20 Apr 2009

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The YouTube for artistes.

The YouTube for artistes.:

"Vimeo attracts a high-art, film-buff set-the kind of people who, when making movies for the Web, pause to consider such virtues as cinematography, framing, music, and composition."

via article19:

or, why Vimeo is Better than YouTube!

20 Apr 2009 3:48pm GMT

Introducing the New York City Dance and Technology Meetup

Introducing the New York City Dance and Technology Meetup:

So Doug is putting together some offline meet-ups for the New York Dance/Tech community. I think the name "DanceTech" is confusing because of its similarity to Dance + Tech which I don't think is related.

The topics sound good, it could be interesting if you can actually get people offline and away from their computers.

Some of the suggested topics really annoy me though, such as "How dancers can create professional websites without any technical training or background, and do this very inexpensively."

That's one of the most insulting things to read as a designer and web developer. 'Hey, dancers with no training or technical knowledge could do your job.'

I think I'm going to start my own workshop called "How over-weight web designers with no training can create professional ballets and do it inexpensively."

It's just the hight of conceit to believe that you can create professional results in my field without training. I respect your work, please respect mine.

20 Apr 2009 3:39pm GMT

"Hubbard Street Dance Chicago currently seeks an Artistic Director to continue to lead and inspire..."

"Hubbard Street Dance Chicago currently seeks an Artistic Director to continue to lead and inspire the company as it enters its 33rd year. The company's board of directors has convened a selection committee and welcomes interest from qualified candidates through April 30, 2009. For more information, click here."

-

-HSDC Job Opportunities

I find it really hard to believe that there is no plan of succession for Jim Vincent. You don't just put out an open call for an Artistic Director. (I didn't check to see if they posted an ad on Craigslist.) This is something that you need to plan for and train someone for. Even at a repertory company like Hubbard Street, the Artistic Director provides the artistic mainstay of the organization and curates the work. You can't just pull someone off the street to do that. The person needs to be familiar with the work and the company.

20 Apr 2009 3:22pm GMT

16 Apr 2009

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via L’Aureola



via L'Aureola

16 Apr 2009 2:48pm GMT

Legion of Extraordinary Dancers

Legion of Extraordinary Dancers :

I'm not sure whether to be in awe or laugh at this new web video project from Jon M. Chu. It's like a cross between Heros and America's Best Dance Crew. I want to laugh because the premise is so far-fetched but the production values kind of win me over. I'm a still a little lost with the ballerina/ninja character. The shots are spectacular. Very Matrix style. Apparently they actually performed all of this without digital effects or wires.


So part one of the project is a web video series which spawns into a franchise that intertwines the best dancers in the world with comic-book style characters, a cinematic narrative, groundbreaking live performances, and multiple product lines in video, merchandise and even electronic dance products.


Check out the trailer, I think it stands on it's own pretty well. I wouldn't watch the interview with Jon though, it kind of ruins the illusion. Take for instance his quote below:


"Have you ever wondered what it would be like if super heros really existed? Well, they do. And they're called dancers."


Ouch. That was just one step too far.


The trailer is also available in HD on the site.

16 Apr 2009 2:11pm GMT

15 Apr 2009

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Chase Brock interview on Life's a Pitch

Chase Brock interview on Life's a Pitch:

Chase is one of the few Artistic Directors that I would actually read an interview from. It does sort of surprise me that he doesn't read any dance blogs though. I mean, we reviewed his show last year and and it's even in the press section of the site. Don't let us down Chase.

15 Apr 2009 1:53pm GMT

Jacob's Pillow offers Student Rush ticket

So if you've got a valid college student ID, email info@jacobspillow.org with "STUDENT RUSH PROGRAM" in the subject line and include their name, address, phone number, email address and the name of their college. They will email you every Monday of the festival and tell you what performances are eligible each week.

Lame. Here is why:

Jacob's Pillow is not an impulse buy. You can't just run up there on short notice because you need a car and it's a long way from New York City. Rush tickets are designed to lure people who make easy, last minute choices. You can't do that at the Pillow.

15 Apr 2009 1:45pm GMT

13 Apr 2009

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Very cool pedestrian movement video from Elina...



Very cool pedestrian movement video from Elina Müller-Meyer. waiting on… on Vimeo (via Vimeo)

13 Apr 2009 7:05pm GMT

Lois Greenfield offers Screensavers

Lois Greenfield offers Screensavers:

Pretty cool actually and free. Thanks Lois.

13 Apr 2009 7:02pm GMT

06 Apr 2009

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What's Hot this week: 60 x 60

What's Hot this week: 60 x 60:

If you're new to 60x60 Dance, here's the short explanation: Vox Novus makes
a mix of 60 new musical works that are all 60 seconds long. Then we assign
one piece of music to each of 60 choreographers. The result is one hour of
pure genius and fantastic fun…

PERFORMANCES: Tuesday, April 7 and Wednesday, April 8 at 8 p.m @ Galapagos Art Space

06 Apr 2009 1:00pm GMT

03 Apr 2009

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Using Constant Contact on Great Dance

Using Constant Contact on Great Dance:

Again, I'm not really a fan of Constant Contact but it's light-years above PatronMail. Personally I'm a huge fan of Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor but Bronto and Mailer Mailer are also very nice. All four of those support very advanced users and are created for companies who are really serious about creating great campaigns. They aren't very template based becuase they assume that you will want to create unique mailers instead of adding information to a template. I think this leads to much better results but you do need to be a pretty advanced user.

03 Apr 2009 3:35pm GMT

"So maybe instead of getting your company on twitter, paying marketers to mention you are on twitter,..."

"So maybe instead of getting your company on twitter, paying marketers to mention you are on twitter, and paying people to blog about your company, forget all that and just make awesome stuff that gets people excited about your products…. [or performances]"

-

That's a really good point. Great marketing only sells a bad production once. Forget Viral Marketing, how about a performance that people want to spead?

via Marco.org - So maybe instead of getting your company on…

03 Apr 2009 3:22pm GMT

2009 Bessie Awards Canceled

2009 Bessie Awards Canceled :

Wow, I didn't get that memo. Can't say I'm too sorry to hear it though. I always felt that the awards were very inbred. Maybe after some time off we'll get some new blood.

03 Apr 2009 3:19pm GMT

01 Apr 2009

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Jacob's Pillow: New website

Jacob's Pillow: New website:

That is a huge improvement. Nice video integration, (but some horrible interlacing problems…) much cleaner layout and got rid of a lot of the nasty green color… a lot of it but not all. Much better user interface though with clear buttons.

01 Apr 2009 2:20pm GMT

31 Mar 2009

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William Forsythe's "Synchronous Objects" at OSU Tomorrow on Great Dance

William Forsythe's "Synchronous Objects" at OSU Tomorrow on Great Dance:

Doug has a very thorough write up of what's going down tomorrow on the OSU "Synchronous Objects" site.

31 Mar 2009 3:22pm GMT

PillowPR on Twitter

PillowPR on Twitter:

And speaking of Gallim, you can see them at Jacob's Pillow this summer, week 3, July 8-12. You can also see them on the Jacob's Pillow Twitter feed. I'm not totally clear if this is the official JP Twitter account or just their PR manager's though…

31 Mar 2009 3:11pm GMT

19 Apr 2008

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Rearranging

We've entered into a new phase with My ocean is never blue as we're getting ready for our semi-site specific performance on June 22 at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park, right along the Anacostia River. For this performance we've pulled the work completely apart and are restructuring it from the ground up. Two Fridays ago we went to the park to see what we could structure specifically for this space. We ended up working on a dock that goes about half way into the river. I had one idea that we tried (doing the Drench section) and then asked for suggestions from the dancers. We ended up creating a nice 10 minute section there on the dock that will serve as the beginning section of our performance.

One of the challenges with this project is bringing in material that is specific to the site - we already have alot of material from this project that we want to include, but I don't want to ignore where we are. We also want to not make it only about the river, but still keep the multi-faceted aspect of the work intact. So, bringing in more specifics about the Anacostia River and keep the larger, more general observations about water present. I'm not too worried about this, but it is an interesting balance to explore and, hopefully, find.

19 Apr 2008 4:09pm GMT

31 Mar 2008

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50 Liters a Day, honestly

Still struggling with our internet connection... but, here are the totals for the week that I was trying to only use 50 liters a day (they are the actual amounts, honestly)...

Day 1: 64
Day 2: 41
Day 3: 41.75
Day 4: 63.5
Day 5: 45.75
Day 6: 51.75
Day 7: 42

total: 349.75

round that up to 350, divide by 7 and you get an even 50 liters per day. So, its possible, but certainly difficult.

31 Mar 2008 10:05pm GMT

24 Mar 2008

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More Water Days

Well, I survived my days of a 50 liters limit pretty well. On Saturday, my last day of the water week, I took what was the most satisfying 4 minute shower of my life. After spending all week taking a 2 liter "bath", having water run down my body was so pleasing. As the week went on the most interesting aspect of the experiment was not figuring out how to use less water - that was interesting at first - but, it was the development of my awareness of water use. Each time I went to wash my hands, take a drink, or wash a dish, I would pause and make sure I really needed to do that action right then. Each time I began to ask, "can I wait alittle while before I use this water?". It became an interesting meditation of sorts. I'm still not exactly sure how I will incorporate this experience into the final work, but it will be interesting to continue to reflect and see how it effects my day-to-day life.

24 Mar 2008 6:44pm GMT

17 Mar 2008

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Water Days 1 & 2

So, I was planning on making a real push to write about every day this week as I try and use only 50 liters of water each day. Then, of course, my DSL line goes down. Now it's Day 3 and I'm finally able to get out to pick up a wireless connection..so...

The first 2 days have gone fairly well - on Day 1 I used 42 liters of water and on Day 2 I used 51.75 (drat!). Today, Day 3, will be alittle higher because my wife and I did a load of laundry, but I'm trying to reduce the rest of my use to compensate. Here's the brake down of my use:
Day 1
Drinking 2 liters
Food prep .25
Bathing 2
Toilet 33
brushing teeth 1
washing hands 2.25
dishes 1.5
total 42

Day 2
Drinking 3 liters
Food prep .75
Bathing 2
Toilet 36.75
brushing teeth 1
washing hands 3
dishes 5.25
total 51.75

The first question when I look at these number is "how do you bathe with 2 liters of water?" Well, it is not as bad as it sounds. Because the average shower uses 6-10 liters per minute that seems out of the question (you have to also count the time it takes the shower to warm up). So, in the morning when I'm heating water for my tea I heat up an extra amount. I pour this extra hot water into a bowl add some colder water from the faucet until I have 2 liters. I take this into the tub and use a washcloth to get wet, then soap up and then use a very wet washcloth to rinse. And, I actually feel pretty clean. Now, I don't have long hair and I can see how that would be a challenge, but otherwise it works well. : )

Next entry - how I'm cleaning dishes with very little amount of water...

17 Mar 2008 7:55pm GMT

11 Mar 2008

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Your Water Use

Follow this link to see how much water your household uses each day...

http://www.owasa.org/pages/WaterCalculator.html

11 Mar 2008 5:14pm GMT

50 Liters A Day

The World Health Organization says that every person needs to have access to at least 50 liters at a minimum each day. As part of our ongoing research for My ocean is never blue, next week the company is going to try and only use 50 liters per day. One recent statistic I saw stated that the average American uses 300+ liters per day - now, I'm pretty sure I use less than that, but never the less it will be a challenge to get my use down to 50 liters. Here are some averages for water use:

Clearly I won't be taking a shower each day, nor washing many clothes. I will be posting my daily water use on the blog and reflecting on some of the challenges each day. I will also be posting some ways I've found to reduce my water use. If anyone has further info about water use please post it as a comment.

I'm not exactly sure how this will translate into our performance work at this point. I think of this as more like background research that informs our overall understanding of the issues as creators and performers than something that is directly carried into performance. But, maybe as we go through this process some movement, text or image ideas will emerge.

Also, I invite you to participate in our 50 Liters Per Day research - we'd love to hear how you do!

11 Mar 2008 5:01pm GMT

02 Mar 2008

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The Daddy Challenge

Burkholder-CLR_0061.jpgI have been keeping a blog for a year and a half or so (now here, first here) that has mostly focused on the development of My ocean is never blue. I've tried to show the development of the work through description, video and reflecting on the creative process. Lately I've found it difficult to focus on the process part. As I've mentioned recently I am a father - my daughter, Adelais, is almost 10 months old. And while I expected that my time would be less, well, mine, I did not expect that mainly the time I lost was time to reflect and process. I am responsible for her, by myself, about 25 hours a week - this is in addition to my normal teaching, Feldenkrais-ing, lighting design work and rehearsing. Plus the time that my wife, Andrea, and I just spend together with her. What time I have lost is two-fold, I have less times to write grants and pursue gigs as these don't pull in immediate money, which is obviously more important now. And, even more so, time to just sit and think about the work I'm creating. More than once I've thought, "oh shit, I have rehearsal in 2 hours - what the hell am I going to do today?" It is really frustrating, and I don't always feel at my height of creativity. I'm certainly not complaining because there is nothing, and I mean nothing, better than playing with Adelais, or having her fall asleep on my shoulder. But, it is making it more difficult to keep this blog up to date with the development of the work. I'm assuming this will get easier as she gets older... or at least I'm hoping it will.

Right now, as I write this Andrea is off at rehearsal, Adelais is sleeping and should be waking up any minute. I have rehearsal today at 1:30 and I think I'm prepared...

02 Mar 2008 2:48pm GMT

23 Feb 2008

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I feel like this every once in a while

"All I know is I'm losing my mind," Franny said. "I'm just sick of ego, ego, ego. My own and everyone else's. I'm sick of everybody that want to get somewhere, do something distinguished and all, be somebody interesting. It's disgusting - it is, it is. I don't care what anybody says... I'm not afraid to compete. It's just the opposite. Don't you see that? I'm afraid I will compete - that's what scares me. Just because I'm so horribly conditioned to accept everybody else's values, and just because I like applause and people to rave about me, doesn't make it right. I'm ashamed of it. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. I'm sick of myself and everybody else that wants to make some kind of a splash." -- J. D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey

23 Feb 2008 9:47pm GMT

15 Feb 2008

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Reviews - Who? Why? Who cares?

Adelais and Clarice.jpg

This photo is of my company, The PlayGround, performing our pre-performance section of My ocean is never blue in the lobby of the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Maryland College Park as part of the annual Choreographers' Showcase. In the foreground you can see Adelais, my 9-month old daughter . Later, during the show, we performed another section on stage.

On the Tuesday following the concert we got a review in The Washington Post which was negative in regards to my work and mixed over-all. I have received many good and bad reviews over the years, so while it is always unfortunate to receive negative reviews it doesn't upset me too much. But, what was problematic about this review was that the writer, Rebecca J. Ritzel, doesn't seem to have much understanding of dance. In looking at her bio on her website it appears that she doesn't have any training or education in dance - this to me seems like a huge problem. How does The Washington Post, and media in general, decide who is qualified to review dance or pass judgment? I find it unacceptable that Ms. Ritzel was given this and further assignments to critic dance as she seems unqualified for the job. One the of dancers in my work, Amanda Abrams, wrote into The Post and had her letter published in the Op-Ed section. I think she did a good, succinct job at getting to these points. Of course, this debate about reviews - who gets to do it, what are their purpose and how much weight do we give them - is ongoing. Just recently there was a gathering of dancers and dance critics to discuss this issue here in DC - unfortunately I was not able to attend, but Rob Bettman did transcribe a bunch of the meeting (I can't find it though, Rob is it online?). As an artist I have to be prepared to except both positive and negative reactions to my work, but when that reaction is going to be published and presented as authoritative it seems like I should get the respect of having it reviewed by someone with an understanding and knowledge of the art form.

15 Feb 2008 3:00pm GMT

05 Feb 2008

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under over faster faster

This is an excerpt from a recent rehearsal. We're working on a section titled "under/over" - each section (trio, duet, solo) is working with this image/concept. This is a rough draft, but it is a good beginning. Also, I've sped up the video some since often when watching dance on video it is perceived as much slower than when watching live. I especially like when the other dancers run in and out - kind of Benny Hill like...


05 Feb 2008 2:14pm GMT

24 Jan 2008

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Why TV dancing shows are bad for dance.

I haven't posted much lately, but I do have some longer posts I want to get out... just need to find the time. But, I ran across this stuff today and I can't contain myself. I have never really liked shows like So You Think You Can Dance or Dancing With The Stars because the few times I've seen these shows I always thought the dancing and choreography were weak - very superficial dancing with choreography-by-the-numbers. But other people have tried to point out to me that they aren't that bad, at least people are watching dance, it is an entry point for people to appreciate dance, etc.. Well, unfortunately I think it is working in the reverse affect - dance companies are forming that seem to be taking their cues from these shows. Case in point, Rasta Thomas, one of the "stars" in the ballet/dance world has his own company The Bad Boys of Dance - watch their demo video - it is like a bunch of out takes from one of these shows. And this company premiered at Jacob's Pillow last summer, a venue/opportunity that lots of deserving artists never get. And just so the "girls" aren't left out, Rasta's wife has now started The Pretty Girls of Dance...

24 Jan 2008 7:46pm GMT

11 Jan 2008

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Follow This Link

Joe Goode is one of my long time dance favorites - since the early 90s when I did tech for his company at Dance Place in Wash., DC. He has a blog that he rarely posts to, but just added a good, short interview with Jess Curtis - another wonderful artist who I met at Dance Place in the 90s. Both are connected to the San Fransisco scene, though Jess now splits his time in Berlin. Follow this link and enjoy their conversation.

11 Jan 2008 12:14am GMT

27 Dec 2007

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Not The Center of Attention

IMG_4864.jpgDuring the fall some of the dancers in The PlayGround went up to Baltimore to perform at the Maryland Art Place as part of their annual gala. One the dancers, Christine Stone Martin, has written a short bit about the experience:

Recently we were invited to perform at MAP (Maryland Art Place) in Baltimore during their annual gala. It is quite a different experience performing in a gallery, verses performing in a theater. Last year we performed at Transformer and (so far) was my favorite showing of My ocean is never blue. Because Transformer was a good experience our expectations were high as we drove to the MAP event. This time however, because of the venue, we were not the main attraction, but rather part of the art or entertainment. Along side the art work displayed for the silent auction and a film projected on the wall we danced among the people, around the tables and next to a towering stack of martini glasses. For some viewers we were just a snap shot, others paused to watch when we caught their eye. One group even socialized in what we had defined as the dance space. The lines between audience and dancer are quickly blurred since there was no stage to determine dancer and viewer. So perhaps we had invaded what they had determined was their chatting before dinner space. It was a challenging evening behind the scenes too. Our dressing room was a closet, we shared a sandwich for dinner, we could not hear the music over the chatter, there were long periods of time we had to wait between performances and most people did not stand around to watch us. Well, we were rock stars and kept dancing! Looking back, I do not think it was our best performance, but we rose to the occasion. We added texture to the evening and the director of MAP told us someone from the Hirshhorn was present that evening and liked our performance. Perhaps we caught the right eye.

Photo by unknown


27 Dec 2007 6:01pm GMT

24 Dec 2007

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Night Beach

This video is from a rehearsal in which we were working on a new section - Night Beach - for My ocean is never blue. This section was inspired by a quote from The Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson:

"The shore at night is a different world, in which the very darkness that hides the distractions of daylight brings into sharper focus the elemental realities."

It began as a solo section, but as we worked on it I liked the multiple solos all happening at the same time - with Stephanie coming forward alittle after the other dancers. Each dancer has a slightly different set of directions (or score) than the others, but they are all working with the idea of "hiding and revealing", as well as some specific focus (eyes) choices. Also, image a single source of light coming from the right side of the space (or stage left).



24 Dec 2007 4:19pm GMT

20 Dec 2007

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Doing One Thing

Toward the end of the improv class I was teaching at the university we were working to integrate many of the skills we'd worked on over the semester. Solo, duet, and group scores, as well as authentic movement and contact improvisation were all part of the mix. I wanted them to work on entering the space and performing with no or very little predetermined structures - or what is sometimes called an open score. The challenge of the open score is to have everyone stay on the same page as the dance progresses and develops. One way to do this is for each dancer to have the intention of the group, at any one moment, to just be doing one thing. Often in open scores I see, for example, a duet on one part of the stage and a trio somewhere else with little awareness of one another - as if there were two separate dances being performed at the same time.But, if everyone is focused on doing one thing they cultivate an awareness of the group as a whole and work towards a kind of group unity and clarity.

This idea is sometimes presented as agreeing - so as to hold the idea of adding to what is happening and not breaking it or countering it. I like that idea as well, but sometimes it is too abstract for beginning improvisers who don't have experience with framing while creating. Doing one thing, in a way, is simple to grasp. After they get the basic idea you can start questioning what one thing is and add juxtaposition, foreground/background, naming, initiator/supporter, The 3 Rs, and an array of other concepts/approaches.

Some examples of doing one thing could be:
• Everyone rising and falling to the floor
• A duet that keeps changing as dancers continually enter and exit from it
• Everyone gradually, continually slowing down
• Dancers playing with proximity - moving towards and away from one another

Obviously, doing one thing could also be more complicated with different people contributing different elements to make a complete whole.

With the class this idea seemed to give them a handle to keep coming back to as they tried to create a coherent work - even though they have very little direction to begin (in a way).

20 Dec 2007 8:21pm GMT