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Mentors Elizabeth Auer, University of Florida Performing Arts Tania Castroverde Moskalenko Germantown Performing Arts Center Bill Doolin, Florida Dance Association Rebecca Jane Edwards Cultural Development Foundation of Memphis Leslie Gordon Georgia State University Rialto Center for the Arts Jenny Hamilton, New Orleans Ballet Association Bridgette M. Kohnhorst Vanderbilt University Great Performances

2009 - 2012 Participants

Mary Luft, Tigertail Productions

Gene Conroy, Ballet Spartanburg Michael Crane, East Carolina University Brad Downall, Glema Mahr Center for the Arts Eric Fliss, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center Angela Gallo, Coker College Shannon Hooker / Shane Fernando, UNC Wilmington Presents Charles “Buster” Irvin, Cumberland County Playhouse Moira Logan, University of Memphis Bart Lovins, Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center Sharon Moore, North Carolina State University Center Stage Dennis Sankovich, Mississippi State University Riley Center

Gail Robinson-Butler West Kentucky Community and Technical College Debra Smith, Newberry Opera House George Thompson Georgia Institute of Technology Ferst Center for the Arts

Project Director

E G C N E N I

V A D OUR ATI T I

T I IN

Nikki Estes, South Arts

Consultant Team Rosemary W. Johnson, Alabama Dance Council Ivan Sygoda, Pentacle Stephen Wynne, TALK Dance Company

Companies David Dorfman Dance Dayton Contemporary Dance Company Doug Varone and Dancers Evidence, A Dance Company Kyle Abraham | Abraham.In.Motion Lula Washington Dance Theatre

South Arts is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of our partner states—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Additional support is provided by foundations, corporations and individuals who support and promote the arts in the South.

Contact us at 404-874-7244 for alternate formats of this document.

Progress Report Brief September 2012


OVERVIEW Modern dance and contemporary ballet can provide powerful, engaging and visceral experiences for audiences. Presenters, though, often find this work challenging to understand and present. Our conversations with a variety of people in the presenting and dance world informed us that presenters have strong interest in presenting dance but they may lack confidence, expertise, or an appreciative and committed audience. So, in June 2009, with a cohort of 11 presenters, South Arts launched the Dance Touring Initiative, an intensive three-year program to tackle the problem. This program demanded a significant investment of time and effort from this first dedicated group of presenters. As part of the program, each participant committed to attend selected conferences and dance festivals, monthly conference calls, and work as a group to plan two seasons of blockbooked tours with a dance company including residencies and audience engagement activities. South Arts provided touring grants, technical assistance, and professional development throughout to complement each tour and build presenter organizational capacity. In addition, residency planning visits with the Artistic Directors of each dance company were integrated into the process. Our overall goals were to help presenters to: Ě Be more effective in their work through a greater understanding of the artform and audience development practices Ě Include dance as a regular part of their programming Ě Build a strong network of dance presenters that provides ongoing learning and mutual support.

South Arts’ Dance Touring Initiative provides dance presenters a galvanizing, transformative process that creates a dynamic impact on artists, audiences, and communities. This process empowers presenters to develop a sustainable approach to the art of presenting modern dance and contemporary ballet by incorporating the following dynamics: Ě Creating a Learning Community of Dance Presenters Ě Building Community with Dance Artists Ě Developing a New Approach to Dance Touring

Takeaways for Presenters

Takeaways for Artists

“I’m not about presenting shows, I’m about creating events that have a long lasting influence for the artist and for our community.”

The artist and the work are the twin focal points of the initiative, which aims to humanize the artist and demystify the work in the belief that this is the best way to create a sustainable audience appetite for dance. Articulate dancemakers unafraid to be vulnerable have proved our strongest partners in this endeavor.

- Presenter participant

The main barrier to modern dance is that people do not recognize that they have the capacity to “get it” regardless of their knowledge of dance. Presenters want to know more about how to make audience members feel comfortable exploring and talking about dance. Presenters need to be educated about dance before they can effectively engage audiences. There is a strong desire to create quality outreach that educates and connects schools and communities. Advance site-visits with Artistic Directors are invaluable for the planning process. Ideally, programming decisions would begin with the artform, but presenters find it difficult to disregard real-world pressures such as budgets, schedules and internal or technical restrictions. Common goals and individual limitations should be addressed early in the process. Working as a group to develop a block-booked tour was challenging at first, but most found that together they were able to design a routing and fee mutually beneficial to themselves and agents.

“Advance site-visits allow for the community to be introduced to the artist and his/her vision, typically allowing for a more meaningful conversation to take place throughout the - Presenter participant planning process.”

Takeaways for Agents/Managers “I’m encouraged by the breakdown of walls of communication between presenter, agent, and artist – working together as a team to design a residency that fulfills the artist’s mis- Presenter participant sion as well.” The agent/manager is the essential link between the artist and the work on one hand and the presenter and host community on the other. The quality of that conversation is the key to building residencies that are successful for both artist and audience and that leave all sides wanting more.

For more details about the Dance Touring Initiative, see the full report at www.southarts.org/dance or email Nikki Estes at nestes@southarts.org.


Mentors Elizabeth Auer, University of Florida Performing Arts Tania Castroverde Moskalenko Germantown Performing Arts Center Bill Doolin, Florida Dance Association Rebecca Jane Edwards Cultural Development Foundation of Memphis Leslie Gordon Georgia State University Rialto Center for the Arts Jenny Hamilton, New Orleans Ballet Association Bridgette M. Kohnhorst Vanderbilt University Great Performances

2009 - 2012 Participants

Mary Luft, Tigertail Productions

Gene Conroy, Ballet Spartanburg Michael Crane, East Carolina University Brad Downall, Glema Mahr Center for the Arts Eric Fliss, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center Angela Gallo, Coker College Shannon Hooker / Shane Fernando, UNC Wilmington Presents Charles “Buster” Irvin, Cumberland County Playhouse Moira Logan, University of Memphis Bart Lovins, Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center Sharon Moore, North Carolina State University Center Stage Dennis Sankovich, Mississippi State University Riley Center

Gail Robinson-Butler West Kentucky Community and Technical College Debra Smith, Newberry Opera House George Thompson Georgia Institute of Technology Ferst Center for the Arts

Project Director

E G C N E N I

V A D OUR ATI T I

T I IN

Nikki Estes, South Arts

Consultant Team Rosemary W. Johnson, Alabama Dance Council Ivan Sygoda, Pentacle Stephen Wynne, TALK Dance Company

Companies David Dorfman Dance Dayton Contemporary Dance Company Doug Varone and Dancers Evidence, A Dance Company Kyle Abraham | Abraham.In.Motion Lula Washington Dance Theatre

South Arts is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of our partner states—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Additional support is provided by foundations, corporations and individuals who support and promote the arts in the South.

Contact us at 404-874-7244 for alternate formats of this document.

Progress Report Brief September 2012

Publication - Dance Touring Initiative  

This publication was created for South Arts to highlight their dance program. It was produced and disseminated as a print and electronic doc...

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