The NewsThe Week: November 26-30

Published on Friday, 30 November, 2012 | Comments

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Motionhouse dance theatre broken, the new piece from the wrwick based company

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WEEK.jpgOur weekly roundup of news that may or may not be all that important to dance and the arts in general derived from the vast array (cough!) of news sources devoted to the cultural coverage of our great nation.

Miller Muted

Some fo you may or may not know that we have a new Culture Secretary and her name is Maria Miller. Charlotte Higgins from the Guardian was curious to know just exactly who she had met up with from the arts world in her strenuous endeavours to get to know the culture sector a little better, or not as the case may be. As it turns out the Department of Culture Media and Sport were non too keen to let that information out of the bag.

[ Via The Guardian ]

NYDC Gets Real

The National Youth Dance Company, announced some time ago, is starting to spin up to speed with the announcement of a series of "experience workshops" across the country. Across the country that is if you exclude Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The company will be based out of Sadler's Wells in London but none of their 400 press officers was around today to explain why they won't cross any borders.

One good thing, other than the huge amount funding this project has, is the first Artistic Director will be Jasmin Vardimon.

[ Source Sadler's Wells ]

Live Davy

Alan Davey, the CEO of Arts Council England, took the the interwebs for a "live" chat of pre-screened questions and even more pre-screened, pre-typed, pre-canned answers. The questions were coming in from folks on Twitter and Facebook and the planet Mars for all we know. As with all of these things the resulting Q&A was utterly banal in every respect. ACE ignored our request for a photo of the inert CEO sitting in front of a computer with the day's paper next to him as proof that he was actually there.

The most entertaining thing of the whole affair was our own EvilImp™ live tweeting the whole thing as it happend. A sample of which is below.

[ Source Arts Council England ]

Infinite Universe of Money

The DCMS became an unintentional laughing stock when they released a report penned by ACE employee Peter Phillips claiming that philanthropic support for the arts was an "infinite" resource. The report itself was nothing you haven't read before if you hate yourself enough to read such things but the bending of the time/space continuum was very funny.

Our very own EvilImp™ took to the typing contraption we gave him to hammer out a few words.

[ Source: Arts Professional ]
[ 'A Man With A Plan' ]

Women Interrupted

A while back we penned a piece about the ridiculous sexism that runs rampant through the dance profession especially at the larger institutions like The Royal Ballet. For that piece we asked Wayne McGregor to comment, he declined to do so. Now we know why. In a review of his company's work performed at, funnily enough, The Royal Opera House we were not at all surprised to learn that out of the three choreographers chosen to present work, none of them were female. Guess there's not enough female talent in Random Dance [Company] either.

[ Source: The Guardian ]
[ The Royal Ballet's Women ]

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  • Lyon

    I'm late to the party, but re: McGreggor - did you ever do a feature on the panel he was a part of which discussed the lack of women in choreography (or rather, the lack of women whose choreography is performed in front of an audience larger than 50)? I believe Cathy Marston was also a part of it and -- worse -- they all conclusively agreed the usual:

    1) Women are too focused on emotions and philosophy to appeal to a large audience that prefers 'athletic' dance.
    2) Danseuses don't get the time to create dance anyway, it's all about the tutu.
    3) Women are too shy to ask companies for commissions, and
    4) Women are too busy being wives and mothers to find the time to take up said commissions.

    Because Teresa de Keersmaeker isn't a mother and William Forsythe's not a grandfather, or anything.

    Also, did you hear how Alexei Ratmansky believes philosophy isn't for dance and that people turn to other art forms to hide their poor quality of dance? If the panel was 'right', given how influential the Wheeldon/Ratmansky/McGreggor trio are now Forsythe's focuses are elsewhere, women in ballet are doomed. I won't even predict the future for those in contemporary dance.

  • we're usually not allowed into these things, for fear we may upset someone!

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