• Back to the Future: The NEA Survey on Arts Participation

    The NEA survey’s primary function is to serve as a snapshot: here is the state of the art at this particular time. It serves this function well. But it’s not enough, nor does the NEA claim it to be. Whereas the survey provides a valuable data point that can kick-start forward-thinking dialogue, the practical impact of the survey is limited by the rapid rate of innovation that has taken place over the past few years.

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  • Next Steps: Dance Theater Workshop and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company Merge

    The dance community is taking a wait and see attitude when it comes to the recently announced merger between New York’s venerable Dance Theater Workshop and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. And many observers say they are cautiously optimistic that the merger, unprecedented in the American dance world, will succeed at a time when so many groups and venues are struggling to survive.

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  • Introducing Wellness Programs in Pre-Professional Ballet Schools in the United States -- Part 2

    Some pre-professional ballet schools have taken a multi-disciplinary approach to wellness while others have focused primarily on the physical needs of their students. These differing approaches seem to imply that schools are justified in cherry-picking the multi-disciplinary model for the individual components they want. However, the very nature of ballet training makes multi-disciplinary wellness a necessity, not an option.

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  • Introducing Wellness Programs in Pre-Professional Ballet Schools in the United States -- Part 1

    Rather than focusing solely on the body, many dance practitioners have begun to move toward a multi-disciplinary approach to training. This approach often includes attention to proper nutrition and rest, injury prevention and treatment, and mental health issues.

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  • An Open Letter to Barack and Michelle Obama

    The use of the arts in community service programs in a systematic fashion, for example, is an excellent way to ensure that innovative and engaging activities reunite, reskill, and repower citizens. And dance, of all of the arts, teaches us to do those things by thinking on our feet, outside the box, and with each other.

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  • Diplomats of Dance: U.S. Companies Step into Role as Cultural Representatives Abroad -- Part 2

    The U.S. State Department began funding international dance tours in 1954 when President Dwight Eisenhower created the President’s Emergency Fund for International Activities, which funded dance, theater, music and sports tours. (Prior to 1954, other government entities, including the CIA, provided occasional support for dance companies’ international appearances.)

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  • Diplomats of Dance: U.S. Companies Step into Role as Cultural Representatives Abroad -- Part 1

    Fifty years ago the U.S. government was one of the biggest promoters of American dance abroad. Over the past two decades, government funding for international dance tours by American dancers practically disappeared. Guess what? It’s back.

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  • Düsseldorf, Dance/USA, and the Case for American Engagement -- Part 1

    A number of U.S. choreographers and dancers continue to spend a fair portion of their time creating work and teaching in Europe—having decided that rather than sitting in America and complaining about how much more funding is available on the other side of the Atlantic, they’d rather crash the party and avail themselves of some of it. These resultant cross-cultural collaborative projects are a vital (perhaps even the most significant) part of the ongoing dialogue between the United States and the rest of the world.

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  • Düsseldorf, Dance/USA, and the Case for American Engagement -- Part 2

    Increasing funding so that the Americans have at least a fighting chance of matching the support dedicated by other countries is one of the keys to ensuring a greater U.S. presence in the international dance world. It is also about stretching existing assets and using them in a smarter and more cost-effective fashion, collaborating to leverage new resources, and cooperating to share the knowledge, burdens, and costs that come with doing business.

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  • Dancing Lessons: What Can We Learn from ‘So You Think You Can Dance’?

    Taio Cruz’s rousing hit “Dynamite” played on loudspeakers as I joined the queue last week outside the cavernous Reliant Arena in Houston. Families, young professionals, and hordes of teenage girls swayed to the rhythm as lines grew longer and longer, far past the parking lot port-o-potties. Ushers hastily scanned so many electronic tickets that together their hand-held devices made one long, sustained electronic beep.
    I rushed the souvenir stand with everyone else, and then hit the men’s room to change into my new $35 all-cotton T-shirt. Resisting the $25 color program booklet as well as the frozen tropical drinks at the Maui Wowie Tiki-stand, I settled for an $8 hot-dog-and-cola combo before making my way to a seat slightly above stage left. “Perfect viewing,” I thought as I enjoyed the promotional videos. This wasn’t a high-profile rock concert, however, it was a dance performance. I made calculations in my head: parking, food, souvenir, and the ticket totaled $119, an amount I hadn’t paid for a dance event since I saw The Royal Ballet years ago at London’s posh Covent Garden.

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Covering the business of dance for dancers, choreographers, administrators, dance organizations and foundations with news, commentary and discussion of issues relevant to the field.
Editor: Lisa Traiger

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