We’re Going Live, People
By Deborah Karp
As CHOREOFUND 3 approaches we are growing excited about hosting an evening in which 6 choreographers have a shot at earning $1200 in cash for their next project. As you might have heard, 30 audience members bring $40 each, watch the 6 artists dance their pitch then vote for one choreographer to win the money and free rehearsal space, and for a runner-up to win rehearsal studio space. Today I’d like to talk about a particular aspect of the evening, something that I find rare, special and missing from the process of seeking funding for dance: live performance.
How many of you have applied, or know someone who has applied, for funding for their dance work by describing it in words and numbers, and by submitting a video? Par for the course. How many of those applicants have studied writing as art form in equal amount to their study of dance and choreography? Maybe some. And, how many of those dances were made specifically for the camera? Probably not many. Likely, none. But, so much hinges on the applicant’s writing ability and on that video! Funding to cover the cost of theater rental, money to pay the artists, travel expenses to bring the work to new audiences, the price of a really good videographer to capture the performance to get grants for the next project.
Choreographers, grant panelists, dancers, foundation officers; people have busy lives and it’d a fantasy to think that, instead of proposing one’s work through words, worksheets and video clips, we could actually all be in the same room at the same time to see the dance as it’s designed to exist: live and in the flesh.
But, what if? What if we really did just that? Took 2 nights a year, 2 hours each time and brought live-performance back to the center of the funding process? What if the “ask” to support the choreographer’s upcoming work didn’t have to be filtered through other artistic mediums but was shown in its native form, an actual body moving through space, with energy, in time?
There’s a lot I like about CHOREOFUND, but this is the part I like the most. We see the dance as it’s truly meant to be: on its own terms, in its real form.