Articles filed under Artistry

  • Safe House: Dancing in the Ivory Tower, Part 1

    It’s been said that the university ranks as one of the chief supporters of the arts in the United States. With the migration of more and more working choreographers into university environments, it’s clear that artists are able to continue to create both inside and outside of these institutions. While the halls of academia offer some distinct advantages, most particularly to oft-itinerant and nearly always-struggling dance artists, other challenges and demands can sap their time and energy in their new environment.

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  • Creating an Artist: What Can We Learn From Europe?

    It has often been remarked that “Europe breeds artistry,” and that, to a certain extent, European dancers have an edge compared to their American counterparts. In defense of the American dancers, it is noted that they possess grit, tenacity, and a hunger that exceeds that of some of their European equivalents, yet the elusive artistic core lags or appears untapped in our culture. Certainly the environment of Europe provides a cultural banquet to nourish artistic growth, but does the European approach to training dancers incorporate more diversity, which in turn can contribute to greater creative growth? If so, can American dance schools fashion strategies based on this assumption?

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  • From the Sun King to Twitter: Ballet Branding, Then and Now

    American Ballet Theatre soloist Daniil Simkin examines individual branding and marketing: “I am branding myself. No, I am not applying a hot iron to my buttocks as cowboys do with steers. But I am doing something that, at least among some of my colleagues, is equally as controversial. I am attempting to make myself into a ballet product.”

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  • Life Lessons from Pina and 'Pina'

    Few choreographers have the power to effect life-altering changes the way Pina Bausch did over the course of her 50-year career, and, even now, three years after her untimely death. That is what Pina does. She changes your life. She changed mine.

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  • How Long? The Life Span of a Dance Company

    What constitutes the life span for a dance company? Is it better to see a company close rather than become a shadow of what it once was? Responding to a recent Facebook inquiry, Houston-based dance writer Nancy Wozny stated, “The life span of a dance company should be as individual as the artists themselves. Not every arts organization needs to be around forever. Some pop up as a result of a particular time in an artist’s life, and the world they operate in. Times shift and things do go away. I feel we need to be more welcoming of things that end.”

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  • Modern Dance: Its Death and Regeneration

    I’ve spent a lot of time worrying and writing about what is ballet and have grown tired of reading crossover choreographers say that their works are “firmly rooted in the classical tradition” when they don’t even give a nod to “the classical tradition.” I haven’t worried about modern dance because I believe at the center of its identity is that it must reinvent itself with every generation. Each generation has a right to do what it wants. So what does it want in 2012?

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  • What Should a Dance Critic Talk About When She Talks About Dance?

    What is the role of a dance critic? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a couple of weeks now, ever since reading an article on the front page of The Washington Post’s Style section in mid-October. The piece, by the paper’s chief dance critic, Sarah Kaufman, confirmed a hunch I’ve had for a while: Kaufman is making an occupation of not writing about modern dance.

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  • When Is Your Dance Wrong?

    Criticism and critique are based on personal standards and opinion. Opinion is fine, of course. However, when you apply your standard to others, at best, you should arrive at “like” and “don’t like” rather than “wrong” or “right.” Someone’s impression or perception of a subject reinterpreted through their art can be appreciated, unappreciated, liked or disliked, but can’t be wrong.

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  • Finding an Anchor with a Mentor

    A mentor can also help you be less reactive and more strategic in planning how you need to move forward and not be coerced continuously by what seems best, but may not be best for you and your company’s mission.

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  • Being a Mentor: Expanding the Reach of the Art Form

    Finally, I wish someone had explained to me that it is always, especially initially, more difficult for artists to stay true to their individual creative visions than to adopt a herd mentality and be a member of an artistic clique.

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Covering the business of dance for dancers, choreographers, administrators, dance organizations and foundations with news, commentary and discussion of issues relevant to the field.
Editor: Lisa Traiger

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