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December 16, 2005

Last thoughts

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This has been a stimulating, zig-zagging discussion. Thankfully it shifted, somewhere along the way, from who/what/where is the capital of the dance world to what are the roots of creativity.

In answer to Doug’s first set of questions, I do think that or has some energy that used to propel NYC has spread — to Europe, Canada, Australia etc. But maybe it’s pointless to try to analyze why or predict where it will go. As Nigel said, creativity follows its own paths. I agree with Laurie that a certain density of activity is necessary to stimulate work that pushes boundaries. But there is the opposite too. I’m thinking of Anna Halprin going to California in the 50s and Liz Lerman going to Washington, DC in the 70s, both knowing they needed a quiet place to allow their work to grow.

In answer to Andre Gingras, I only mentioned the downside of the new dance center near Paris and the opera house system to suggest that Europe might not be as utopian as it appears. It seems the tenor of these blogs is to idealize the artists’ lives in Europe. But Anouk Van Dijk has outlined this idea in a much more informed and eloquent way. I have to say I was floored when she said that the Dutch government encouraged young artists to go out and experiment and not worry about product. (Sounds like the kind of support our government gives only to the military.)

I like John’s insight that dance is a healthy field because the extreme ends haven’t snapped, and that crossover figures like Twyla help keep it together and interwoven. I understand that to be an artist is to be working from a place of “imbalance,” but for many of us, dismissing whole categories of dance or anything probably isn’t productive. I find that, wherever I look, dance is there, and often surprising, and expanding my idea of what dance can be.

Posted by at December 16, 2005 9:03 PM

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