Mile-high dance

Thursday began with breakfast provided by Dance/USA, the service organization under which I've registered for NPAC. The Dance/USA Honors dinner last night honored not only Rena Shagan, but also still-dancing-at-94 Freddie Franklin and former New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff. As sometimes happens at these conferences, I found myself across the breakfast table from Ms. Kisselgoff this morning, who was talking about the state of dance criticism in the city (dismal) and about her feeling at being honored (delighted).

Running off to the second caucus, I mentally prepared for more facilitation. My six tablemates at the caucus session provided some interesting food for thought about the changing face of America, and how each culture that comprises this new America brings with it integral songs, dances and handicrafts that are inherent to their daily life. The idea surfaced that this influence will hopefully promote arts participation throughout our nation.

The evening's agenda was the Mile-High Dance Showcase at the Newman Theatre on the campus of the University of Denver. BIG props to the showcase selection committee for a truly fantastic array of dance artists. The evening opened with a technologically-fueled solo work by the Australian company Chunky Move. The showcase artists included Paradigm Dance Company, featuring the positively riveting dance legend Carmen DeLavallade. I found it impossible to take my eyes off of this dancer who exudes grace and dignity, even now. I was not familiar with the 3rd Law Dance/Theater Company, but they delighted the audience with a funny, clever take on "musical chairs", made especially quirky by the fact that the music was provided by balalaikas. The Brian Brooks Moving Company evoked an Esther Williams swim spectacular, continuing the lighthearted mood. Battleworks Dance Company presented a solo piece in which the dancer literally became the physical embodiment of the great Ella Fitzgerald's scatting. Incredible!

Then the time difference got to me, and I turned into a pumpkin. Goodnight!

posted by Amy Dupain Vashaw.

June 13, 2008 4:28 AM | | Comments (0)

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About this blog From April 1 through June 9, 2008, weekly entries were posted here by some of the performing arts community's top bloggers. This 10-week intensive series served as a unique forum for digital debate and brainstorming, and both the entries and comments were archived for use at the live NPAC sessions in June.  Participants:

Jaime Green - Surplus
Nico Muhly
Kristin Sloan - The Winger
Jason Grote
Jeffrey Kahane
Eva Yaa Asantewaa - InfiniteBody
Greg Sandow
Hilary Hahn
Tim Mangan, Paul Hodgins, Richard Chang - The Arts Blog
Andrew Taylor -
The Artful Manager

During the convention, June 10 through June 14, 2008, a
ttendees from across art forms and job functions reported on their conference experiences. Participants:

Amanda Ameer
- web manager, NPAC
Sarah Baird - media and public relations executive, Boosey & Hawkes
Joseph Clifford - outreach and education manager, Dartmouth College Hopkins Center for the Arts
Lawrence Edelson - producing artistic director, American Lyric Theater
James Egelhofer - artist manager, IMG Artists
Jaime Green - literary associate, MCC Theatre
James Holt - composer; membership and marketing associate, League of American Orchestras
Michelle Mierz - executive director, LA Contemporary Dance Company
Mark Pemberton - director, Association of British Orchestras
Mister MOJO - star, MOJO & The Bayou Gypsies
Sydney Skybetter - artistic director, Skybetter and Associates
Mark Valdez - national coordinator, The Network of Ensemble Theaters
Amy Vashaw - audience & program development director, Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State
Scott Walters - professor, University of North Carolina at Asheville
Zack Winokur - student, The Juilliard School
Megan Young - artistic services manager, OPERA America

Please note: the views expressed in this blog are those of the independent contributors and participants, not the National Performing Arts Convention or the organizations they represent.

NPAC - the National Performing Arts Convention - took place in Denver, Colorado on June 10-14, 2008. "Taking Action Together," NPAC sought to lay the foundation for future cross-disciplinary collaborations, cooperative programs and effective advocacy. Formed by 30 distinct performing arts service organizations demonstrating a new maturity and uniting as one a sector, the convention was dedicated to enriching national life and strengthening performing arts communities across the country. 

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