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.
Articles Tagged as Artistry
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.
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.
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.
The hows and whys of getting started in planning and building your own artist-driven archive.
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.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the transition from college to the professional field of dance and all the places that dance study can take you. So it was fun when a friend asked me to think about study skills for dancers just entering college. If you and I were to sit down for coffee, read on for some ideas I’d encourage you to think about and discuss with your new classmates.
Does sport have anything to do with ballet? Artistry poses infinite questions. Sport is finite. It ends. It pits two teams, or several individuals, against each other to compete for one very decided, satisfying goal: who has the most points? Who was first to reach the finish line? These aren’t questions we ask about ballet.Read and discuss this timeless and timely issue: athlecism and artistry. We want to hear what you think.
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.
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.