Alums, Dina Litovsky and Ryan Pfulger featured in New York Times

In an article about the high-drama world of youth competition dance, written by Lizzie Feidelson, graduate of the program Dina Litovsky provides the accompanying visuals for the narrative.

 Prestige dancers performing “To Build a Home” at the Showbiz competition in Hackensack, N.J.

Prestige dancers performing “To Build a Home” at the Showbiz competition in Hackensack, N.J.

Excerpt from story: "The second time I met Angelina Velardi she had just lost a baby tooth. It left a gaping hole in her smile, but she liked how it looked: “Now if I show the judges I’m mature, they’ll be more impressed,” she said, happily. Angelina is a 12-year-old competitive dancer, and canny to the ways in which technical acuity and preadolescent pliability can be combined to her advantage. She started competitive dancing less than three years ago.

On a Friday afternoon last spring, Angelina and her teammates from Prestige Academy of Dance arrived at a technical high school in Sparta, N.J., for the Imagine National Dance Challenge, a children’s dance competition. Each girl wore her black uniform and sported the team hairstyle, a low bun gleaming with hair spray. Dina Crupi, Prestige Academy’s 25-year-old studio owner and competition-team director, had chosen the hairstyle for its versatility: It allowed various headpieces and hats to be put on and removed with ease. Crupi still had nightmares about last year’s style, a too-complex choice involving a pouf encircled by braids. While she stood sipping coffee, the girls warmed up around her, brushing their fingers against the athletic-gray lobby walls for balance. With their small heads, shellacked scalps and long necks, the teammates looked elegant and creaturely, like a row of lizards."

To see more of Dina Litovsky's images and to continuing reading the full article, please click here.

 Prestige dancers rehearsing before a competition. From left: Annalise Hofman, 13; Velardi; and Tiffany Benevenga, 13. Images courtesy of Dina Litovsky. 

Prestige dancers rehearsing before a competition. From left: Annalise Hofman, 13; Velardi; and Tiffany Benevenga, 13. Images courtesy of Dina Litovsky. 


Concurrently, alumni Ryan Pfluger was tasked with photographing human rights lawyer Alka Pradhan in a story (written by Jeffrey E. Stern) about her work with a high profile client, one of five accused Sept. 11 plotters imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay.

Excerpt from story : "When Pradhan flies down to Gitmo, which she does every month or two, her conversations with her client often have less to do with proving his innocence than with what has happened to him since his suspected crimes. One of the first things she learned about Baluchi, before they met, was that the C.I.A. had tortured him, and she has come to believe that America has waterboarded away its ability to convict him. It’s an international norm that countries don’t execute people they have tortured; the Geneva Conventions go as far as to say such prisoners must be rehabilitated. If America executes Baluchi, Pradhan believes, it will cede whatever eroding toehold it has on a moral high ground. Beyond that, what concerns her is that her client is suffering; that he has real physical and psychological injuries from his torture that have yet to be addressed. The way she sees it, by denying him adequate treatment, the government has continued to torture him."

To continuing reading the full story, please click here. 

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