Where have I been? Why is it almost April? Who has any spare time these days?
Apologies Article 19ers, I have been AWOL from almost everything in my life for the past few months that does not require me to physically be there. Every minute has been amazing from learning in New York with Archie Burnett and Benny Ninja for almost six weeks to working with Gary Clarke in Liverpool in one of the most intense experiences of my life!
I'm not needlessly name dropping but in fact the period of learning I have just completed has brought me to the absolute realisation that you are only as strong as your sources.
Since spending time with some real pioneers I have been confronted by many artists with varying stances on techniques, the evolution of dance and some of the arts policies that everyone is eager to discuss; just generally would rather discuss off the record.
These discussions have led me to reaffirm my belief that there are always multiple sides to every story and especially in the arts world everything is just opinion. The validity of this opinion is unfortunately based completely on the strength of your sources and sadly very few sources in the sector are without personal bias.
The UK dance sector is tiny and mildly incestuous because it is so small. This brings many benefits but also brings the dreaded truth that any misinterpreted information can become 'fact' in a very short time period.
It is as a result of these 'facts' that the general atmosphere of our sector is formed and our international reputation can be built or impaired. I'm not at all accusing that we are all navel gazing because we do have a nation with many innovative, inspiring and exciting artists who even though they appear to have 'made it' always question their beliefs and systems in a humble manner that leads those they mentor to do their own research and form their own opinions.
However, we do need to begin to self regulate on a more advanced scale. If not, art forms will be lost forever amongst strange mutations. I'm not against evolution but am for acknowledging the evolution of the art in order that pioneers aren't discredited or forgotten for their contributions over the years.