| June 4 - 6, 2016
In June 2016, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) hosted its first Artist & Writer’s Convening to explore how writers and scholars may engage with the creative process in dance at MANCC’s residency site and beyond. The convening explored the possibilities and the complexity of pairing choreographers and writers in residence, a practice which MANCC has piloted since 2015, and how artist/writer relationships could be developed in the field at large. Nine participants attended the convening, including luciana achugar (NY), Dr. Jen Atkins (FSU Dance History), Neil de la Flor (FL), Dr. Alisha Gaines (FSU English), Danielle Goldman (NY), Jennifer Krasinski (NY), Okwui Okpokwasili (NY), Cynthia Oliver (IL), Tara Willis (NY), and FSU Law Librarian Barbara Lawson. The convening allowed the group to examine and address the need for more astute analysis and context around choreographers’ research and creative process.
MANCC Director Carla Peterson asked the group to consider a number of questions, including: What are the generative possibilities for writers and choreographers working together? Who is serving whom and how do we create a mutually reinforced practice of collaboration? As the group deliberated, the discussion centered on the MANCC program - discussing the limits of artist-centric programs, brainstorming possibilities that could generate collaborations, and considering how MANCC artists might create longer-term relationships with writers.
During the two-day event, the group also considered the field at large, discussing critical reviews versus expository writing and the time and financial limitations that prevent writers from being more invested. Additionally, the convening generated scenarios and issues around copyright, ownership, connections to the current generation of artists, authorship, editing rights and compensation. The conversation also considered the impact of social media on artistic thought and the possibilities for writing to exist outside mainstream platforms. All attendees expressed a desire for there to be more resources to support the dialogue between collaborators and generate a more nuanced understanding of contemporary work.
Ultimately, by encouraging an open discussion MANCC hopes to begin to identify the most generative and efficient practices for embedding writers in artist residencies. These are the first steps towards investigating foundational principles in this collaborative venture of raising the value of dance writing and general dance literacy.
Full report on the Artist / Writers Convening here.
Artist / Writers Convening participants and their bios here.
The Artist and Writer’s Convening was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.