• How Long? The Life Span of a Dance Company


    What constitutes the life span for a dance company? Is it better to see a company close rather than become a shadow of what it once was? Responding to a recent Facebook inquiry, Houston-based dance writer Nancy Wozny stated, “The life span of a dance company should be as individual as the artists themselves. Not every arts organization needs to be around forever. Some pop up as a result of a particular time in an artist’s life, and the world they operate in. Times shift and things do go away. I feel we need to be more welcoming of things that end.”

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  • Things I Learned About Artistry at the 2012 Dance Forum in NYC


    Artistry doesn’t come out of thin air; it evolves by being nurtured, sweated over, re-worked, perhaps a little bloodied, and revived. Believe it or not, sometimes art needs to fail. Jennifer S.B Calienes, director of Tallahassee’s Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, one of our nations top-tier dance residency programs, says of necessary artistic failures, “Some of the best work dies ... but it is critical that (dance makers) have that time and space to think, develop, edit, and hone.” These efforts are called the artistic process.

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  • The Game-ification of Dance: The Future Is Now


    In the dance class of the future every student gets documented feedback on everything she does using the same technology found in today’s video games. The implications for the game-ification of dance are exciting and offer a glimpse of a future that marries artistry, gaming, and digital communication together.

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  • FY12: Not Just About Appropriations


    Funding for the NEA has been a flagship issue for arts organizations for years. Arts advocates must be spending their waking hours working to restore funding to the NEA so that we can continue to support the work of the non-profit arts community by funding the creation, presentation, and education of quality arts programs. This is serious, right?

    Would it surprise you to learn that the answer to that is actually, “Yes, but ….”?

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  • Modern Dance: Its Death and Regeneration


    I’ve spent a lot of time worrying and writing about what is ballet and have grown tired of reading crossover choreographers say that their works are “firmly rooted in the classical tradition” when they don’t even give a nod to “the classical tradition.” I haven’t worried about modern dance because I believe at the center of its identity is that it must reinvent itself with every generation. Each generation has a right to do what it wants. So what does it want in 2012?

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  • The Hundred Flowers’ Long March East: Achievements and Challenges of U.S. Dance Tours in China


    While 2009 marked the 30th anniversary of Sino-U.S. diplomacy, dance exchanges between China and the U.S. continue to be a renewable theme. For both countries, cross-cultural dialogues in the arts offer significant potential for strengthening ties between people. Although in recent years, more U.S. dance companies have appeared onstage in China, due to many circumstances, the road to China is indeed long and full of obstacles.

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  • The Hundred Flowers’ Long March East: Achievements and Challenges of U.S. Dance Tours in China, Part 2


    Besides collaborating directly with Chinese dance troupes, U.S. repertory companies may tour in China by following the Department of State’s Administrative Regulations on Commercial Performances (in effect since 1997). Main steps include seeking a Chinese presenter and obtaining a performance license.

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  • What Should a Dance Critic Talk About When She Talks About Dance?


    What is the role of a dance critic? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a couple of weeks now, ever since reading an article on the front page of The Washington Post’s Style section in mid-October. The piece, by the paper’s chief dance critic, Sarah Kaufman, confirmed a hunch I’ve had for a while: Kaufman is making an occupation of not writing about modern dance.

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  • The Importance of Being Still


    Can you be still? I mean really still. For just 5 minutes. No scratching or fidgeting. Quiet the mind. Focus on the breath.

    You might be saying that’s impossible, your day is already full with early morning planning and development meetings; answering emails and responding to social media; fundraising appointments; marketing strategy sessions; budget reviews; artistic decisions; production issues; and that grant application, it’s due by 5:00 p.m.

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  • Copyright Basics for Dance Works


    The creator of a dance work does not always own the copyright. This often comes as a surprise to the dance artist who has created the dance work or piece. In some cases other persons or entities own the copyright. In dance this can come back to bite a choreographer

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