Articles filed under Commentary

  • Leading the Dance Field Through Change


    During my first few months as the executive director of Dance/USA, I engaged dance leaders from around the country in conversations about the state of the field. What are they experiencing as dance artists and managers? What issues are on the forefront of their daily work? How could Dance/USA help?

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  • Social Media and the Arts: The Unbearable Nuance of 140 Characters


    This week the social media world burst into a flurry of conversations thanks to a Wall Street Journal article that revealed the New York City Ballet was working on a social media policy for its employees and artists, and that this policy may have been driven by the Twitter behavior of a single dancer.

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  • Shall We Dance, or Shall We Engage in Some Body-Based Movement?


    What do you do when a “revolutionary,” “rebellious” art form becomes “classic”? ... We need new words, new ways of thinking, and new methods of engaging with the public because our federal funding is once again under severe threat to be cut and it is up to us (as usual) to figure out how to exist, and what our existence will look like.

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  • My Eyes, Your Body


    We have habituated our gaze toward a narrow set of proportions based on the kind of dance we watch and the expectations we bring to our viewing. Our eyes have grown lazy. We simply don’t see enough professional dance with a variety of bodies on stage. And I have interviewed numerous artistic directors in the ballet and contemporary genres over the years who claim they love all kinds of bodies.

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  • The Black Swan Effect: Fleeting Chimera, Or a Catalyst for a Second Dance Boom?


    In ballet circles, a tantalizing question has generated much excitement and speculation: Is Black Swan the new Turning Point, the 1977 film that helped to popularize ballet and ushered in the high summer of “the dance boom” when Americans seemed to fall in love with dance? Could Black Swan ignite a second great love affair between Americans and classical ballet in the 21st century? 

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  • Who Does Indian Culture Belong To?


    What does it mean to preserve an art form? It does not mean passing down the same memorized movement from one generation to the next. A traditional classical art form, which arises from a particular cultural context, in our increasingly global society must adapt and move forward, and these forms, historically, have always evolved. Just as ballet developed from the French and Italian courts, where an emphasis on subtle and refined manners gave way to more dazzling and virtuosic displays in the proscenium context, classical Indian dance, too, has evolved.

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  • Myopia Stunts Art


    At the end of every year, people everywhere are compelled by nostalgia and self-importance to register and announce their top however-many items of interest or note in whatever genre or form one could imagine their best-of lists. Few people, however, even those who write for well-moneyed, high-culture publications, ever seem to take Santa’s care with checking their lists twice. Others, indubitably, project their preferences for a certain naughtiness over anything one might consider nice, or good.

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  • 10 Things the Dance Community Should Be Talking About in 2011


    It’s 2011 and APAP – the Association for Arts Presenters booking conference – is here, which means we get to enjoy 2011 for a few days before we spend a week talking about 2012 and 2013 and, in keeping with the theme of the conference, 2021. So let’s look back, look forward and seize the decade.

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  • Back to the Future: The NEA Survey on Arts Participation


    The NEA survey’s primary function is to serve as a snapshot: here is the state of the art at this particular time. It serves this function well. But it’s not enough, nor does the NEA claim it to be. Whereas the survey provides a valuable data point that can kick-start forward-thinking dialogue, the practical impact of the survey is limited by the rapid rate of innovation that has taken place over the past few years.

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  • An Open Letter to Barack and Michelle Obama


    The use of the arts in community service programs in a systematic fashion, for example, is an excellent way to ensure that innovative and engaging activities reunite, reskill, and repower citizens. And dance, of all of the arts, teaches us to do those things by thinking on our feet, outside the box, and with each other.

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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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