Students at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Berklee College of Music Will Have the Unique Opportunity to Receive Precision Training from the Radio City Rockettes as Part of the Curriculum
New York, NY (January 19, 2023)—The Radio City Rockettes and Boston Conservatory at Berklee announced today that the organizations are partnering to offer a Rockettes Precision Dance Technique course beginning with Boston Conservatory’s spring 2023 semester—the first class of its kind in both Rockettes and Boston Conservatory history. The for-credit course, which will be taught by members of the Rockettes organization, will be open to Boston Conservatory dance majors in both the contemporary dance and commercial dance programs, Boston Conservatory musical theater students with a dance emphasis, and Berklee College of Music dance minors. As both the Radio City Rockettes and Boston Conservatory are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to making dance more accessible and bringing quality education to all communities, this course is open to dancers from all backgrounds and gender identities.
The Rockettes Precision Dance Technique course will be taught by a current Radio City Rockette and will focus on the Rockettes signature precision technique, which is based on a foundation of tap, ballet, and jazz. The course will incorporate strength training and choreography that informs the traditional Rockettes repertoire. Students will have the opportunity to explore how precision technique can inform other styles of dance and potentially new works.
“We are thrilled to partner with Boston Conservatory at Berklee, one of the preeminent dance conservatories in the country, to offer the first-ever for-credit class in the Rockettes style of precision dance,” said Jessica Tuttle, senior vice president, productions for Madison Square Garden Entertainment, the parent company of the Radio City Rockettes. “This marks a major step in the evolution of the Rockettes brand and our dancer development programming, and comes on the heels of our extremely successful first in-person Rockettes Conservatory this past summer. As leaders in the commercial dance industry, the Rockettes are committed to eliminating barriers to entry and providing quality dance education to all aspiring dancers. Boston Conservatory and the Radio City Rockettes are united in their pursuit of excellence in dance, and in their mission of creating equitable and inclusive spaces in both pre-professional and professional dance organizations.”
“Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Dance Division is ecstatic to collaborate with the Rockettes for this unique course, the first of its kind,” said Mila Thigpen, Boston Conservatory at Berklee chair of dance, who has led this strategic collaboration with the Rockettes organization. “Both of our organizations are thinking deeply and critically about how to honor the best parts of our traditions while simultaneously evolving and innovating with a consciousness towards excellence and inclusion.”
“I’m so excited to welcome the Rockettes to Boston Conservatory for this groundbreaking course,” said Tommy Neblett, Boston Conservatory at Berklee dean of dance. “I very much look forward to our ongoing partnership as Boston Conservatory works to expand its commercial and contemporary B.F.A. degree programs.”
For the Rockettes, the partnership with Boston Conservatory at Berklee is the latest initiative as part of their dancer development programming. Announced in early 2020, Rockettes Conservatory, an invite-only, week-long intensive training program offered at no cost to invited dancers and designed as an investment in promising dancers’ futures, was held virtually in 2020 and 2021. This past summer, for the first time ever, Rockettes Conservatory was held in-person at Radio City Music Hall. Rockettes Conservatory participants receive instruction in Rockettes repertoire and in various dance styles from renowned choreographers and acclaimed New York City dance organizations, including Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Chloe & Maud Foundation. Of the 84 Rockettes currently performing in the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, 18 are brand-new and 17 of those dancers came through the 2022 Rockettes Conservatory program.
The Radio City Rockettes are the longest-running precision dance company in America, admired for their iconic style of dance, as well as their unity both on and off the stage. The Rockettes are unique in that each dancer is an integral and equal link in the creation of the Rockettes line. Their individual talent and athleticism is unrivaled and together, they perform intricate choreography that is both graceful and powerful. Since their debut at Radio City Music Hall, the Rockettes have inspired and amazed audiences from around the world in their annual Christmas Spectacular, which has been seen by more than 69 million people since it opened in 1933.
Founded in 1867, just two years after the end of the Civil War, Boston Conservatory is the oldest performing arts conservatory of its kind in the United States, with historic significance: It was among the first conservatories to admit Black artists and women; the first to tour a professional female string quartet; the first to establish a department for grand opera; the first to grant degrees in music education and musical theater; and—in 1943—the first to establish an integrated department of ballet and modern dance, becoming the only college at the time to offer hybrid classical and emerging dance training. Additionally, Boston Conservatory has led initiatives that are transforming its educational approach, including degenderizing its ballet classes and introducing required courses designed to recontextualize dance artforms beyond the Western canon. Boston Conservatory is now widely recognized for having the best contemporary dance program in the U.S., and consistently ranks as a top school for dance education.
In fall 2022, Boston Conservatory made history yet again when it launched a three-year B.F.A. in dance focused exclusively on commercial dance, becoming the only conservatory to offer an accelerated program of this nature. A part of the larger Berklee institution since 2016, which also includes the schools Berklee College of Music, Berklee Valencia (Spain), Berklee NYC, and Berklee Online, Boston Conservatory’s new commercial dance program gives students unparalleled access to resources and artistic opportunities across the larger Berklee institution. Boston Conservatory’s collaboration with the Radio City Rockettes further expands these opportunities for commercial dance students, while opening up additional ones for a broader cohort of students across Berklee.
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Credit: MSG Entertainment
Caption: Radio City Rockettes rehearse for the 2022 Christmas Spectacular
About Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment) is a leader in live entertainment. The Company presents or hosts a broad array of events in its diverse collection of venues: New York’s Madison Square Garden, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; and The Chicago Theatre. MSG Entertainment is also building a new state-of-the-art venue in Las Vegas, MSG Sphere at The Venetian. In addition, the Company features the original production, the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, and delivers a wide range of live sports content and other programming through two regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network and MSG Sportsnet. Also under the MSG Entertainment umbrella is Tao Group Hospitality, with entertainment dining and nightlife brands including: Tao, Hakkasan, Omnia, Marquee, Lavo, Beauty & Essex, and Cathédrale. More information is available at www.msgentertainment.com.
About Boston Conservatory at Berklee
Boston Conservatory at Berklee provides a progressive learning environment where students are challenged to realize their potential as artists and inspired to pursue their dreams. Long recognized for its specialized training in dance, music, and theater, the Conservatory’s recent merger with Berklee now combines this rigorous, focused instruction with unparalleled access to a broad range of academic and creative opportunities. Set in the cultural, historical, and educational hub of Boston, this extraordinary institution represents the future of performing arts education. Learn more at bostonconservatory.berklee.edu