High school dancers — and parents — wondering what to look for in a college or university dance program? Ashley Thorndike-Youssef has some ideas and talking points to use on you college tours as you begin your process of narrowing down the right school for you. Not a matriculating at a college? This material is a anecdote of sorts to the ongoing discussions on academic dance programs as a pyramid scheme. Read on for more, exclusively in From the Green Room, Dance/USA's eJournal.
Articles Tagged as Commentary
Responding to the commentary “Is American Modern Dance a Pyramid Scheme?” Nancy Wozny writes: Not everyone has the mettle to navigate the difficulty of being an artist, but I have yet to meet one person who wants to live in a world without art. So the question remains as educators, practitioners, and citizens of this dance world, how can we go forward without the burden of old paradigms of success? Read on here for more.
More on Sarah Austin’s recent controversial Dance/USA article, “Is American Modern Dance a Pyramid Scheme?” as the conversation continues in From the Green Room. Jennifer Edwards contends this issue in the dance field is a symptom of a larger cultural, socio-economic shift that continues to affect both the arts and education. This is a shift in the perceived and broadcasted value of learning, experience, and critical thinking.
Recently, an article by the erudite and whip-smart Sarah Anne Austin (B.A. Dance, University of Maryland, 2008) touched off heated discussion in the academic dance world. The piece, “Is American Modern Dance a Pyramid Scheme?” riled every raw nerve in every dance alum from every dance program across these United States. Read what Austin’s professor, Karen Bradley, has to say about studying dance in today’s colleges.
March 02, 2015 · 3 Comments
Two million arts graduates in the United States have bachelor’s degrees in
the visual and performing arts, though fewer than 10 percent make
enough money to live as working artists. Most arts graduates work in
non-arts fields — the ubiquitous “day job” that they are encouraged,
rightly, not to quit, especially given the cost of an arts degree. Are we perpetuating a myth, or a pyramid scheme, by continuing to promote and accept students into dance and performing arts departments? Read Sarah Anne Austin’s article for more.
Anecdotal and other reports note the obvious: classical dance audiences are aging and declining, and new work seems to have a hard time gaining consistent audiences. Many of us agreed on the need to develop audiences, and out of those conversations author Robert Bettmann, who founded a small arts magazine, Bourgeon to help artists develop audiences. But the question arises: are publications like these part of hte problem or solution in engaging new and existing audiences.
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.
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.
While the River to River Festival in Lower Manhattan and on Governor’s Island offers artists who participate welcome exposure to the public, these performances, sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and its dance-loving president, Sam Miller, were also implicated in a real-estate scheme meant to lure culturally sophisticated (i.e., wealthy) audiences into parts of the city earmarked for development, but still blighted in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
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.