Working abroad holds an enormous catalogue of benefits for American artists and our nation: increased visibility; expanded marketplaces; enrichment of the art form through global exposure; decreased insularity; plus the more elusive contribution that dance enhances public diplomacy between our country and the world. While many dance organizations are eager to work abroad, lack of knowledge and resources can make it difficult to happen. Read on for more on bridging the passport divide.
Liz Lerman is a performer, choreographer, writer, educator, and speaker. She has been described as “the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art” by The Washington Post. Her aesthetic approach spans the range from abstract to personal to political. This month Lerman receives the 2014 Dance/USA Honor Award during the organization’s annual conference in Minneapolis.
In 1984, Colleen Callahan-Russell was teaching dance at North High
School one of the Twin Cities’ most racially diverse schools. She’d
attended several basketball games and loved the players’ moves. So she
asked the team, state champs in basketball that year, if she could
choreograph a game for them. The players were game, especially when she
began rehearsals by working with the Harlem Globetrotters’ theme song.
By the time the piece reached the stage of the Walker Art Center as part
of a Choreographers’ Evening, Colleen had switched the music to
Vivaldi. Her dancer/athletes were unfazed and got a standing ovation. Read more about Callahan-Russell, Dance/USA 2014 Inspiration Award recipient.
D. David Brown has had an illustrious career, first on stage and as a second act he spent two decades at Boston Ballet as production manager, general manager, and executive, before moving over to Pacific Northwest Ballet. At Dance/USA's 2014 annual conference, Brown will receive Dance/USA’s Ernie Award (named for Ian “Ernie” Horvath). The award is given to an individual working “behind the scenes” in the dance field to empower artists.
Are we ignoring or squandering our 20th century modern dance legacy? As if the public agony of the Martha Graham Dance Company weren’t
enough, the tragedy of the Cunningham company’s disappearance should be a
wake-up call to all American dance companies and arts funders. Dance critic Robert Johnson examines this issue.
You might have heard the saying: “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” In fact, if you’ve worked in the arts, not only have you most likely heard this, but you might also consider what I feel is the implied third part of this phrase, “Those who can’t do either, administrate.” This article is ultimately about arts administrators; read on for more.
I’d never experienced face-to-face
advocacy firsthand to gain true insight into its meaning — and outcomes.
In imagining what my first governmental advocacy meetings might be
like, I wondered: How could I be the most effective voice in
representing a diverse field of artists? Do I need to be an expert on
the issues? Ultimately, what sort of impact can I make? Read on for more from Michelle Lynch Reynolds.
As a judge in any competition, you are expected to be “objective.” But there is no such thing as pure objectivity, since we all come with our own set of past experiences. I am aware of my personal
biases and try to move beyond them, but part of the value of my — or
anyone’s — feedback is in the passionate personal response. If we know a person from our past, we see more in their
performance than if we never laid eyes on them. This is why the
American College Dance Festival Association requires that its
adjudicators be kept away from the participants — “sequestered.” Read about dancer/critic Wendy Perron's experience.
The announcement in January by the Trey McIntyre Project that its performances June 25-29, 2014, at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival would be the company’s last sent both shockwaves and shrugs through the dance community. The shockwaves were because despite the company only being a full-time entity since 2008 (it had begun in 2005 as a summer pickup company); it seemed to be a model of success in a dance world that is constantly searching for new blood.
Despite the daunting landscape for independent and freelance dance professionals, we’re seeing encouraging trends in how some dance companies regard the family lives of their employees.