If there is a single question that bedevils nearly all the dance
communities I have encountered, it is the quest for authenticity. So
many of the dancers and musicians I have worked with talk about
“balancing tradition with innovation” that it feels a bit trite. Countless bios I have
read include some variation on that phrase. And the thing that strikes
me as weird about it is that there is an implicit assumption there that tradition and
innovation are somehow at odds. Read more about building a traditional dance career in the 21st century.
The hows and whys of getting started in planning and building your own artist-driven archive.
Traditionally artists have donated their archival
materials to institutional repositories once they reach the final stages
of their careers. But with the advent of technology, the change in archival institutions and funding, this model is beginning to shift as more artists
see the value of holding onto their collections. Read on to learn why this generation of artists is seeking new ways to preserve their materials and how a few have initiated the process.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the transition from college to the professional
field of dance and all the places that dance study can take you. So it
was fun when a friend asked me to think about study skills for dancers
just entering college. If you and I were to sit down for coffee, read on for some ideas I’d encourage you to think about and discuss with
your new classmates.
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.
Liz Lerman is a performer, choreographer, writer, educator, and
speaker. She has been described as “the source of an epochal revolution
in the scope and purposes of dance art” by The Washington Post.
Her aesthetic approach spans the range from abstract to personal to
political. This month Lerman receives the 2014 Dance/USA Honor Award
during the organization’s annual conference in Minneapolis.
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.
George Balanchine didn’t hide his disapproval of dancers having
children. Doubtless, such
overt pressure from a director would not fly anymore, but many issues
that more indirectly discourage parenthood have not changed. Dancers
still deal with issues like taking parental leave, juggling child care,
physical recovery from childbirth, and health care.
The announcement in January by the Trey McIntyre Project that its
performances June 25-29, 2014, at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival would be
the company’s last sent both shockwaves and shrugs through the dance
community. The shockwaves were because despite the company only being
a full-time entity since 2008 (it had begun in 2005 as a summer pickup
company); it seemed to be a model of success in a dance world that is
constantly searching for new blood.
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