Archive for November, 2010

Video Clips from Movement Research at the Judson Church, 10.25.2010.

Video Clips from Movement Research at the Judson Church.
Moving Dialogue: A Bucharest/New York Dance Exchange.
October 25, 2010.
Featuring works by Mihaela Dancs•, Jillian Peña**, Paul Dunca•, and Maggie Bennett**

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It Seems We Like To Help Each Other

We did our first round of OurGoods live barter networks this weekend, and it was fascinating. What struck me the most strongly was how ready and willing everybody was to help everybody else.

(PSA: two more live barter networks next weekend. Info HERE.)

It seemed that the natural and universal response, when faced with a fellow artist who needed help, to help. I thought there would be people who needed convincing. After all, everyone’s time is limited, and ultimately that’s what we were trading in.

Although this was a barter market, not a gift circle – ie, everyone offering help was getting something in return – I don’t think the root of that willingness to help was self-serving. The room just didn’t have that vibe. Participants seemed genuinely invested in each others’ success.

I’ve been in environments with my peers that felt more competitive. It’s a reality that there aren’t enough grants or presenting venues or audience members to support and nurture the development of every artist in NYC who is making solid work. And since we get “paid” in reputation/regard rather than in money, we can tend toward looking at each other sideways to see how we measure up to whoever else is in the room. Not everyone does this, but it’s common.

In a barter economy, we are not defined by scarcity of funding or regard. (Scarcity of time is an issue.) Unlike the curator of a presenting venue, I’m not limited in how many artists I can support.

This thing I saw at the barter networks – people who didn’t previously know each other investing themselves in removing obstacles to each others’ success – is certainly not exclusive to those events. I’m always struck, though, at how much I prefer that way of being to the weird world of competing with my peers for scarce resources. I’m always struck by how much I like being in a space that is overtly defined by investment in each other’s success.

This isn’t woo-woo for me. It’s not all about love and flow and good karma. It’s very concrete. I’m thinking about that right now, and how it works. Hopefully I’ll be able to say something intelligent about that before the end of the month.

  • November 8th, 2010
  • Jen Abrams

The Week Ahead. November 8-14, 2010.

This week at Movement Research: Movement Research at the Judson Church, Open Performance, classes and more! Also, Fall Festival is approaching! See info below.


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The Elegant Negotiable

I have to lead off by reminding you about the OurGoods live barter events that are coming up. OurGoods is a barter network for creative people where you can get support for your work in a community that runs on mutual respect. The events are November 6, 7, 13 and 14, and you can find out more HERE.

The Elegant Negotiable

I learned about the idea of the elegant negotiable HERE. Here’s their definition:

Your elegant negotiables are…[things that are] easy for you to give away but are [highly] valued by the other person.

Time and money are scarce for most artists. We hear that a lot, and we live it. We also hear and talk about our struggle to balance getting satisfaction out of our lives with managing our time and making money.

Usually, we trade either time or money for more satisfaction. That’s the model of the dominant economy. The elegant negotiable is intriguing to me because it offers a way to increase our time/money by getting more satisfaction. The price of admission for this alchemical fabulosity is relationships. And, more specifically, barter.

(The original thinkers behind the elegant negotiable were all about getting more value for your money, but I’m going to go ahead and subvert their intentions here. Hope you don’t mind.)

Here’s an elegant negotiable I’m experiencing right now: Esther and I are bartering. She wants to learn carpentry skills. I want to learn how to can local produce. I love doing carpentry, and in teaching Esther skills, we’re going to build something I needed to build anyway. Esther loves to can. She’d probably be canning whether I was there to teach or not. Both of us are offering something that is easy to offer, and both of us are getting something we find very valuable.

Both of us are increasing the satisfaction in our lives without spending money, or spending time doing something unsatisfying in order to earn money. That’s the magic of the elegant negotiable, as I have subverted it.

I’ve been using this kind of exchange to “fund” my artistic work for about eleven years now. I barter for light design, house management, graphic design, costume design and construction, marketing services, rehearsal space, board ops – virtually every aspect of producing a show. I don’t see barter as ever replacing the cash economy, but I do see it as a way for me to move through the cash economy with more life satisfaction.

(I found Ester on, which is live and open to the public. See how I brought that back around?)

  • November 4th, 2010
  • Jen Abrams

2 For 1 Tickets to Supergabriela at PS122

PS122 is offering Movement Research artists, friends, audiences, and affiliates of any kind a special 2-for-1 ticket offer to Supergabriela, by Cosmin Manolescu, this Thursday and Friday at 8pm. Here is the info:

Supergabriela by Cosmin Manolescu

November 4 – 5

Alternately sexy, confounding and dark-humored, this 2-part evening explores expressions of love and loss, and the illusion of everyday life. One of Romania’s leading contemporary choreographers, Manolescu is known for his satirical style and superb visual sense.

ONLINE: Enter code MR241 online

BY PHONE: Mention code MR241 by phone 212-352-3101

  • November 3rd, 2010
  • Movement Research Staff

Substitutes for Juliette Mapp 11/8 – 22/10

Juliette Mapp will not teach the morning classes November 8 – 22, 2010 as previously scheduled. The classes will be taught by the following wonderful people:

Monday, Nov. 8: Joanna Kotze

Wednesday, Nov. 10: Vicky Shick

Friday, Nov. 12: Joanna Kotze

Monday, Nov. 15: Vicky Shick

Wednesday, Nov. 17: Lindsey Dietz-Marchant

Friday, Nov. 19: Lindsey Dietz-Marchant

Monday, Nov. 22: Ori Flomin


  • November 3rd, 2010
  • Movement Research Staff

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