Re: Using technology to bring MODERN DANCE to more people!

Dawn Stoppiello (
Mon, 8 Sep 1997 11:14:58 +0100

Hello Sarah and list,

Thank you for your detailed report on the project, your theories on making
it and your personal choreographic interests. There are so many things I
would like to respond to but alas, I have not the time. I hope one day we
can all sit in a physical (or virtual with video) space together and have a
chat with voice and gesture and beverage!!

>Joe Schmo spends much of his time surfing on the Internet. He has never
>heard of modern dance, and he could care less about the performing
>arts. During one of his Netsurfing sessions, he happens upon a video of
>people dancing......

I know that you say this is an ideal scenario and I'd like to take it one
step furthur and say that it is a highly unlikely scenario. Unless you have
keywords like "beer" or "sex" or maybe "win money" I don't know if Joe
Schmo will "happen upon" your video clip. The net is vast and generally (I
think) when people surf, they surf in somewhat known territories. I go to
the net to look for cheap air fare so I search on that, or I look for
dance, or fitness information, or Brasil, or coffee, things that I am
already interested in. I haven't yet gone in to find something I didn't
know I was looking for. Granted, I have stumbled upon related topics or
rivulets from my original search...I think. But I believe it's a stretch to
think that you will engage the totally uninitiated, could happen I suppose.
Do you have a way to find out who tuned into the Web Cast and how they
found out about it? I would be curious to know how many folks simply
stumbled across it.

> One of the reasons that "Leaping Into the NET" was able to
>happen was
>because the "technological experts" were excited to have a reason to try
>some new software! The amount of corporate support for this project was
>astounding. And when I say corporate support (which I hope no one here
>thinks is "bad word"), I am referring to time and services - not to

Would you have found a way to do this project without the corporate
support? Borrow a friends computer, find a hacker-kid to whip up a web
site, find a small server to host the site, pay for it yourself? I am only
asking this to see how burning the desire to Leap into the Net was or were
you only able to leap because there was a net? Do you think you could have
received corporate support to pay dancers, make unitards, buy a cassette
player, build a dance floor or any other sort of typical modern dance
expenses? Did you receive this kind of support too? I am just trying to get
clear on intent. Did the corporate supporters really see the value of
exposing the world to modern dance or did they just want to flex their
techno-muscles and get some advertising and exposure. I am often suspicious
of motive, but I guess it doesn't matter as long as your project can be
realized. (Maybe I'm jst jealous, hee hee.)

>I would like to give people
>more credit than that - for I believe if we give people a chance, they
>might just enjoy themselves. (Who can enjoy a piece of art when the
>artists is telling them that they are too thick to possibly understand
>it? - is this "serious art?")

They might enjoy themselves if that is the intention of the work but not
all dance work is intended to be enjoyed in the way I think you mean. Some
work is created to make the audience think/feel/see some bit from life (or
elsewhere) in a not so enjoyable way. Is it important for some artists to
continue to push the boundries of what audiences can understand and
appreciate? Don't we need art education in the schools (and everywhere) so
that the audiences and future artists can expand their horizons and
understand "serious" art? Are you saying that the downfall of art in
america is resting in the hands of artists whose work is not accessible

>would agree when I say, Let's not COMPLAIN, let's DO!!


> For those who have read this, I thank you for your time, and for
>the chance to look back on the whole event.

Thank you for making a piece that we can chew on for a while.

Typing furiously,

Dawn Stoppiello / Artistic Co-director / Troika Ranch /
416 W. 23rd Street #3D New York, NY 10011 / 212.691.9547