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Generosity in the Land of Ballet

December 16, 2014

Stephen Manes spent a year at Pacific Northwest Ballet researching his 2011 book, Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear: Inside the Land of Ballet. He recently summarized one aspect of his findings in this holiday post, which we return to in this season of giving.

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No CommentsTags: Commentary · From The Studio

Simple Gifts: The Spirit of Sharing

November 06, 2014

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and you know what that means. It means that we are in the homestretch of the Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training (DILT) mentorship program. In the spirit of the season, I wanted to share with you the gifts for which I am most thankful.

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No CommentsTags: Arts Administration · Mind of the Artist

World Ballet Day and Sustainable Audiences:

October 29, 2014

October 1, 2014, was a big day for the dance field. Around the world, five of the world’s best ballet companies joined together for a full day of behind-the-scenes live streaming on YouTube featuring rehearsals, interviews and company class. On the same day, the Wallace Foundation announced a six-year, $40 million initiative to support building audiences for sustainability. While I wondered if the planners of the two events were each aware of the other, I also found myself staring at the negative space between the two and wondering if anyone else noticed the solution to be found within. Combine these two events with Dance/USA’s recently announced “Call for Questions” for next year’s conference and I figured it would be as good a time as any to posit a few questions that I know are seldom asked (or answered properly) across the arts community.

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No CommentsTags: Advocacy · Artistry · Internationalism · Technology

Search Engines:

October 21, 2014

Hiring a new artistic director can be a daunting task especially if your organization has had little or no experience in doing so. Where to begin? Who to involve in the hiring process? What steps to take? These were some of the questions facing Pennsylvania Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, and Ballet San Jose recently when they went through the lengthy process of examining and defining company goals in order to lay the groundwork for an artistic director’s search. Read on to learn more.

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No CommentsTags: Arts Administration

2014 Legislative Forecast

October 01, 2014

For the first time in a few years, this fall update is not as dire as it has been. Funding proposals for the National Endowment for the Arts are relatively stable and there is no looming fiscal cliff. However, that doesn’t mean that we should take a break on our advocacy. This is a key time to educate our lawmakers about the issues that impact dance and the performing arts as an integral part of moving the needle on policy and legislation. Read on for more on how to do this.

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No CommentsTags: Advocacy · Arts Administration · Government Watch

Everybody Knows This Is Now Here:

September 23, 2014

The Mountain Empire Performance Collective explores ways of making work beyond geographic limitations. Utilizing both traditional and contemporary methods of communication, including video chats, telephone calls, letter writing, emails, and traditional methods of working together face to face, they make works that test the limits of communication and technology. Read Eliza Larson and Rachel Rugh in a collaborative piece that replicates in written form how they choreographically merge ideas and movements across the country. Technology, initially a means to an end, has become an integral part of the choreography, both in process and in performance. Read how they do it here.

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Tags: Artistry · From The Studio · Mind of the Artist

Performing Tradition, part 2

September 10, 2014

The past decade has seen the emergence of interesting hybrids between old and new technologies and aesthetics. An example is the evolving phenomenon of house concerts -- small, acoustic music and dance performances held in private homes. The ambiance is informal. Usually the audience is limited; anywhere from 10-20 people, who contribute a comparatively small fee for the privilege of hearing music up-close and personal. These events are rekindling what music must have been like when it was enjoyed socially in people’s homes, and yet they thrive in the era of social media, and are marketed via Facebook, and captured and shared using Instagram, Vine and other media outlets.

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No CommentsTags: Artistry · From The Studio · Mind of the Artist

Performing Tradition, part 1

September 09, 2014

If there is a single question that bedevils nearly all the dance communities I have encountered, it is the quest for authenticity. So many of the dancers and musicians I have worked with talk about “balancing tradition with innovation” that it feels a bit trite. Countless bios I have read include some variation on that phrase. And the thing that strikes me as weird about it is that there is an implicit assumption there that tradition and innovation are somehow at odds. Read more about building a traditional dance career in the 21st century.

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No CommentsTags: Artistry · From The Studio · Mind of the Artist

First Steps for Artists in Creating Artist-Driven Archives

September 04, 2014

The hows and whys of getting started in planning and building your own artist-driven archive.

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No CommentsTags: Artistry · Arts Administration · Special Report

Choreographing Archives: An Artist-Driven Approach

September 03, 2014

Traditionally artists have donated their archival materials to institutional repositories once they reach the final stages of their careers. But with the advent of technology, the change in archival institutions and funding, this model is beginning to shift as more artists see the value of holding onto their collections. Read on to learn why this generation of artists is seeking new ways to preserve their materials and how a few have initiated the process.

 

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No CommentsTags: Artistry · Arts Administration · Special Report


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