Anecdotal and other reports note the obvious: classical dance audiences
are aging and declining, and new work seems to have a hard time gaining
consistent audiences. Many of us agreed on the need to develop
audiences, and out of those conversations author Robert Bettmann, who founded a small arts magazine, Bourgeon to help artists develop audiences. But the question arises: are publications like these part of hte problem or solution in engaging new and existing audiences.
Two million arts graduates in the United States have bachelor’s degrees in the visual and performing arts, though fewer than 10 percent make enough money to live as working artists. Most arts graduates work in non-arts fields — the ubiquitous “day job” that they are encouraged, rightly, not to quit, especially given the cost of an arts degree. Are we perpetuating a myth, or a pyramid scheme, by continuing to promote and accept students into dance and performing arts departments? Read Sarah Anne Austin’s article for more.
Stephen Manes spent a year at Pacific Northwest Ballet researching his 2011 book, Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear: Inside the Land of Ballet. He recently summarized one aspect of his findings in this holiday post, which we return to in this season of giving.
In America, with the exception of a few male dancers, our ballet companies remain unrelievedly white.
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.
While the River to River Festival in Lower Manhattan and on Governor’s Island offers artists who participate welcome
exposure to the public, these performances, sponsored by the Lower
Manhattan Cultural Council and its dance-loving president, Sam Miller,
were also implicated in a real-estate scheme meant to lure
culturally sophisticated (i.e., wealthy) audiences into parts of the
city earmarked for development, but still blighted in the aftermath of
Are we ignoring or squandering our 20th century modern dance legacy? As if the public agony of the Martha Graham Dance Company weren’t
enough, the tragedy of the Cunningham company’s disappearance should be a
wake-up call to all American dance companies and arts funders. Dance critic Robert Johnson examines this issue.
You might have heard the saying: “Those who can, do; those who can’t,
teach.” In fact, if you’ve worked in the arts, not only have you most
likely heard this, but you might also consider what I feel is the
implied third part of this phrase, “Those who can’t do either,
administrate.” This article is ultimately about arts administrators; read on for more.
I’d never experienced face-to-face
advocacy firsthand to gain true insight into its meaning — and outcomes.
In imagining what my first governmental advocacy meetings might be
like, I wondered: How could I be the most effective voice in
representing a diverse field of artists? Do I need to be an expert on
the issues? Ultimately, what sort of impact can I make? Read on for more from Michelle Lynch Reynolds.
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.