Walker Recipe 6: Dance Trailers

Organization Name: The Walker Art Center

City: Minneapolis

Program Name: Dance Trailers

Time of Program: The program is offered at all times because it is available online.

Program Length: The dance trailers typically average 2 - 4 minutes each.

Program When Elaborate: Not offered directly at a performance but is archived online on the Walker channel, YouTube, and iTunesU.

Goal: This online program serves as a promotional and entertainment video to a broader audience. This is part of Walker’s effort to connect all programs through common audience engagement threads, focusing on developing scalable, replicable models to engage audiences before, during, and after performances.

Time of Year Offered: Year-round throughout the run of the season

Program Description:

Dance trailers mix excerpts from the Walker’s video interviews with performance footage to create short, promotional videos about a specific work. The existing interview and performance documentation needs to be reviewed and edited in cooperation with videography staff or freelance editors. The segments with the most impact should be chosen and the artist needs to approve the final product. Like the Walker’s video interviews, the dance trailers are then archived onto the Walker Channel, social media such as YouTube, and iTunesU.

Number of Participants: The videos are available for the general public and remote audiences online in the Walker Archives.

Target Audience: Overall target audience is generally a younger (under 40) tech-savvy audience drawing from the local communities and Walker's other artistic disciplines.

Private/Public Public

Location: The dance trailer program videos are accessed and viewed online.

How Many Staff: A total of 4 staff members are required: two staff members for videography (typically one staff member and one freelance), a staff member (or freelance) for editing, writing transcripts and digitizing the new and/or existing material, and then one staff member (or freelance) to digitize the video and get it ready for the Walker Channel.

Program Cost: Approximately $850, to cover the costs of staff for videography, editing and digitizing the new and old material, writing transcripts and digitizing the actual trailer and getting it ready for the Walker channel.

Attendance To Date: At the time their Recipe Book was created the Walker had created 5 trailers and each trailer had averaged 383 views so far.

Past Iterations: The program has been carried out 5 times creating 5 dance trailers since the program began during the start of the EDA grant period.

What works? These short videos reach a high viewership and are popular. They are also easily digestible in their short duration and can be easily linked to by other arts presenters.

What doesn't work? As with the video interviews (see a separate entry in this database for the video interviews), it has been impossible to get these online in time to capitalize on touring venues’ press and media visibility. Also because of limited staff resources we needed to hire outside freelance staff for the final edits. It is important to remember that these videos trailers take time and may be expensive to produce. Make sure you have the resources available to pay for good equipment and staff or freelance costs because both are necessary for successful completion of these online initiatives.

Performances Where Offered: We don't do separate trailers for all dance programs (too time consuming and expensive) but we do season trailers as well as "spring dance" or "OUT THERE" trailers - grouping a number of projects into one trailer.

Past Research on Program: Walker’s EDA-related research included distributing surveys to measure differences in audience’s engagement with the performance, comparing those who participated in Walker’s array of EDA-sponsored activities versus those who did not participate with positive results for those who did participate in the survey. This research was across various types of events, so is not specific to the Dance Trailers. Participation in engagement activities—particularly post-performance, or a combination of post-performance and online activity, resulted in significantly stronger reports of impact (captivation, feeling challenged, emotional and spiritual resonance, connecting with the dancers on stage, connecting with the audience, and the impression left by the performance) compared to those who did not participate in any engagement activities. These views on dance trailers (an average of 383) show that dance trailers receive the most views, on average, of any of the Walker’s online engagement strategies.

Continuing Program? Yes we continued the program and combined efforts to group individual trailers together.

Additional Comments:

For videography work, the Walker had to purchase compatible documentation equipment that would match our existing equipment to allow for smoother editing of the two-camera shoots and better sound quality. A lot of choreographers have the rights to use copyrighted music in their shows, but those music rights are not secured for video. Additionally, dancers may not be comfortable with video footage of their performance being broadcast (for example, if they were nude). All these rights issues need to be cleared.To film the performance footage included in the trailers, two cameras have helped with production capabilities like close-ups of dancing. The content of the show affects the number of cameras needed: a show with large-scale movement may only need one camera whereas a show with a lot of smaller, individual movements would require more cameras.The Walker’s switch to High Definition cameras added more color info and detail, subtlety that is not available in standard definition. HD is not just an aesthetic choice but has the potential to better communicate what a show is about. Additionally, taping a stage with HD's widescreen format composes dance in a cinematic way better suited for distribution. A good-quality tri-15 pod is a wise investment for filming dance. Note: This entry was taken from the Walker's Recipe Book for Audience Engagement, a product that their staff created during Round One of EDA. The full recipe book is available on the Dance/USA website (see EDA Audience Engagement Resource Library).

Resources & Links:

Please see the information about the Walker Art Center and its recipe book on the Dance/USA website
Read a profile about the project, and access related products, including the Recipe Book: http://www2.danceusa.org/walkerartcenter
See a resource guide about the project, and view videos from Walker staff about it: http://www.danceusa.org/edalearningexchangescontent

Target Audiences Secondary school students College Students Young Adults, 25-35 Seniors General Audiences Families or kid-friendly

Online Engagement Online