Liz Lerman Dance Exchange has always explored the boundary between artist and audience, between professional and amateur (it’s right there in their public description of themselves). So, it’s fascinating to watch them experiment with an even more public way of doing their creative work.
The Funny Uncles weblog is an on-going public discussion leading up to and following the premiere of a new work (you can see a video of Saturday’s premiere on the Kennedy Center’s website). The weblog hosts thoughts, comments, video, and still images from the creation and rehearsal process, written by choreographer Peter DiMuro. Says the weblog’s purpose statement:
A key focus behind this blog is to transform the notion of a performance as a single event that takes place on a stage to an extended process of creativity, collaboration and experimentation that takes place over weeks or months.
This isn’t the first weblog of a commissioning process (I recall an effort by Doug Varone back in 2004), and it surely won’t be the last. But it’s interesting to watch a producing company and creative artist dive into the new medium to test the waters.
At the heart of the project are three little questions that can only be answered after many artists give this type of initiative a try:
How will audiences relate to and enjoy dance performances differently if they have an opportunity to experience the entire creative process from start to finish?
How will the audience experience be transformed if blog visitors are given an opportunity to offer suggestions and feedback about the creation of a dance work?
And what does it mean for choreographers, dancers and dance enthusiasts if the general public is encouraged to contribute their own videos of movements and spoken word programs?
Technology always takes an interesting turn when artists get their mitts on it. Can’t wait to see where this goes, and what DiMuro learned from the process. Thanks and congratulations to Doug Fox, who put the effort together.