Beyond Our Borders

15 Jun

American Dance Abroad recently completed a nine-month workshop for a group of 11 NYC-based dance companies to strengthen their instincts and abilities to function in the international dance scene.  Beyond Our Borders, funded by the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, included a syllabus of issue-based content for periodic group meetings, individual coaching sessions, and travel to international meetings.  The companies included small-sized to large, and new as well as experienced institutions (e.g., Kate Weare, Keigwin & CO, Jose Limon Dance, Stephen Petronio, Ron K. Brown/Evidence).  The specific participants were Artistic Directors, Executive Directors (or Agents), and in a few cases, both attended.

Responses from the participants to the evaluation survey question, In what ways have your goals and aspirations regarding international engagement evolved as a result of participating in Beyond Our Borders? included:

  • BOB has helped demystify the international market and sharpen our focus. More direct engagement with international programmers has helped to get a better grasp of tastes and trends and understand our place in the market.
  • Beyond Our Borders provided opportunities to understand the scope of international touring and to speak with peers to learn about their international touring experiences. After completing the grant program, our international touring goals and aspirations are more realistic given our understanding of the challenges for bringing American dance abroad.
  • I have gained a more robust understanding of the marketplace(s) and a more thorough education on the best practices of international engagement.
  • I have learned many new tools in regard to marketing with international presenters, including tips on how to speak to presenters and how to market the company to fit in their venue.

American Dance Abroad hopes to offer Beyond Our Borders to artists and companies in other U.S. cities with vibrant dance communities. As an introduction, a customized one-day syllabus is being offered on Wednesday, June 17, as a pre-conference workshop to Dance/USA’s Annual Conference in Miami, Fl.

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