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October 31, 2007


Kelly Mayfield

Wow. Thanks for putting this out there... I believe concert dance is due for some morphing in order to survive. Engaging and entertaining while remaining true to the art itself is the audience's demand and expectation. Figuring out the how is our job as choreographer's... I appreciate your words on the matter. :)

Malcolm Shute

A clear examination of the way our culture receives art, modern dance in particular. This rang true for me. Thank you for posting.



I have been a modern dance fan since the '70's and I have to say the problem is a lack of creativity and training. Because dance is a purely visual art, it must be compelling to engage an audience for any length of time. I have to say I rarely see performances in small spaces (eg, St. Mark's DTW, etc.) because I have had similar reactions as your well appointed couple. Self-indulgence and limited or no creativity (ie, having nothing interesting to say choreographically) are frequent problems. It's a shame that modern dance has taken this turn, but perhaps it has run its course. It developed in reaction to the formalism of ballet, but it seems, at least to me, that there is no new vocabulary to develop.

Dream Plane

I agree with jar in the comments. I feel like modern dance has improved and evolved into its own thing to the point where there's not much growing left to do. Basically it created a new dance style but has done nothing with it. I think it's time to take the unconventional choreography and actually use it for something instead of performing it as it is without any story or meaningful background to back it up. I noticed that when I would choreograph little dances as a kid, the comments I got were never, "wow, I love those new moves" and were more like, "wow, I never knew you could dance to this music or put this story to ballet", and that was from people both inside and outside the dance world. So yeah, the tools for making the next great production are there in the form of the new choreography and ideas of modern dance. Now all we need to do is use them to make something instead of displaying all these shiny new tools, because as interesting as tools are, they aren't that interesting compared to what they can make.

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