Posts Tagged ‘2014’

Podcast: Movement Research Town Hall Meeting October 6, 2014


Movement Research Town Hall Meeting.
October 10, 2014. Eden’s Expressway.
Co-Hosted and organized by the Movement Research
Artist Advisory Council
Moderated by Laurie Berg, Maura Donohue and Kathy Westwater

Listen to the Podcast here:

The Movement Research Artist Advisory Council facilitated a public discussion by sharing excerpts and quotes of meeting minutes to spark conversation and invite the public into its ongoing conversation, including threads related to economics, politics, aesthetics and creativity. The meeting examined the relationship between dancer and community – academic, geographic, and economic. Round-table participants discussed economics of class-taking, the limitations and potential of University-Artist relationships, and the value of geographic vs. digital communities. 


1. Political Economy of Class: What resources are necessary for class taking?
• Often, something must be given up in order to afford class, so dancers must balance the desire to grow their artistic practice/technique with other financial concerns (rent, entertainment, etc).
• Being able to afford class is a source of anxiety for many dancers/artists.
• For some dancers, it is difficult to invest in class without knowing about the teacher/the output (“Will this class be worth it for me?”); there is less interest in taking a risk on a new/different class/teacher due to limited finances.
• Distinction made between the value of bodywork/conditioning/technique classes and classes focused on artistry/artistic practice

2. Academia and Dance: What is the influence of academia/writing on dance?
• How to foster experimentation in academia? Universities have resources that should be made available to artists in ways that will be mutually beneficial.
• Example of University-Artist Relationship: CUNY Dance Initiative gives artists in need of space free access to un-used university studio space in exchange for giving back to the university (open rehearsal, teaching master class, etc).
• Within the academy, there is too strong a focus on the past (dancer-scholars are forced to separate their dance practices from their scholarly practices).
• There is an increased interest in teaching outside of the academy; a demand for more writing about dance from non-academic perspectives.

3. Community: How does geography define community? How can communities escape geographical limitations?
• As the dance community expands and globalizes, how can it maintain a clear identity?
• A fully digital community may not be successful for dance because of its nature as a physical practice; Classes and performances are a way to maintain community, but they are only available to those with geographic privilege.
• Digital communities are very visible, very accessible, and have the potential to become physical communities.

4. Art as Activism: How does one’s participation in the arts relate to their participation in activism?
• How does our artistic work interact with our activism, and how do we prioritize one over another? They are inextricably linked, and the artistic work may become activism even when not intended.
• There is a tension between the importance of individuality in art and the importance of communities in activism.
• Being a dancer/artist is in itself activism because it is the decision not to pursue money/not to work for a corporation/etc.

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