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December 16, 2005

moving out


It seems that the topic of geography is pressing on a few nerves these days. I am certainly not an expert on this issue in American terms, but it seems that the dispersal of funds to artists working outside of New York, despite it's "affirmative action" feel, has not exactly been worked out to everyone's satisfaction.
Partcularly Tere's.
But since I have always thought that Tere was one of the smarter people working in dance I will withhold judgement and also keep my back covered if I ever move from Amsterdam to Nebraska one day.
One never knows what "older-form pushing artists" might be skulking around, hoping to finish off my provicial dance company ass/aspirations.
Joking aside, I suspect the US system needs tweaking, like most funding systems.
For what it is worth, I do support the decentralization of dance monies, it has worked very well in France, Belgium and marginally well in Holland. Obviously these countries are geographically miniscule in comparison, PLUS their cultural budgets are enormous, so it seems to go a long way.
Nonetheless that 20 million euro French dance center that Ms. Perron's sources thought will monopolize the local scene and marginalize smaller groups, well....isn't that called curatorial choice? Sometimes you are in and sometimes you are not. And in France, most companies are very small until they reach a specific level of artistic recognition that allows them to move into a major regional choreographic center. Would her source also suggest that we close up the Baryshnikov Center because it's curatorial policy is-my sources say- a bit myopic ?
(I can feel the hate mail coming)
The system of regional funding in Europe has brought us no less then Pina Bausch, Alain Platel, Philippe Decoufle and Larbi Cherkaoui. This dispersal of artists has enlivened the arts activity in small cities by giving audiences a more consistent exposure to dance, both local and national. Furthermore, it educates audiences and makes them more willing to dig into more challenging work, therefore improving the touring possibilities for all of us.
And maybe we could wait a bit before burning down the opera houses.
Despite Mr. Bigonzetti's concerns, there are, at least in Germany some very lively places still existing. Amanda Miller has just rejuvenated the theater in Cologne, Philip Taylor is very successful in Munich and somehow I am writing this from an opera house in Nurnberg(without spellcheck) because the Resident Choreographer here thought I was ready for this challenge. At least she was willing to take the risk. And so is her very regional audience.
So maybe we could burn it down AFTER my premiere in January?

Perhaps if we as artists are at all interested in making a change on a national level, then we need to consider new models for a national reach and identity. I suspect choreographic and cultural centers will not be springing up any time soon in Arizona, but low rents certainly make the practicalities of working in dance- an affordable apartment and studio space- far more realistic. Hopefully, a US homegrown solution will be found to the regional funding problems that you face. Perhaps the provincial distribution of monies in France, Germany and Belgium only worked for those countries. Eventually, it may be time for artists to face the larger question of what is more important-getting your work made-or being a New Yorker ?

Posted by at December 16, 2005 2:56 PM


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