Readers respond to thoughts on the Nothing Festival

A couple of responses this morning on yesterday’s post on the Nothing Festival at Dance Theater Workshop: Jessica Fogel recalls Daniel Nagrin’s solution to the grantwriting conundrum and Nothing fest curator Tere O’Connor exclaims over how jaded we are.
From Jessica Fogel, who teaches dance at the University of Michigan:

We just had Daniel Nagrin here in Ann Arbor for a three-day residency, and in conversation with him I recalled a dance he performed back around 1980, in his loft, in which he performed his glee in receiving a grant.
Within the solo dance, his grant was displayed in a slide projection on the back wall. In the grant application, he described his work as being “about Spring, or not about Spring.” (I may not have the wording exactly right, but it was something to that effect.) He had been so frustrated with having to describe his work for grants, and with being repeatedly turned down, that he decided to go this route. After many years of grant rejections, it was with this grant that he was finally successful!
Clearly his artist peers on the grant panel empathized with his frustration at having to describe a work he had not yet embarked upon.

From choreographer Tere O’Connor:

Holy negative spin, Batman!
The first paragraph of this is so jaded, who could stand a chance? “Provocateur,” “the city that always seems to need one more festival,” “funny, I thought that was the way it always worked.”
I don’t want to provoke–that is a perception you have. I do want to create a discussion around these ideas. Apparently this is old hat for you, but for many of the people who stayed for the discussion, it was quite interesting.

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