and Tschaikovsky, audiences probably don’t realize that she warmed up before the show by blasting Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, and Taylor Swift. “Because my days are filled with classical music, I’ve always felt like it’s the only music I listen to,” says Peck. “These pop songs feel like refreshers. They get me excited.”

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October 6, 2015 by New York City Center
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