Friday, December 19, 2008

Dancers are the Face of Dance. AND we have a Voice.

I have had a few recent forays into the journalistic world; perhaps inspired by the thoughts of this blog.

The first includes a Dance/USA article published in the quarterly publication. My intent was to provide a dancer presence in the the organization. The article is attached below.

The second was a personal reaction to some recent dance news in a large newspaper. I responded to the journalist both praising their dance coverage, but also pointing out some incongruities in the statements in the article. To my incredible surprise the writer responded to my email within 24 hours with a great dialogue on the subject.

It amazes me to think that these journalists and critics have such an influence on how work and the industry is perceived by an audience. But the artists themselves are not powerless in this influence because the writers can be so open to discuss their thoughts.

That is where it becomes our job to be engaged and active in the public relations of the dance world. Staying abreast of the news and commentary, and responding to it is a place to start.

Here is the Dance/USA article.

Mind of an Artist

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dance/USA Taskforce on Dancer Health Screening- Information for Dancers

The following is the information given to dancers about the health screening administered through the guidelines of the Taskforce for Dancer Health and Dance/USA. The screen has been a 100% positive, post hire process to help dancers work with their primary tool- their body. Results have informed dancers of underlying tendencies and imbalances as well as general awareness.

If you work in a company that doesn't administer the screening please contact Dance/USA to learn more, or lead your affiliated health care practitioner to the screen that is online.

Dance/USA Taskforce on Dancer Health Screening

Important Information about the Screen

    1. This was created to help the dancer, help the dancer.

    1. This has no relationship to management (except, we insisted that they pay you for your time)

    1. The Screening info is totally private and confidential.

    1. This is 1000% for sure.

    1. The Screening info can never be shared with management, artistic or your colleagues.

    1. Your Screening info is protected by the same doctor/patient code of all medical information.

    1. The doctors and P.T.’s would lose their licenses and be prosecuted if this privacy and confidentiality code was broken.

    1. The entire purpose is to help you:

      1. Have better health
      2. Dance better and longer
      3. Avoid chronic problems once you retire

    1. AGMA fully supports the Taskforce Screen.

    1. Other Companies using the Screen this season:

      1. Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Houston, Pittsburgh, Ballet Austin, National Ballet of Canada & more.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Remember the Golden Era of Dance?

Image from

Remember when..... dance was on television on a regular basis? ...Baryshnikov and Gelsey were regular household names? ...Suzanne Farrell was on the cover of Time Magazine?

Well....I suppose that amidst a failing economy dance may again have some venues to put itself, as an industry, back into people's everyday lives. With the reality television shows "So You Think You Can Dance" and Dancing with the Stars", more people than ever are tuning in; whether this impacts live theater ticket sales we can only hope.

And there is more.....Billy Elliot on Broadway is having an impact as PBS recently ran an incredible documentary on the three boys that star in the production.

Additionally Alastair Macaulay ran an article in the Times about the greater implications of the success of Billy Elliot the musical.

Here is an excerpt of "Finding Billy Elliot":

Friday, December 5, 2008

Production logistics.

As I watch a new production team work American Repertory Ballet's Nutcracker in a new theater, I am reminded of all the behind-the-scenes details and jobs for a large ballet. Focusing lights, loading in and out of a space, setting up tissues and rosin, mopping, moving sets... it goes on and on.

Here is a new issue that may affect the state of our arts from Dance/NYC's e-newsletter:

Use Wireless Mics? Get up to speed

White Space

The wireless microphone technology currently in use by performing arts organizations will soon undergo changes. As TV goes digital in February, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is re-examining the use of the broadcast spectrum, specifically the -white space- that exists between broadcast television channels. Recent auction of the -white space- is resulting in a reorganization of the broadcast spectrum, changes to the allowable uses of the spectrum, and the development of new devices.
On November 4, the FCC voted to authorize the use of new devices that would operate in the same space currently used for wireless microphones. The FCC ruling includes certain -protections- for wireless microphones - please stay tuned for more information on this latest ruling in the coming months.

Meanwhile, a specific portion of the -white space- - channels 52-69, roughly between 700 and 800 MHz frequencies, had already been auctioned off, and current users, including performing arts organizations, will most likely be required to vacate this part of the spectrum by February 17, 2009.

The Performing Arts Alliance has filed comments with the FCC ( ) on behalf of the not-for-profit performing arts community, urging the agency to find a viable solution to protect wireless audio devices ( ) from interference as new devices come into use. We are encouraging all parties to find a solution that is affordable for not-for-profit performing arts organizations and that will guarantee that migration to new technology and a new location on the broadcast spectrum will be free of interference during performances.

You are urged to contact your wireless microphone equipment manufacturer. Depending on make and model, your equipment could be re-banded with a new frequency range. Otherwise, it will need to be replaced. Please do this as soon as possible, especially if you are in a metropolitan market.