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?


  1. Audience development is critical. If the audience is not there then I guess we are all just preaching to the choir so to speak. Community support is what takes an art form from a hobby to a vocation!

  2. I had written a reply but apparently it didn't post at all. Technology!
    I agree that we have to develop audiences and I wonder what the barriers are to doing so. There are millions of people living in the metro Atlanta area. We should be able to turn out a couple hundred per show, theoretically. I think there are practical issues--the driving across town and parking etc.--that make people less inclined to do anything involving live performances. There's ticket cost too, though I feel like most of our shows aren't prohibitively priced. Unless of course you want to go see them all--which is why we've suggested offering some sort of Dance Pass through DanceATL to encourage folks to see more shows.

    Then there's the issue of people not knowing about what's going on, which is where the google calendar (website to be) and dance table come in. Now we just have to USE them. Both by getting all the relevant info on the calendar and by making sure people know it's there.

    And then there's the issue of people not having the interest in dance enough to see it even when they know it's going on. That's something that only long term educational policies have any hope of changing. DanceATL at the moment isn't going to take up the advocacy battle directly. There are other organizations like ALL-GA and MAACC etc. doing well at lobbying for the arts. We can just let folks know about their calls to action when they happen.

    The support that comes before audiences are involved, the funding that supports the creative process, is another side of the same problem. It's a chicken/egg, if choreographers aren't supported to spend the time they need to create, their product is less likely to be as well developed, and therefore might be less attractive to audiences. On and on we go...That side of things is another place I'm not as well versed personally. There are people involved who do have more experience with development and I hope they have some input as we move along on how, if at all, DanceATL can forward the community in this arena.