The EvilImp™ 'Institutionally Bone Idle'

On reflection this has not been a good couple of weeks for dance on the internet. The Hofesh thing didn't work, Dance Uploaded TV is no good and now we have Sadler's Wells Theatre (SWT) in London losing the plot completely with their launch of a global dance competition.

What's a "global dance competition" we hear you cry? From the look of the thing it's a way for Sadler's Wells to cope with their, so very obvious, institutional laziness by trying to find new work without having to actually look for it.

The crux of the thing is this. SWT has set up a website, linked to YouTube, where anybody, and we do mean anybody, can upload a video and have it entered in the competition. The winner gets some cash, a commission and a spot on the stage of next years "Sampled" programme at the London venue.

Of course there is the customary "audience vote" element to all of this and we all know how reliable that is, especially on the internet.

So far, in terms of entries, we have a man, obviously immune to feeling shame or humiliation, dancing in his office, a couple of guys from Chile dancing in a cupboard and a lady from the New Territories doing a thing to Eminem!

In the press blurb Alistair Spalding, AD of SWT, says "Not everyone is lucky enough to receive formal dance training or to perform on stage."

No they aren't Mr Spalding but then again not everyone is lucky enough to go to medical school and do operations. Perhaps we can set up a competition whereby people can show their dexterity with a scalpel and we can schedule them to do your next lobotomy!

We feel sure, here in TheLab™, that all those professional folks out in the wide world of dance will be thrilled to learn that they needn't have spent all that time training, working, creating and honing their skills.

They shouldn't have spent all that time trying to market their work, create video material, images, press packs and spend weeks and months sending all this stuff out, cultivating relationships, contacts and who knows what else.

All they really needed to do was upload a crap video to YouTube and enter SWT's competition and they would have been noticed because, as Mr Spalding says; "there are people doing great things in the living rooms" (or words to that effect).

Don't be good, don't excel, don't be the best, just be lucky and make sure you have a video camera! Every dance school should have that as their motto.

No surprise to learn that one of the judges for this nonsense is Arlene 'botox' Phillips from the TV dance show that just won't lay down and die 'Strictly Come Dancing'. Another judge, apart from Mr Spalding of course, is Martin Creed, a Turner Prize winning artist, who has no connection to dance that we could find.

You can watch the launch video below, be careful what you eat before you do though! In a statement SWT denied being completely useless (or at least they would have if we asked them because who would admit to such a thing?)

[ Competition Website ]

  • Allie

    I really enjoyed this article. I have recently moved to the UK from Australia to get away from similar disasters. At least the dance scene is consistent globally. We even have our very own "Dancing With The Stars". I often wonder about this vicious cycle and how people with an obvious lack of interest in the credibility of dance wind up running the show. Things such as this are disappointing to say the least.

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