On April 4 and 5, 2011, approximately 450 artists, arts administrators, philanthropists, and corporations will descend on Washington, D.C., for the 24th Arts Advocacy Day (AAD). Coordinated by Americans for the Arts, this year’s AAD occurs during intense budget debates, as legislators are making crucial spending decisions in an effort to reduce the national debt. This year, several key issues are at stake, including funding for the National Endowment of the Arts and Arts in Education programs.
This week the social media world burst into a flurry of conversations thanks to a Wall Street Journal article that revealed the New York City Ballet was working on a social media policy for its employees and artists, and that this policy may have been driven by the Twitter behavior of a single dancer.
We have habituated our gaze toward a narrow set of proportions based on the kind of dance we watch and the expectations we bring to our viewing. Our eyes have grown lazy. We simply don’t see enough professional dance with a variety of bodies on stage. And I have interviewed numerous artistic directors in the ballet and contemporary genres over the years who claim they love all kinds of bodies.
Dance/USA, as an active member of the Performing Arts Visa Working Group, has been advocating for an improved and more reliable visa processing system. Noticeable progress has been made in processing times and visa petition adjudication, but the challenges to petitioners still abound.
The dance community is taking a wait and see attitude when it comes to the recently announced merger between New York’s venerable Dance Theater Workshop and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. And many observers say they are cautiously optimistic that the merger, unprecedented in the American dance world, will succeed at a time when so many groups and venues are struggling to survive.
For performing arts professionals, particularly dancers, one of the most important aspects of a venue is the flooring. Not only does the stage surface contribute to performers’ safety, but it also significantly enhances the overall aesthetic of a space.
The White House billed it as the first dance event. Yet, the gilded East Room has hosted its share of dance over the years, including performances by American Ballet Theatre and Jerome Robbins’ Ballets: USA during the Kennedy Administration; Patricia McBride and a chandelier-grazing Mikhail Baryshnikov during the Carter Administration; and a strut-worthy cast of alumni from “A Chorus Line” glammed it up during Reagan’s Administration. In 1998, under the Clinton Administration, tap dance savant Savion Glover brought a band of rhythm tappers, old school hoofers like Jimmy Slyde, and Broadway legends Karen Ziemba and Bebe Neuwirth. Then in 2006 President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush honored Arthur Mitchell by showcasing Dance Theatre of Harlem.