In case you haven’t heard, Dance/USA (the national service organization for professional dance) is holding its annual conference in Chicago July 13th through 16th. This 2011 convening is anticipated to be the orgs biggest gathering yet of artistic directors, presenters, executive directors, company managers, artists, choreographers, marketing gurus, development divas and (thanks to a one-day scholarship – thank you!) even a little blogger like me. The jam-packed schedule — here — includes receptions, roundtable discussions, plenary speakers, multiple break out sessions (management, artistry, audience engagement and technology), city tours and a number of performances at some of the city’s best dance venues.
It may be running every morning, or doing yoga or tai-chi, or in fact dancing; but without this anchoring discipline and exercise, we’ll be lost in a wilderness of flashing bytes.
To study dance today is to gain a window on a very foreign culture often (when I was growing up in England, all we could learn was the foxtrot or the polka). And this itself moves children to think of home in a much larger, perhaps more invisible way
Watch the kids of Osaka dance salsa (as they love to do), listen to Norah Jones or see how the girls of Beijing are dancing Swan Lake, and you see people literally going places they haven’t gone before.
Dance, official or otherwise, is the way we cut through the screen of words and even ideas, at times, and speak in a way as urgent as tears, and as hard to turn away from.
Audience expectations have changed. People are no longer as receptive to being talked at. Audiences want to have conversations. They expect a certain level of interaction and two-way communication.
To write—to dance, to make music—is to become incomparably affluent inside and to have a sense of possibility, of freedom, of real power that nothing else can rival.
The purpose of dance, of any art, is to offer the world what it does not have enough of otherwise; so compromise, capitulating to the world, makes no sense at all.