Summer School Falls Short

panta rei dans lullaby

Video - Panta Rei Danseteater 'Lullaby'

Norwegian dance company Panta Rei Danseteater, late last year, conducted a little experiment whereby three dance makers created two pieces with the same name based on the same idea, featuring three male dancers and two musicians, to see what the outcome was.

June 2nd, 2016

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A summer school currently running at Dance City, one of the UK's National Dance Agencies based in Newcastle, has led to some unhappy dance makers after they discovered the advertised leader of the workshop was not going to be there until the very last day.

Saburo Teshigawara, the much celebrated Japanese choreographer, was advertised as 'leading' the summer school on both Dance City's own website and their advertising material. The information they released stated;

'Dance City is pleased to announce an international summer school led by ground-breaking Japanese choreographer Saburo Teshigawara, Artistic Director of the award winning Karas Company based in Tokyo.'

Dance makers attending the summer school, which for many came at a cost of £100 for the course and travel/accomodation costs for those not based in the city, were both surprised and disappointed to find the course is in fact led by the company's dancers and the man himself will be arriving only for the final day on Saturday. Dance City do mention that the Karas company dancers will be involved in the summer school in their publicity.

The disappointment follows confusion about the audition process for the summer school which involved potential participants making a short solo on film. Some dancers assumed the 'audition' video was to determine selection for a place in a locally based 'Karas' company when it was in fact to determine if the dancer would obtain a 'subsidised' place to the week long course.

In an email response, Stephanie Cribbs, marketing manager for Dance City told Article19;

"The Karas Company may feature the subsidised dancers if selected by the company, but only if they are sufficiently impressed by the quality of an individual performer, they may select no one.

The key word here is 'potential'. The summer school is not an audition (as we wouldn't expect anyone to pay for that), however if the choreographer see someone he likes they may be approached. It would seem unfair not the mention this possibility to the participants, but as I have previously pointed out this isn't necessarily a definite and will be the decision of the company and not DC."

Ms Cribbs response made no mention of the fact Mr Teshigawara would not be attending the majority of the summer school. Despite the no show of the leading man participants are reporting a relatively positive experience from the workshops.

Dance has often used the slightly dubious practice of advertising summer schools or workshops for particular companies whilst failing to mention the actual project will be led by either the company dancers or 'education' staff who may have limited contact with the actual company.

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