Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blogging the process of choreography?

With this post (obviously against the idea): "Blogging about the Process of Choreography--Ugh!" Wendy Perron of Dance Magazine has started a debate on choreographers using blogs to detail their process of creating work. Dance Theater Workshop has responded and points also to Culturebot on the same topic. It's an interesting question both from the artists' side, whether blogging might actually disrupt the process as Ms. Perron suggests, or could actually help form ideas if someone's mind works in words as well as body in movement. And from the audience side, does getting a look into the nitty gritty day-to-day process of making dances make the end product more or less interesting/engaging? On one hand, there's possibly a feeling of "oh well, I know what they were going for from the blog and I totally don't see it" but on the other, as one commenter on Culturebot points out, getting into the process might be a great educational tool for those not as familiar with dance. I guess one problem with that argument is, if someone's not that knowledgeable or engaged in dance to begin with, would they seek out and spend the time to read a blog that goes into detail on the process? Good questions. And a very practical one that follows, if we don't blog about our process, what can we possibly update folks about on a regular basis? What would our online content be if what we're doing IS process, but we can't write about it?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ballethnic's Cultural Cul de Sac

roem reviewed

Here's Cynthia Perry's review of gloATL's newest site-specific dance/art "roem" at the High Museum campus last weekend. The Woodruff estimated 2,000 people were there on Friday night. 2,000 people at one dance performance! Ok, so maybe some of the Nutcrackers out there pull in that many easily, but that there were such crowds for a piece that didn't have cute kids in it on sweltering nights outside in July is certainly impressive. Of course I hear it made it well nigh impossible to actually move for the dancers, but they got smart and brought in crowd control for Saturday's event.

Busy weekend! Dance for Life Expo and DanceATL meeting

This weekend is a busy one! Saturday afternoon at Atlantic Station is the Dance for Life Expo, in conjunction with Nigel Lithgoe of So You Think You Can Dance's National Dance Day (see my earlier post). There will be performances by local studios and a dance competition with the routine you can find video to learn online at DanceATL will have the dance table set up in one of the tents, so you can drop by and see us if you make it by!

And Sunday is the DanceATL bi-monthly meeting at 7 at 7 Stages back space (the black box). The performance will be by Blake Beckham and the topic is "Let's Talk Tech" with Joseph Futral: "A conversation with Joseph Futral to explore and understand the technical theatre side of dance and help dance artists communicate with stage technicians and designers in order to produce the most professional performance possible. This is as much for dancers as choreographers and artistic directors. Everyone involved in a performance affects and is affected by the things considered "technical". 
You can grab drinks and snacks at JavaLords out front and it's $5 at the door or free if you're a DanceATL member! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More sad nat'l news

The Ailey School has lost its director for the last 26 years, Denise Jefferson. The Ailey School memorial site has photos, video clip and links to other articles about her passing and a link to their blog where you can share memories.

National Dance Day

So there's a movement, led by Nigel Lythgoe producer of So You Think You Can Dance and Dizzy Feet Foundation founder and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes (D-DC), to make July 31 "National Dance Day". Here in Atlanta that day there's a Dance For Life Expo at Atlantic Station (and sponsors Fox 5, which airs SYTYCD and 105.7 The Groove) complete with performances, info tables and a dance contest where the winner wins a trip to LA to see SYTYCD live.

Yay for more dance exposure and attention. Two things I was wondering though, first, why is it a different day than the International Dance Day on April 29 (spearheaded by UNESCO's Dance Council since 1982)? And secondly, if events like this are supposed to be for amateurs who've never danced but also dance students and professionals, why is it during the summer when dance students are out of school (though possibly attending summer workshops if they're lucky :) and most professional companies are in the off-season? SYTYCD may be airing, but the rest of us aren't necessarily dancing all that much on July 31. The April date is much more in the thick of things as far as being recital and performance season generally. But, I guess having two days to celebrate dance, internationally and nationally, while proving we're out of synch with the rest of the world (or just that we don't want to compete with National Shrimp Scampi Day-no really, google April 29 and see what you get!), does mean there are two days to celebrate dance, so more attention for our favorite hobby/profession. The more the merrier, right?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Daryl Foster writes about dancers in Atlanta

Here's an article in written by LIFT co-founder Daryl Foster about a big problem for dancers in Atlanta: finding enough work to stay and BE dancers in Atlanta. It's something that DanceATL wants to help address by supporting the community and helping it grow. HOW? There's a critical mass that needs to be reached, where dancers and dance companies can gain support from the community at large. Or is that just my audience development brain talking?

Friday, July 9, 2010

More online dance videos

A site launched today, DancePulp, that has video interviews with lots of (mostly classical or contemporary ballet) dancers and choreographers etc. So if you're interested in hearing some behind the scenes sort of stories from Wendy Whelan, Christopher Wheeldon etc., this is the place to go (and the newest video is Safi Thomas on hip hop, so I assume future episodes won't just be ballet.) 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dance Informa Magazine

I was contacted by Dance Informa Magazine, an online dance magazine based originally in Australia that has recently expanded to the US, about promoting their sweepstakes (see below.) It's pretty interesting--they chose Atlanta to be their base of operations in the US. I didn't ask what the rationale was for the location choice, but I'd like to think it's Atlanta's happening dance scene! :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Double edged sword of gov't financing

Dance New Amsterdam in NYC is facing eviction. Here's an article about the situation that explains how the city's money helped build the new space DNA is in, only to turn around and pull the plug, leaving them in the lurch. You can see DNA's press statement and sign their online petition (or donate, of course!) on the DNA site. So as much as we all would love to see any new funding streams, including some of the ones proposed both by Atlanta a few years back (pre-recession, that's never gonna happen now) and at the state level in the recent session of the GA legislature (put your support behind it when it comes up again!) we need to also pay attention to whether the funds will be short-term or if we at least hope they can be sustainable. We (the arts community) will take either, of course, it's just a matter of planning to fit the available sources.