The Evil Imp

This Should Be More Fun!

The headline gets to the crux of the problem. Why isn’t the wacky world of dance more fun, especially online?

Dance, as a profession, is full of drama, hilarity, ridiculousness, stress, blood, sweat and, dare we say, tears!

From creation through rehearsals to touring and teaching the whole thing is about as normal as Wayne McGregor doing choreography on a movie about schoolboy wizards or putting pineapple on a pizza.

But as any of you, our dear readers, will know none of this comes through in the coverage. What we get instead are endless releases about meetings, seminars, “networking” and, god help us, movie night with Hofesh Shechter (seriously? Ed!)

It’s all audience development strategies and “overarching goal attainment and compartmentalised focus planning through out of the box thinking via detailed interpersonal responses from all the stakeholders concerned.”

The whole thing is drier than eating a box of cornflakes in the Sahara when you don’t have any milk. The dance world gives the impression of being more highly strung than a metaphor we can’t be bothered to think up.

If you’ve ever hung out with a bunch of dancing folks you will rapidly come to realise that their particular approach to the profession is an awful lot more colourful than the glossy, corporatised facade we are presented with, more often than not, by the administrative front end of a dance company.

Now we, here in TheLab™, are not asking for a 24/7 swear fest about what went on during some night-out or dancers verbally smacking their bosses over the head about this that or the other.

Gossip we don’t want. Colour, energy, vitality, and some unvarnished truth about being a professional dancer or dance maker in the the 21st century would be great however. The reason we want those things instead of what we have right now is simple. It’s a hell of a lot more engaging and interesting for those of us on the outside of the company.

Dance companies work in the performing arts for crying out loud so let’s have a bit of performance flair in the communications for once. How do you do it? Well for a start you could give the dancers in the company, however large or small, control of the Twitter account.

Twitter is text messaging writ large and we and many others have said a million times already, it’s not a miniaturised advertising platform. Let’s us all talk to someone, someone human, someone who will actually respond like a person. Is that really too much to ask?

The same goes for Facebook, blogs and any other form of communication you care to think of. The dancers are your strongest asset in more ways than one so set them free and see what happens. Who knows, it might, just might, actually start to make your company more popular.

Article19 realises that many in the profession consider popularity and accessibility to be anathema to contemporary dance and we forgive them for that.

We understand that they’re scared of free wheeling back and forth and open communications but the big train of technology has already left the station and too many of them are out of breath, trying to get up the stairs carrying a bloated “communications policy”.

Lighten up or move into the corporate sector, you’re all holding on too tight dudes!