Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dancing in the woods?


Dance is truly a unique art form in that it requires a specific kind of space to work. A painter can travel abroad with his/her paints and create when inspiration strikes. Musicians can practice in the privacy of their own homes. But dancers need a special floor (both in texture and buoyancy), possibly ballet barres, and tall ceilings at minimum. (Obviously site specific pieces aside).

I recently traveled to Europe and performed a solo show in two locations. It was amazing how difficult it was to find space to rehearse. In the end I rehearsed in a music hall with a wood floor and risers, it was a humbling experience to say the least.

But there are resources in New York to connect dancers, choreographers and companies to available rehearsal/performance space. This NYC Dance Spaces website is a free information source of available rehearsal and performance spaces throughout the five boroughs. The user friendly interface allows you to choose the size, location and purpose of your search. You can also search for subsidized spaces that start as low as $10/hour through the New York State Council for the Arts.

The Hennepin Center for the Arts, administered by ArtSpace, is located in Minneapolis, MN and offers 6 floors of studios which are often rented for various uses. ArtSpace is dedicated to supporting artists in many capacities including subsidized work space- not to mention the spaces are big and beautiful in the middle of downtown Minneapolis. (More on ArtSpace on another posting).

If you are not in the NYC area, I recommend checking Dance Magazines' Annual Dance Directory where you can search for studios and schools in a particular locality. I have rented space a few places across the country, sometimes even just to give myself class. People are usually very generous and excited when their space is rented.

Space is a precious commodity, both the woods and available dance spaces seem to be finite at best. But both are out there to be used and enjoyed.

1 comment:

Evan said...

Hi Brittany,

This is really useful info. So many dancers are looking for space and it's certainly hard to find in NYC. The NYC Dance Spaces site looks great. Thanks!

Cheers,
Evan