Articles filed under Special Report

  • Dance/USA Honors a Legend: Philadanco’s Joan Myers Brown

    Joan Myers Brown has had an extraordinary career. The founder of Philadanco!, one of Philadelphia's preeminent dance companies, as well as the driving force behind both the International Conference of Black Dance Companies and the International Association of Blacks in Dance, Myers Brown has lent her artistic guidance, her nurturance of many dancers and choreographers, her visionary leadership and grace under fire to many in the dance field. On June 13, she will be honored by Dance/USA for her contributions to the field. Read this personal account about Joan from long-time Philadelphia dance critic Merilyn Jackson.

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  • EDA: One Piece of the Audience Engagement Puzzle, Part 2

    Catch up on Dance/USA’s Educating Dance Audiences research and best practices with this report by EDA director Suzanne Callahan.

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  • Reforming the Rules of Engagement, Round Two

    This moment of reformation [in the arts field] is not a threat … It’s an invitation for us to think more expansively …. Yes, we have been obsessed with the performance or the exhibit … [and] with contextualizing or introducing audiences to [them] or with talk-backs. But forward-thinking organizations are asking new questions.

    Ben Cameron, program director for the arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Speech for Arts Fund, Atlanta, December 2012

    Read on to find out more about how Dance/USA through Educating Dance Audiences (EDA) has begun to harness new thinking to create new models for 21st-century dance organizations.

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  • Parsing the Merce Cunningham Dance Company Legacy Plan: A Special Report

    On December 31, 2011, the Park Armory in New York was filled with a wet-eyed crowd of modern dance lovers bidding farewell to the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Never before had a legacy company, one that made its mark over 58 years and changed the way we understood and created dances, shut its doors in such an abrupt but planned manner. Cunningham was an iconoclast from beginning to end.

    Earlier this month the Merce Cunningham Trust released a case study detailing the extensive Legacy Plan crafted by the Cunningham Dance Foundation. The 88-page report provides details on the controversial arrangement that dismantled the Cunningham Dance Company, shut down the Cunningham Dance Foundation, as well as closed and sold off of the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York City.

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  • Does a Dance Company Executive Director Need To Have a Dance Background?

    Not necessarily, but an honest comprehension of and deep appreciation for dance and dancers is, for most, what compels them to commit to the mission of running a dance company. Read on to hear from directors about their experiences.  

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  • The Executive Pas de Deux

    Times have changed significantly since George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein joined forces in the 1940s to create the New York City Ballet. Yet the model those two men established for the administration of the American dance company remains: an artistic director reigning over the creative wing of the organization, an executive director administering the business side of things, and a board of directors to ensure fiscal responsibility, remains. Too often an imbalance between those arms of a company develops especially when the push-pull dynamic between the innately challenging AD and ED positions becomes overwrought. But like a strong marriage or a grand pas de deux, many such partnerships do thrive. They take hard work, skillful communication, and an evolving collegial relationship.

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  • Streamlining the Chain of Command: Nashville Ballet

    Three years ago, Nashville Ballet moved from a traditional non-profit leadership structure (artistic and executive directors, a board president) into one that looks more like a for-profit company. Artistic Director Paul Vasterling assumed the title of CEO while remaining artistic leader, and reports that the results have been only positive:  better communication, efficiency, and cohesion throughout the company. Dance/USA spoke with Vasterling about how it works.

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  • Navigating Change: Succession in the Ballet World, Part 1

    Whether a ballet company is replacing its founder or the person that put the company on the map, change at the top doesn't come easy. Even if a search firm is on hand to smooth the process, transitions have their trials. As no company wants to stay in the same place, succession points toward the future — for its company, its board, and its dancers.

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  • Navigating Change: Succession in the Ballet World, Part 2

    Making a transition from one artistic director to another can be both daunting and exhilarating for ballet and dance company leadership. See how some major U.S. companies have navigated the rough waters to new artistic leadership.

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  • Serious Selling: How To Turn Souvenir Sales into Merchandising That Makes Money

    Many dance companies find that merchandise sales rarely amount to much in the way of profits. But with creativity, resourcefulness, and commitment, performing-arts organizations can turn merchandising into serious money. See how San Francisco Ballet turned its Ballet Shop into a profitable and distinctive representative of its company brand.

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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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