Monday, August 30, 2010

September--ah, here's the "season"!

So August was a big dry spell for dance performance in Atlanta. But everyone kicks off their seasons soon and things get going pretty strong pretty quickly in September. Take a look at the calendar and you'll see we get performances pretty much every weekend starting not with Labor Day weekend, but the following weekend. I won't go into previewing things because that's not what I do, but I just have to say it'll be nice (and busy!) to see performances picking up.
I believe I have roped my interns into covering the dance table at the Decatur Book Festival with me this weekend. Yay! For anyone out there who has some of these upcoming events, please get me dance table materials! Also, I'm hoping to get the e-newsletter going on a monthly basis with my intern/volunteer's help. So you can send me news items for that as well!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

DanceATL calendar

My fantastic intern, Arielle, will be coming back to do her magic on the DanceATL calendars ( here very soon. Because there's been a big lull anyway, and to make sure things are up to date, I'm going to clear out all the recurring classes that she had entered last season and we'll start afresh for the fall.
All the performance info you guys have sent will stay put. No worries. And please, if you haven't sent me performance info, why not? I mean, don't you want to be on the calendar? :) (I know, one more place to send it to. That's an interesting problem that I don't currently have a solution to, but if you have thoughts on how to work that out, please let me know!)
Also, planning on having the dance table out in front of CORE during some of the Decatur Book Festival. How much will depend on if anyone can help me staff it? I have a toddler who won't stand still with me for long, so please, take at turn? Tens of thousands of people to tell about all the great dance happening in Atlanta! And I'll send an email too, but get me your materials for the table by Sept. 3 please. Yay dance!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Interesting traffic

So I've got google analytics on this blog and I'm intrigued about what happened at the end of July. National Dance Day and the Expo here in Atlanta apparently drew a lot of interest before the event. I know the only info online about it was pretty buried within other websites so the searches on that topic landed folks here. Which is great! I hope that helped get the word out about the event. What's kinda too bad is that we also had a dance table at the event and though it was rained out early, there should have been at least a few folks who saw it there. Yet the traffic after the event fell off drastically. So what we'd love to hope, that a bunch of folks saw the table and ran out to check out the blog, didn't happen. Though we don't really push the blog at the table so much as all the other events going on, so I guess it's not that surprising. I just hope the table does get more folks interested in dance and maybe turning out for some of the events around town. Whenever those start up again anyway (having kept up with the dance calendar for not quite a full season now, I will say August seems to take the cake on dead time! Calm before the storm, right guys??)
Anyhoo, just thoughts.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Resource Market for the Arts Oct. 4

Resource Market for the Arts
October 4, 2010
October is Funding for Arts Month at the Foundation Center!
You’re invited to come to the Resource Market for the Arts to network with peers and learn about available funding, resources, and services. There's information for everyone!
Preceding the market, Susan Weiner, executive director of the Georgia Council for the Arts, will speak on "Arts Advocacy Now!" Come for the program and stay for the market.
Monday, October 4, 2010
1:00-1:45pm Arts Advocacy Now!
2:00-4:00pm Resource Market
Rialto Center for the Arts
at Georgia State University
80 Forsyth Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Watch our calendar for information about other programs and events in October.
Office of Cultural Affairs Foundation Center Fulton County Arts Council
Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund Georgia Council for the Arts South Arts

Dance Canvas preview

Cynthia Perry previews this fall's Dance Canvas performance, which will be Nov. 5-6 at the 14th Street Playhouse.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Aug. 1 meeting: Let's Talk Tech

Here are notes from the most recent DanceATL meeting on August 1. Thanks to Joe Futural for leading the discussion, Blake Beckham for performing and Mack Headrick for letting us into the back space at 7 Stages! Thanks to Rose Caudle for helping type up my messy notes. And of course, thanks everyone who made it out. Please feel free to comment if the notes are missing some things we talked about, or if you've had more thoughts since the meeting, please share them!

Welcome by Claire Horn
Performance by Blake Beckham from her upcoming Sept. 11 “American Muscle” at Eyedrum.
Joseph Futral presenting:
•    Joe introduces himself and his background with many dance and theater companies.
•    he wants Atlanta to be a force in national and international dance
•    production values-anything not the dancers front of house, stage, curtains etc.-anything distracting
•    safety of performers is the main priority
•    everyone is involved not just production director
•    not consistent production values he's see in Atlanta--NYC has good production values even in smaller or more “underground” venues-clean stage, all you see is deliberate/are choices made as part of the artistic product
•    The art is the most important-don’t want distractions, the product is the whole experience/take home for audience
•    dancers should let someone know if they’re having trouble seeing/moving etc.
o    e.g. if someone can’t see to get off the stage it’ll take longer between sections, which can also be distracting--don’t want too long blackouts
•    Hyperaware of all on stage—then make choices
•    If you’re one of 10 groups on festival program so it’s not you plot, can be hard to explain “what’s next?” to designer
•    Need to convey the moments in piece that need change in mood
o    for efficiency-can’t do too much detail
o    up and down lights=clean and professional
•    Nena Gilreath-they give tech dir. a cd with all cuts on it and cues are known to dancers, if high or low production values, efficiency and simplicity are important
•    Bare minimums-start there-if you only have 8 lights which colors? warm or cool, what mood?
•    working over time with the same tech staff helps understand piece
•    Joe realized once his lights were doing what dancers are already doing so he didn’t need as much, simplicity is key
•    Can give cues thru music – track times
•    Lighting designer should get to know the work-music given 1st  then come to rehearsal, the choreographer should expect it when hiring the designer
•    It will look arbitrary if was designed without input or time spent with the piece
•    We should as a community have higher expectations of production design
•    be intentional about the production work with same people over time-relationship
•    people afraid to ask for it because less money
•    give DVD of older versions if you have them, so they can become familiar that way too
•    artists don‘t feel empowered time and money make it hard to have high expectations
•    hopefully lighting designers are artists too
•    People leave-how many independent lighting designers live here?
•    danceATL should have a listing of tech staff online
•    Theatre different than dance—only somewhat different, one aspect that is different for e.g.--legs are an afterthought in theatre-because there’s a set, but they’re the only scenery in dance more important to look clean
•    Tom Skelton-he could spend a couple hours talking to a director and not talk about the art itself at all, but he will know they can work together
•    Malina Rodriguez-Joe compliments her, says we should hire her if she’s available
•    always losing people and expectations are also low, how collectively move forward to gain momentum-know resources
•    page on Dance ATL website also that lists various resources we all have: who has Marley for rent? Who has masking? Costumes? Etc.
•    Hold each other accountable too, some are willing to take standards so far as to say we won’t dance without marley
•    Exposure vs. Quality (again this trade off comes up) if they can’t tell the difference between what parts of your art can adapt? 
•    Do you want to work with them if they can’t respect your needs for a space? Though needs are different depending on the piece and can be adapted
•    If can adapt, specs for spaces also online take advantage in ATL-venues are scarce any space can be a theater vibe of a space-make disappear or use it, flooring resources, lights rental etc.
•    Nena- outdoor stage at ballethnic-cultural cul de sac, costumes and masking/curtains
•    Keif--Help ourselves first-donate to each other
•    Nena-turn hands to power instead of cups who’ll take care of it? Volunteers with training (parents), debriefings after shows, put wishlist out
•    lead by example-when you as director fix something out of place etc., it lets people know it’s important. This is about the art because people don’t pay attention when there are things to distract them.
•    Joe: You can’t assume venues know what they are doing.You can't assume the venues know what YOU are doing, either.
•    Expectations again and responsibility
•    Quality control team through Dance ATL?
•    Volunteers to go watch a rehearsal and comment on anything they see that needs to be corrected?Head out to dress or whatever to look for nit-picky things-volunteer list accessibility issues are safety issues
•    Dance ATL create a guide for general needs that can go to schools etc. to let them know what they need to provide
•    Basic considerations of light and sound who has performed in each space. Discuss with community, how was it?
•    Discussions on FB page perhaps? reviews of venues
•    relationship to technical director-need to have someone who knows that’s their role, not just light design and stage managing, also safety and scheduling etc.
•    Meetings to learn how to do? Or be volunteer at a show backstage to learn the ins and outs. Welcome at Ballethnic’s Cultural cul de sac and ATL ballet-upcoming shows. Contact Nena or Aly.
•    Malina as advisor?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

April discussion on media awareness/relations for Atlanta dance

So I'm finally getting around to typing up my notes from the April 25 DanceATL meeting! I hope someone finds it interesting or useful to have them if you couldn't make it to the meeting. Sorry the layout isn't all that clean or legible. Let me know if you can't read it at all or now without a headache. My contacts are, ot if you'd like to host an upcoming meeting!)

April 25 Discussion with Suzanne Van Atten A&E Editor at the AJC, and Thomas Bell, Partner at Chronicle LLC
Strategies for media need to emphasize the changes in media because of the internet
A brief history of recent changes:
Most dramatic changes in newspapers, they're thinner these days and where before the critics were niche, now tend to be overall "arts"
salaries weren't from the sales of papers but from advertising and classifieds in particular
the papers always lost money on dance reviews anyway, but did it because they could afford it
craigs list happened
how do the critical pieces fit into the new business model? a new model was needed
to pitch for a print review on a show you need to explain why it's of interest to the general public
why dance matters--specifically
doesn't have to be reductive, but needs a good communication of the relevance
60% or so of costs before went into printing and distribution of papers
news organizations that thrive now will figure out how to do it all online, especially revenue
the good news is that because online, the cost doesn't increase for size of the article, a review can actually be longer than it might have been in the printed paper
online people might be interested in video of rehearsal or dress rehearsal
you can get a flip camera to make creating content easier
online there's also a proliferation of independent media outlets like and INTown
the possibility of citizen journalism--DIY easier now online
social media--traditional media picks it up if it seems interesting or popular
take advantage of the small paths
Suzanne comments that the nuts and bolts of everything may change but things remain the same-send the press release! there's more dance in the community than she's aware of, so let her know.
her job now is to assign freelancers. needs to know at least 3 weeks out
find the fine line between being persistent with contacting her and being a pain in the ass.
Call or send a personal note to follow up after sending a release. give her an angle, a person with a story
things we mentioned earlier in the meeting, the autism and dance angle is good
new initiatives are good as are things going on in the "burbs" right now
collaborative events are more likely to get coverage
it would also be great to have a video clip
you can call and ask whom to talk to
DanceATL--media contacts as a membership benefit??
what's interesting? depends on how much intown/out etc.
get to the point, 2 sec to read--you can add an attachment with an additional backgrounder
good access for a journalist attending a show
what's a realistic expectation for what you'll get? limited--not a review most likely
if quoting, make sure to say where something was published
reviews are much more likely if you can do over more than one weekend
as a writer it's frustrating to do a preview, but the more resources that are available in the process, the easier it is for the writer
Blake B.--it's sad that we've lost reviews. we have to find other ways to document work.
Suzanne: and want it to be quality to get coverage, broad acessibility, not just of interest to the dance community.
Looking for interesting stories. Dance can be difficult to write about, need to find a universal story angle.
artistically revolutionary could be it but otherwise, reciprocal relationship, make sure to tell our friends to read the story too
if people don't click it's a problem with the overall editors, though they may realize there's a small, loyal audience
Tom B.--Writing about dance is really about translation from dance to words and you're translating for an audience who doesn't speak the language at all.
Cynthia Perry: Tom B's press release for Blake D.'s show "Your Head is Full of Stars" was best ever: clearly defined, pulled you in, facts up front
learn lessons from industry on promotion
Suzanne welcomes communication
Tom thinks we need to take matters into our own hands and think about our story then communicate it.