• Diplomats of Dance: U.S. Companies Step into Role as Cultural Representatives Abroad -- Part 1

    Fifty years ago the U.S. government was one of the biggest promoters of American dance abroad. Over the past two decades, government funding for international dance tours by American dancers practically disappeared. Guess what? It’s back.

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  • Düsseldorf, Dance/USA, and the Case for American Engagement -- Part 1

    A number of U.S. choreographers and dancers continue to spend a fair portion of their time creating work and teaching in Europe—having decided that rather than sitting in America and complaining about how much more funding is available on the other side of the Atlantic, they’d rather crash the party and avail themselves of some of it. These resultant cross-cultural collaborative projects are a vital (perhaps even the most significant) part of the ongoing dialogue between the United States and the rest of the world.

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  • Düsseldorf, Dance/USA, and the Case for American Engagement -- Part 2

    Increasing funding so that the Americans have at least a fighting chance of matching the support dedicated by other countries is one of the keys to ensuring a greater U.S. presence in the international dance world. It is also about stretching existing assets and using them in a smarter and more cost-effective fashion, collaborating to leverage new resources, and cooperating to share the knowledge, burdens, and costs that come with doing business.

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  • Dancing Lessons: What Can We Learn from ‘So You Think You Can Dance’?

    Taio Cruz’s rousing hit “Dynamite” played on loudspeakers as I joined the queue last week outside the cavernous Reliant Arena in Houston. Families, young professionals, and hordes of teenage girls swayed to the rhythm as lines grew longer and longer, far past the parking lot port-o-potties. Ushers hastily scanned so many electronic tickets that together their hand-held devices made one long, sustained electronic beep.
    I rushed the souvenir stand with everyone else, and then hit the men’s room to change into my new $35 all-cotton T-shirt. Resisting the $25 color program booklet as well as the frozen tropical drinks at the Maui Wowie Tiki-stand, I settled for an $8 hot-dog-and-cola combo before making my way to a seat slightly above stage left. “Perfect viewing,” I thought as I enjoyed the promotional videos. This wasn’t a high-profile rock concert, however, it was a dance performance. I made calculations in my head: parking, food, souvenir, and the ticket totaled $119, an amount I hadn’t paid for a dance event since I saw The Royal Ballet years ago at London’s posh Covent Garden.

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  • The Sally Field Problematic: Preserving Entertainment, Artistic, and Cultural Value in the Dance Field, or You Love Me, You Really Love Me!

    The arts industry – from education to funding – is increasingly closed to new needs or wants from society at large, and in so doing we exacerbate the industry’s financial crisis through reduced cultural value (to funders) in both individual product and aggregate impact.

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  • How To Specify Show-Stopping Performance Flooring

    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.

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  • First Lady Michelle Obama Expands the White House Dance Card

    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.

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  • Where Are Women Leaders in the Ballet World?

    With all the women in professional companies, why do more women not find themselves in the top positions of leadership of our nation’s larger companies? Women have founded many of the country’s top regional ballet companies, so what keeps them from the role of artistic director? Has progress been so slow in our country since women’s suffrage 90 years ago? I was stunned to find out that currently in the U.S. only four women direct ballet companies with budgets of more than $2.5 million.

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  • Dance Civics 101: Being a Good Dance Citizen

    What if all of us involved in the dance field started acting like citizens of the dance world instead of just participants? And I mean everybody: dancers, choreographers, dance writers, dance studio owners, university department heads, competition companies, presenters, costume, set and lighting designers. Did I forget anybody? As the least funded of the art forms, we have neither the resources nor the energy to do a lot more, but add together many people doing a little more, and you end up with a lot.

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  • Dance Advocacy: Tips for Organizing People

    ORGANIZING PEOPLEIf your advocacy campaign involves organizing a group of people, you’ll need to consider what makes a good experience for a volunteer. If your advocacy campaign involves organizing a group of people, you’ll need to consider what makes a good experience for a volunteer. On the Presidential campaign, I was responsible for organizing and deploying about 2,000 volunteers. Many of them volunteered over and over. I asked them why, and here is what I learned: • Respond quickly: Volu...

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Covering the business of dance for dancers, choreographers, administrators, dance organizations and foundations with news, commentary and discussion of issues relevant to the field.
Editor: Lisa Traiger

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