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From Our Friends at Dance /USA's Green Room

From Our Friends at Dance /USA's Green Room
Christine Jowers

By Christine Jowers
View Profile | More From This Author

Published on January 24, 2012

Things I Learned About Artistry at the 2012 Dance Forum in NYC-January 24, 2012

From Our Friends at Dance /USA's Green Room


Things I Learned About Artistry at the 2012 Dance Forum in NYC
January 24, 2012


Christine Jowers in "The Odyssey" Photo by Marina Levitsyaka

By Christine Jowers
Artistry doesn’t come out of thin air; it evolves by being nurtured, sweated over, re-worked, perhaps a little bloodied, and revived. Believe it or not, sometimes art needs to fail. Jennifer S.B Calienes, director of Tallahassee’s Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, one of our nations top-tier dance residency programs, says of necessary artistic failures, “Some of the best work dies in Tallahassee, but it is critical that (dance makers) have that time and space to think, develop, edit, and hone.” Even when elements seem to easily come together, it is usually a result of great efforts that have taken place prior. These efforts are called the artistic process.

How strangely wonderful to hear of the deep commitment to artistic process at the kick-off the 2012 “Dance Forum: Residencies in Dance,” organized by Dance/USA and hosted as a pre-conference event by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP). Strange because for most dancers who present their 15 minutes of work at the New York festival hoping to court presenters and get jobs, APAP can be one of the most hellacious, anti-creative, artistically unfriendly experiences ever. The sheer volume of artists presenting in showcases on one evening makes it impossible to present high-quality artistic experiences worthy of what dance makers aspire to in their “home” productions. Light plots get simplified or cut, costumes reduced, full-length pieces excerpted, and technical requirements cancelled. Some choreography lends itself to this snappy kind of minimal production, other pieces fall flat. Imagine participating in a beauty contest where you are not allowed to wear any makeup or an outfit that fits. TO READ MORE CLICK DANCE USA's Greenroom

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