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 Internationalism
July 24, 2014 · 1 Comment
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.
China is exciting and chaotic and your dance company should go. Before you buy your plane tickets, however, it is important to understand the context of China’s performing arts market in order to manage your expectations and plan a strategy for touring successfully.
The Hundred Flowers’ Long March East: Achievements and Challenges of U.S. Dance Tours in China, Part 2
Besides collaborating directly with Chinese dance troupes, U.S. repertory companies may tour in China by following the Department of State’s Administrative Regulations on Commercial Performances (in effect since 1997). Main steps include seeking a Chinese presenter and obtaining a performance license.
While 2009 marked the 30th anniversary of Sino-U.S. diplomacy, dance exchanges between China and the U.S. continue to be a renewable theme. For both countries, cross-cultural dialogues in the arts offer significant potential for strengthening ties between people. Although in recent years, more U.S. dance companies have appeared onstage in China, due to many circumstances, the road to China is indeed long and full of obstacles.
To study dance today is to gain a window on a very foreign culture often (when I was growing up in England, all we could learn was the foxtrot or the polka). And this itself moves children to think of home in a much larger, perhaps more invisible way
Watch the kids of Osaka dance salsa (as they love to do), listen to Norah Jones or see how the girls of Beijing are dancing Swan Lake, and you see people literally going places they haven’t gone before.
Dance/USA, as an active member of the Performing Arts Visa Working Group, has been advocating for an improved and more reliable visa processing system. Noticeable progress has been made in processing times and visa petition adjudication, but the challenges to petitioners still abound.
The U.S. State Department began funding international dance tours in 1954 when President Dwight Eisenhower created the President’s Emergency Fund for International Activities, which funded dance, theater, music and sports tours. (Prior to 1954, other government entities, including the CIA, provided occasional support for dance companies’ international appearances.)
Increasing funding so that the Americans have at least a fighting chance of matching the support dedicated by other countries is one of the keys to ensuring a greater U.S. presence in the international dance world. It is also about stretching existing assets and using them in a smarter and more cost-effective fashion, collaborating to leverage new resources, and cooperating to share the knowledge, burdens, and costs that come with doing business.