What Exactly is APAP, Anyway?

APAP

Chances are, you’ve been seeing a lot of posts on social media this week talking about APAP. Maybe you’re wondering just what APAP is, or why so many of your friends are talking about it (or maybe you’re performing there yourself!). We’ve got you covered with a little history about the festival, and why it’s so important.

APAP stands for the “Association of Performing Arts Professionals.” Founded in 1957, their mission is “to strengthen the field and advance careers through professional development, grant support, advocacy, networking and the annual APAP|NYC conference.”

Members of the organization include: arts agencies, presenting organozations, producers and producing companies, artist managers, booking agencies, and artists. APAP offers a variety of networking opportunities, as well as professional development resources such as webinars and grants.

The culmination of the year comes each January, at the APAP|NYC conference, where companies can perform and showcase their work. This year’s conference is happening now, from January 12-16. APAP is extremely important for dance companies and choreographers, as it’s an opportunity for them to be seen by a variety of presenters from all over the country. As the presenters from theaters are shaping their seasons, the companies presenting at APAP hope to develop relationships with the presenters and perhaps book a show.

To learn more about APAP, or to become a member, check out their website

Flamenco Dance Pioneer Jose Molina Passes Away

Spanish Dance extraordinaire, Jose Molina, passed away on January 5th. The famed Flamenco dancer died of lung cancer, but his legacy will live on within the dance community for decades to come.

Mr. Molina arrived in the U.S in 1956, and brought Flamenco dance to audiences throughout the country. He made several TV appearances, and his company, José Molina Bailes Españoles, toured the states for thirty years. As a beloved teacher and Flamenco master, Molina was beloved by many, and he was a very important influencer of Spanish dance in the U.S.

But what makes this man special is not the fact that he was on the Tonight Show, or that he was a famous dancer, but the fact that he’s the dancer version of the American Dream! Molina came to America with hope and some mad skills, and he chose to share his art form with the world. He created a company from nothing, and paved the way for flamenco dancing to take root in the U.S. So a huge thank you to the man who shared his art form, and made a difference.

The Houston Ballet is Stronger than Ever

Houston Ballet "Cacti" - photo: Amitava Sarkar

After the recent hurricane hit, shows had to be rescheduled and postponed for the ever popular Houston Ballet. But now, we're happy to share that they're back, and ready for an amazing season. Despite their beloved Wortham Theatre still needing repairs, the company has decided to bring a full line up of shows for their Houston Ballet’s "Hometown Tour." The Spring season will include a new program, titled “Rock, Rolls, and Tutus,” which is just one of several “Unconventional Ballets at the Convention Center.” It’s the company's theme this year, and it totally makes sense. They have had to overcome many obstacles, and really think outside of the box. There is absolutely nothing conventional about this ballet company, who - despite having serious drawbacks due to the storm - has decided to press on and move forward. The second program in the "Unconventional" series, "Play," even includes an immersive element. The stage will actually reach into the audience on three sides, allowing the viewers to connect more fully with the work and the dancers. Houston Ballet is a great example of what joy and innovation can do in the face of trials and tribulations. We're looking forward to what else they have to offer in the future!

photo: Amitava Sarkar

Lar Lubovitch Celebrates 50 Years

The Lar Lubovich Dance Company is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. That's no small feat - 50 years is a long time, no matter how you look at it, especially for a dance company!

The company will celebrate with a series of performances this April at The Joyce Theater in NYC. What's on the bill? A new work entitled "Wanderers", in addition to some of Mr. Lubovitch's classic works such as "Men’s Stories: A Concerto in Ruin, "Othello," and "The Legend of Ten". Lubovitch's dancers will be sharing the stage with dancers from the Martha Graham Dance Company and The Joffrey Ballet.

To continue the celebration, the company will also perform at New York's 92nd Street Y, the first place the company performed 50 years ago.

Lubovitch was born in Chicago and is a Juilliard-trained dancer, where he studied under the likes of Antony Tudor, José Limón, Anna Sokolow and Martha Graham. Lubovitch founded his company in 1968 in New York and has since choreographed over 110 dances, and his company has toured throughout the world. He's also known for his work as the choreographer for the classic Sondheim musical "Into The Woods."

Lubovitch is currently a distinguished professor at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine.

For more information about Lar Lubovitch and his company, visit their website