BTW - this is the short version...
Digital Dancing 97 will be a continuation of the strategy that I started
with Val Bourne (Dance Umbrella UK) in 1993 to provide opportunities for
collaborative teams of choreographers and digital artist to make work. This
notion of *producing* digital dance is worth stressing: opportunities to
attend educational workshops and discussions on new technology are growing
more common and this list and the sophisticated nature of the discussions
and projects that we have been sharing are an indication of the genuine
interest that colleges, universities and art/dance schools are taking. And
of course, these institutions of higher learning need to be encouraged.
However, in my opinion, colleges, universities and art/dance schools
(although extremely valuable and an important element in the mix!) do not
go far enough. They can't.
I am not a teacher - I am a producer and an artist. To the best of my
knowledge there is no other forum, certainly in Europe, other than Digital
Dancing in which choreographers can have access to the technology (hardware
and software) and talent (primarily people) in a milieu that encourages the
production of creative work in a context that also encourages debate and
education. i.e. work first, learn by working, discourse later...
Although this enterprise is subsidized by public funding (Arts Council of
England and hopefully National Lottery funding + some foundation support) -
we are actively seeking more commercial links to both enable the
publishing/disemination of this work and allow us to generate work for the
future based on non-exclusively subsidized models. Film and TV production
(my background), for instance, provide us with partial solutions to some of
the new relationships that we are encountering. In other words, contracts,
budgets, etc., etc need to be part of the creative calculation of whether
or not a digital project is viable.
I should also declare an interest by stating that I was previously on the
Dance Panel of the Arts Council of England and am currently on the Combined
Arts Panel, and that I chair the Combined Arts Project Fund. I am not
anti-subsidy. Far from it. My aim is simple to state - difficult to
achieve: I want to encourage the making of far more work in the digital
domain and want to specifically attract those from a performing arts
background and more specifically dancers/choreographers into these new
media making opportunities. (...it is far too easy for our wonderfully
talented friends from the visual arts and media to colonize this new domain
...). I'm convinced that choreographers will bring new and important
dimensions to digital culture. I'm further convinced that the digital
domain will be impoverished without them....
*If* our funding strategy is successful (pray or cross fingers as
appropriate out there in digi-land) - we will be organising Digtial Dancing
97 over three weeks in October 1997 at the Riverside Studios in London, the
details of which we intend to publish in the Spring.
So watch this space - once it is confirmed I will post the first invites on
this list.Your participation, real and virtual, will be important to the
success of Digital Dancing 97. I hope that at least some of you can be with
wish me luck
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