American Dance Recon/New York 2015

10 Dec

From November 18-23, American Dance Abroad hosted 11 international presenters and programmers in New York for the fourth year of American Dance Recon. The participants hailed from Mexico, Hong Kong, Norway, Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Denmark, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and France.

American Dance Recon (ADR) is an intensive introduction to the contemporary dance scene in New York City.  Over 4-1/2 days, the international participants saw 20 New York dance artists in rehearsal or performance, met with colleagues in the dance field, and participated in a Town Hall panel/Q&A session open to the public.  The artists who participated in ADR were selected based on who was in rehearsal & performance during the week, with an eye to ensuring diversity of genre, race, gender, aims, and touring experience.  Many artists also requested to be included in the schedule. The full schedule of the symposium can be viewed here.

The ADR group preparing to watch Abraham.In.Motion in rehearsal (setting up headphones to listen to a specific piece of music while watching the work)

The ADR group preparing to watch Abraham.In.Motion in rehearsal (setting up headphones to listen to a specific piece of music while watching the work)

ADR is one of American Dance Abroad’s most valuable and successful projects to date.  It fosters real conversations and connections across spaces where isolationism and economic difficulties have traditionally dictated relationships.  The perceptions around American dance in the international marketplace varies by country and person, but many of the sentiments expressed included things like:

My impression is that it’s a big focus on the physical dance – the movement itself, and not so much on the dramaturgy.

So far I know the “big names”, but I don’t know a lot about young scene, independent artists.

I’m very interested in American dance because their history is the history of modern dance…Unfortunately I’m not an expert in new names of American dance and the high fees of these big companies make them impossible to present in our countries.

American Dance seems for me more modern than contemporary. It is highly skillful but a bit old fashioned and market-based.

International participants eating New York pizza for the first time in between rehearsal visits and an evening performance.

International participants eating New York pizza for the first time in between rehearsal visits and an evening performance.

After participating in American Dance Recon, many of those same participants expressed thoughts such as:

Diverse. Powerful. Re-emerging – alive. Fresh. Exciting….This in terms of a general view. Aesthetically talking I think it is still unbalanced between form and content. Form, technique and virtuosity is over all. Maybe that is American dance. Now I know there is a bunch of new artists doing great job. New generation. New blood!

Seeing work live is an essential element of ADR, but so is discussion.  To that end, participants were involved in daily morning meetings to discuss obstacles, prominent ideas, reflect on work, and learn about each other’s programming.  They also met with funders and service organizations in New York, ate lunch with several dance agents, and were a part of an annual public Town Hall co-hosted with Dance/NYC to share knowledge with the New York dance community about working internationally.  (To watch the video of the Town Hall, click here.)

The ADR group meeting with (last three from left) Ella Baff of the Mellon Foundation, Leah Krauss from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and Lane Harwell of Dance/NYC

The ADR group meeting with (last three from left) Ella Baff of the Mellon Foundation, Leah Krauss from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and Lane Harwell of Dance/NYC


 

Are you interested in learning more about positioning your work strategically in the global marketplace?  Andrea Snyder and Carolelinda Dickey, American Dance Abroad & Performing Arts Strategies’ Co-Directors, are offering a one-day intensive on the nuts and bolts of working internationally on January 14th, 2016.  The workshop is a part of APAP’s Professional Development Institute and is only $125, with a discount available for APAP members.  Register early as space is limited.

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