Articles filed under Commentary

  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Race, Part One

    Art and arts organizations are not capable of solving racism on their own. It’s not that the arts have nothing to say about race or that diverse cultural expressions aren’t important, but in the absence of a clear and shared understanding of the underlying factors that perpetuate racism, I fear that arts-centric interventions can all too often end up being little more than a band-aid – a way to reassure ourselves that we’re doing something important and valuable when in reality we’re really having very little impact at all. I believe that the sooner we as a field start framing our efforts not around “what can we do as artists and arts administrators to promote diversity?” but rather “how does racial injustice manifest today, what are its root causes, and how can we as human beings most effectively be part of the solution?” the sooner we’ll actually have something to be proud of.

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  • Affording Affordable Care

    Many dance organizations have long been unable to afford health insurance for dancers, even though they are the tools through which we fulfill the missions of our companies. The Affordable Care Act and its subsidies to small businesses provide an opportunity for dance companies to invest resources in their employees’ health care, many for the very first time. Great! But, wait … what options are available? What can we afford? Is my organization required by law to provide insurance? What if my company can’t afford insurance?? What are the deadlines???

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  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Race, Part Two

    Too many of the mainstream narratives about race in the United States are stuck in mid-twentieth-century paradigms of black vs. white. The classic archetypes of the oppressor and the oppressed make for good movies, but the racial groups that feature in conversations about race today are insanely reductive visions of reality. Read on for more on this provocative topic.


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  • A Dancer & Health Insurance

    I have been without health insurance for one year, three months, and 10 days as of today. I am 27 years old, physically active, have no chronic health problems that require treatment or medication. I don’t smoke. I only drink on occasion (and then in moderation), and as a freelance dancer and part-time non-profit administrator in New York, I make about $22,000 a year after taxes. I am at once exactly the kind of person the Affordable Care Act was written for, and exactly the kind of person they are afraid won’t sign up.

    If I choose not to sign up I will be penalized $224 (1 percent of my income). Read on to find out more about the options Alexander Thompson faces.

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  • A New Year’s Resolution for the Dance Field

    My hope for all of us in 2014 is that we can practice and celebrate self-determination. By self-determination I mean using our voices, making our own frames of reference, and creating for ourselves. I want us to be loud, and large, and powerful, both as individuals and as a field. I want us to be a force to reckoned with. I am dance, hear me roar!

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  • Is the Great Recession Over for the Arts?

    The Great Recession that began in 2008 was the worst economic disaster to hit America and the global economy since the Great Depression. While the Great Recession is technically over as measured by economists, millions of Americans are still out of work or have stopped searching for work and some sectors of the economy still have not recovered.

    What about the arts? Read on to see where the arts stand in the economic recovery.

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  • Symbiosis and Support

    "Outside of change, the only constant in art is community," writes choreographer, dancer, and educator Helanius Wilkins. Read more about his thoughts on creating conducive artistic communities by working collaboratively and symbiotically with fellow members of the creative class.

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  • Letter and Apology to Dancers About To Enter the Dance World

    So! Congratulations are in order. You’re about to graduate from your dance program and enter into the real world. I hope you’re feeling amply prepared, totally comfortable and at ease with the mammoth transition to come.

    Guys? … Oh. You’re freaking out? You feel like you don’t have a clue what you’re getting into? How you’ll get paid / afford rent / find a place to make work / find auditions / get a job / afford insurance / pay off your historically huge student loans?

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  • Yearning on the Dance Floor … and in the Science Lab

    Thirty-nine hapless heterosexual women were then asked to observe the 30 dancing avatars, and rate them for “dance moves.” On a seven-point scale, these women (hopefully paid for this excruciating experience), rated the dance moves from “extremely bad” to “extremely good.”
    We are not making this up.

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  • 2013: Reimagining the Post-Apocalypse Dance Company

    Dance companies and their supporting institutions will have to make strategic and risky decisions about how they plan to distribute their art to audiences. These decisions will play a significant role in determining their future: whether it is bright or even exists at all.

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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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