In Sept. 2017, Kentucky Governor Bevins said: “If you’re studying interpretive dance, God bless you, but there’s not a lot of jobs right now in America looking for people with that as a skill set.” Dance professor Karen Bradley disagrees. Find out why.
Choreographer and 2011 Dance/USA Honor recipient Lar Lubovitch recently composed this letter to an anonymous young dancer. It should be required reading for anyone who wishes to dance. Just as he choreographs, Lubovitch writes, too, with great humanity and understanding of an emotional inner life residing within each of us. Read on.
High school dancers — and parents — wondering what to look for in a college or university dance program? Ashley Thorndike-Youssef has some ideas and talking points to use on you college tours as you begin your process of narrowing down the right school for you. Not a matriculating at a college? This material is a anecdote of sorts to the ongoing discussions on academic dance programs as a pyramid scheme. Read on for more, exclusively in From the Green Room, Dance/USA’s eJournal.
Responding to the commentary “Is American Modern Dance a Pyramid Scheme?” Nancy Wozny writes: Not everyone has the
mettle to navigate the difficulty of being an
artist, but I have yet to meet one person who wants to live in a world
without art. So the question remains as educators, practitioners, and
citizens of this dance world, how can we go forward without the burden
of old paradigms of success? Read on here for more.
More on Sarah Austin’s recent controversial Dance/USA article, “Is American Modern Dance a Pyramid Scheme?”
as the conversation continues in From the Green Room. Jennifer Edwards contends this issue in the dance field is a symptom of a larger cultural, socio-economic shift that continues
to affect both the arts and education. This is a shift in the perceived
and broadcasted value of learning, experience, and critical thinking.
Recently, an article by the erudite and whip-smart Sarah Anne Austin
(B.A. Dance, University of Maryland, 2008) touched off heated discussion in the
academic dance world. The piece, “Is American Modern Dance a Pyramid Scheme?” riled every raw nerve in every dance alum from every dance
program across these United States. Read what Austin’s professor, Karen Bradley, has to say about studying dance in today’s colleges.
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.
Michael Kaiser, the outgoing president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., talks
candidly about the state of the dance field, funding, American dance abroad,
challenges and perceptions, and his love of baseball and baking. In September 2014, he leaves the Kennedy Center to bring the DeVos Institute of Arts Management to University of Maryland
joining the College of Arts and Humanities’ Clarice Smith Performing
Arts Center, a leading national arts incubator.
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.
In 1984, Colleen Callahan-Russell was teaching dance at North High
School one of the Twin Cities’ most racially diverse schools. She’d
attended several basketball games and loved the players’ moves. So she
asked the team, state champs in basketball that year, if she could
choreograph a game for them. The players were game, especially when she
began rehearsals by working with the Harlem Globetrotters’ theme song.
By the time the piece reached the stage of the Walker Art Center as part
of a Choreographers’ Evening, Colleen had switched the music to
Vivaldi. Her dancer/athletes were unfazed and got a standing ovation. Read more about Callahan-Russell, Dance/USA 2014 Inspiration Award recipient.