On Thursday afternoon, June 13, during Dance/USA’s 2013 conference in Philadelphia, Barbara Weisberger, respected doyenne of dance, will
receive the Ernie from Dance/USA for her visionary leadership and contributions to the field. The prize,
named for the first recipient, Ian Ernie Horvath, arts advocate, dancer,
and founder of the Cleveland Ballet in his native city, is fitting for Weisberger as Horvath was both a colleague and a friend of hers. Read more about the woman who was Balanchine’s first child student and later the founder of the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Dance/USA remembers Frederic Franklin, one of the
United States’ great ballet dancers, teachers, stagers, and ballet
masters. His career spanned much of the 20th century. In 2008, Franklin
received the Dance/USA Honor award for his “extraordinary leadership in the field
through artistic excellence and force of vision.” Franklin died on May
4, 2013. From the Green Room reprints excerpts from an interview by long-time critic and dance writer Mindy Aloff conducted in 2008.
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.
Twenty Dance/USA members receive nearly $1 million to support innovative audience engagement activities that will serve as best-practices models for the field. Read on for details of the grant recipients.
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.
Rooted in Middle Eastern belly dance and an American tradition of
parody, namely American burlesque, striptease and exotic dance are a
form of dance and theater art. While somewhat “risqué” or “naughty” with
its adult play and fanciful sexualized teasing that transgresses social
decorum and dress codes, exotic dance is, like all dance, communication
and a learned skill with its own aesthetic. So the question
arises: how far removed is exotic dance from the world of artistic and
concert dance? For a discussion of the recent Night Moves exotic dance court case read on here.
On September 5, 2012, the seven-member New York Court of Appeals heard
Nite Moves’ legal challenge to the Tribunal’s decision that exotic dance
was not a live choreographed performance and consequently exempt from taxation as stated in law. Read Judith Lynne Hanna’s account of this intriguing case and the ramifications it could have on the dance community.
As we observe this year’s crop of candidates vying for leadership roles,
we look for the details but also for the overarching dance each one is
performing. Even in solo roles — for example a politician’s stump
speeches or debate performances — they are part of a larger choreography
that includes others and, of course, a relationship to the audience.
While funding for the NEA continues to be a flagship issue for the arts community, alternative proposals to the current charitable giving incentives could impact a larger number of dance organizations. It
surprises many to find out that the majority of Dance/USA’s visits to Capitol Hill are to talk about charitable giving incentives.
I believe dancers are losing pace with their historic and artistic companions. The musicians’ protests last week against Paul Taylor Dance Company highlight the economic challenges facing today’s performing artists in New York City. Larger questions about wages, work, union representation, and economic resources for all of these artists must be answered — but especially for the dancers.