It’s not often that a magazine compilation of “movers and shakers” can be celebrated in the literal sense. But when the publication is Dance magazine, that is of course the case.
For a special 90th anniversary July issue, featuring tap dancer Michelle Dorrance on the cover, the magazine has compiled a list of “The Most Influential People in Dance Today.” There are 34 honorees in all, with the call put out to readers to nominate anyone who may have been missed. (Some have already chimed in on Facebook, complaining the list is too U.S.-centric and does not feature enough teachers.)
Influence here takes all kinds of different forms, from institutional to contemporary. From the entry celebrating Ryan Heffington:
Patron saint of queer quirk and founder of Los Angeles studio The Sweat Spot, Ryan Heffington first made headlines three years ago as the choreographer of “Chandelier,” a music video for Sia starring Maddie Ziegler with a combined view count of more than 1.5 billion. Last year, Heffington both broadened his range and reinforced his brand, contributing to the frankly sexual short film for “Worship” by U.K. pop trio Years & Years, collaborating with director Spike Jonze and dancer-actress Margaret Qualley on a cinematic short to launch KENZO’s World perfume, and reuniting with Sia and Ziegler for “The Greatest” featuring Kendrick Lamar.
Heffington is also involved with the Netflix series The OA. Another “Influential” honoree is Sydney Skybetter, who consults with media companies and hosts the annual Conference for Research on Choreographic Interfaces at Brown University.
Dance magazine began in June 1927 as The American Dancer. Or, just a month after Irving Berlin wrote “Putting on the Ritz.” That song holds the honor of being the first, on film, performed by an interracial ensemble. As a reminder of the composition’s timeless, parallel appeal, below is the (Letterbox) treatment currently claiming the most views on YouTube.
Previously on Fishbowl:
DanceMedia Pirouettes to New Ownership