Thursday, June 21, 2012

More thoughts on our "crash course"

So did you know that there is a national Dance Critics Association? Yep. And their annual conference is starting today in NYC. And so I figure they might have some good ideas for us while we're headed into the design of the "crash course" for writers. And sure enough, they have a whole list of questions to help approach a dance review. And then at the bottom it says those are only by permission (even though they're online...), so I guess I won't link to it here and now (but you can find it on their site). I'll see about getting permission and then maybe I can post, and hopefully give to writers attending the "crash course".
Part of that packet of info will also be a short description of all the local companies we're aware of. So if you see this and you're someone who performs here in town, please add a note to your to do list to get us a tiny (really, 2 sentences or your mission statement max) description. Or else we'll have to make up what to say about you (muhahaha!!)
We are also going to be trying to compile a short but hopefully useful glossary of some common dance terms. Probably good for anybody who's going to be talking to dancers about what they do, really, not just this crowd. Terms like "master class", "pointe shoe,""contact improvisation" and "side lighting" perhaps. What terms do you think would be useful to include?

Notes from the meeting to create a dance "crash course" for writers

June 21, noon-1 pm. at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

Thanks for hosting, ACAC, and for everyone who made it to this preliminary meeting! If you didn't make it but have any thoughts about what's in the notes, please comment! We appreciate any input you might have to make this the most effective event possible. 

Emphasize how its ok to approach dance as an audience member w/o having that background--legitimize all approaches so long as they are open
Make the atmosphere of the event comfortable so people can feel ok asking “dumb” questions
Our problem as dancers, when discussing dance, what you think of as being layman terms still aren't really in plain terms enough for the general person--tend to forget how much lingo we do have
Give those attending a glossary of dance industry terms (keep it short)
Also have the list of local companies with short blurbs describing them and contact info for marketing/PR person
Program idea: Dance Basics, short performances, panel discussion
choreography—what is a choreographers’ job? Angela
Current writers about dance—maybe we can just ask people who are coming if they would appreciate more having current writers speak or want to keep it very basic 
Invite the editors and ask them whom to invite--get them thinking about covering dance generally and offer them the DanceATL calendar as a great way to know ahead of time what's coming up (GET US YOUR INFO for next season ASAP, people!)
DanceATL calendar, have it set as much as possible
Timing: Is it possible to get ahead of the Fall Arts Listings/Previews? Might be hard, because those are early fall and we would really have to have the event right now to make it ahead of them
Lure people with food and wine (hey, it's part of the casual and comfortable atmosphere), and how long should it last? Evening for a couple hours
GSU, Emory, Georgia Tech—contact papers, dance depts.
Press Club: Sigele will contact in case they're interested as a small partner event 
Who should do the Dance Basics intro? Sue Schroeder? (Claire will ask her) Someone who can talk in a clear way about dance to a non-dance audience 
Demonstrations w discussion--lec/dem format
Clarify how the different styles co-exist: invite diverse groups to show various styles
Encourage discussion, all opinions are ok
Get comfortable with dance
Open line policy for questions afterwards—DanceATL "writer’s hotline"--"what is that spinny thing called?"
Will we be able to video and distribute? Need not only video camera, but audio equipment and editing. Brian Wallenburg might be able to use their resources bc it's at the ballet (Sigele will check with him)
Maybe just the presentational part being video taped, keep the discussion off the web so there's no pressure when giving opinions
Grant for arts journalism projects—look into, it was NEA perhaps? (Angela will provide)
Discuss student vs. professional
Compiling big list of editors to send around/contact directly
Space: Atlanta Ballet because we need a floor everyone can use
Who does demos? not favoritism in invites, we want wide range of styles and we'll see who can do it in their schedules: Atlanta Ballet, CORE, Dance Canvas, (Juel??), T. Lang, Full Radius, Giwayen Mata or Manga, Julie Baggenstoss, Blake Beckham, Ballethnic or City Gate, gloATL, d’Air, a college group, Anwar/Empire
Nobody gets to do a whole piece, aiming for 2-3 minutes ea tops
Partly important to cultivate writers who are coming from outside the dance community because so many of us are connected with one group or another already (small community). We want some folks to write who AREN’t connected with the dance companies/community directly
Aiming for last week of August, at Atlanta Ballet (Sigele will check what's available) early evening maybe like  they usually do their preview parties: 5:30 reception, 6pm start
Introductions from artistic and marketing staff from presenting groups and others--chance for these staff and the writers to meet in person

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer dance: workshops

So it's almost the middle of June already! Summer workshops and festivals are starting up all over the place, including here in Atlanta. I'm hoping to put together the next enews, and might even have a new intern to help with it, but until then, here's some news to tide you over (better than not posting at all, right?)

Staibdance is starting their workshop of evening classes this week, at Goodson Yard at the Goat Farm (aside from the classes on the 13th, which is at Emory). It's interesting how they formatted the classes, two back to back on the weekdays. Obviously to include us working stiffs who need to move at the end of the day!

The regular company in residence at Goodson, gloATL, has their R & D summer workshop starting next week on June 18, with two options, either 2 or 5 weeks. These are all day classes and repertory/choreography workshops. And they'll be performing Liquid Culture in various spots around the city toward the end of the workshop.

And in Decatur, at CORE on July 22-28, there's an intensive for those of you interested in improvisational techniques and Laban, with Emory's Lori Teague and Leslie Scates of Lower Left, who's based in Houston.

And elsewhere around town there are a slew of summer workshops at various studios. Feel free to post info on more things that you're excited about since I've just skimmed the surface!