Articles filed under Commentary

  • How Much Arts Journalism Is Too Much Arts Journalism?

    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.

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  • Is American Modern Dance a Pyramid Scheme?

    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.

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  • Generosity in the Land of Ballet

    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.

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  • Building Diversity in Ballet: Black Swans Are Still Too Rare

    In America, with the exception of a few male dancers, our ballet companies remain unrelievedly white.

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  • What’s the Score?

    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.

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  • Sugary Deals, Dissolving Dance Troupes and the Riddle of Accessibility

    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.

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  • Saving Our Collective Memory

    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.

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  • Toward a New Definition of Arts Administrator

    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.

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  • Advocacy: Anywhere and Anytime

    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.

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  • Sequestered

    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.

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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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