The Latest: New Strategies to Build New Works
Incubator artist Brian Brooks workshopped Run Don’t Run at ADI. Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Brian Brooks.
The postmodern dance scene has found a home in suburban Washington, DC. Dance education and performance hub American Dance Institute has created a new residency and overhauled an existing one. “Midcareer artists usually receive commissions, while early career artists tend to get rehearsal space,” says artistic adviser Dan Hurlin. “We wanted to turn the tables.” Its ADI Commissioning Program now supports an early career artist’s premiere, while its National Incubator, once a space grant, gives contemporary dancemakers an opportunity to test nearly completed works before opening elsewhere.
The National Incubator’s makeover, a response to previous artist feedback, took three years of residency research. “We looked at all the programs in the country and talked to funders and artists to find where the holes were for choreographers,” says executive director Adrienne Willis.
Established artists originally received three days at ADI’s studios, but are now given one to two weeks of theater time. This allows them to test any technology or sets they might integrate into their work, culminating in a work-in-progress performance and discussion. “Many residencies give you space and maybe a place to live,” says 2013–14 Incubator artist Jane Comfort. “ADI provided a tech crew for a whole week without the pressure of press reviews.”
For the first ADI Commissioning Series, geared to new choreographic talent, Minneapolis choreographer Chris Schlichting will be given the large-scale resources Hurlin says are usually set aside for international artists: a $10,000 stipend that allows choreographers to pay dancers, commission a score, build sets and make costumes, plus development and marketing support and a performance slot in ADI’s 2015–16 season.
In the future, ADI will continue to revise its National Incubator model. Its four 2013–14 artists are Comfort, Brian Brooks, Doug Elkins and John Jasperse, and Willis already has plans to expand next season’s lineup to seven.
Social media has made the dance world a lot smaller, giving users instant access to artists and companies around the world. For aspiring pros, platforms like Instagram can offer a tantalizing glimpse into the life of a working performer. But there's a fine line between taking advantage of what social media can offer and relying too heavily on it.
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
On August 19, 1929, shockwaves were felt throughout the dance world as news spread that impresario Sergei Diaghilev had died. The founder of the Ballets Russes rewrote the course of ballet history as the company toured Europe and the U.S., championing collaborations with modernist composers, artists and designers such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel. The company launched the careers of its five principal choreographers: Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska and George Balanchine.