The UK development organisation and membership
body for community and participatory dance
Animated Edition - Issues 1996 - 2001
It's critical
Animated, Summer 1998. Gill Clarke, Independent Dance Artist and Deborah Barnard, Dance Northwest/Ludus Dance Agency on debate amongst artists, and between artists and funders
"The more I worked as a choreographer, the fewer people I trusted to tell me about my work, since much of what I received in the way of criticism from others seemed to tell me more about their biases and expectations than about the particular dance of mine being discussed."(1)

  • Do artists and funders see the same thing when they watch a performance?
  • What language do they use to talk about what they have seen?
  • How do choreographers criticise their own work as they are making it?
  • How do they stand back and judge that work some time after it has been finished and performed?
  • As audience members or assessors do we look for what we want or expect to see rather than what is there to be seen?
  • Can a shared critical dialogue between artists and funders have a constructive impact on the ways in which work is criticised and assessed in relation to funding decisions?

In Spring 1999, Dance Northwest, in association with Gill Clarke, will seek to address some of these issues. Through its two day conference, Critical, it aims to foster debate amongst artists, and between artists and funders. Discussion will be provoked by the viewing of work, by choreographers' presentations as well as by more formal papers.

Gill Clarke, Independent Dance Artist and Deborah Barnard, Dance Northwest/Ludus Dance Agency. If you are interested in these issues or wish to make a practical contribution, present a paper or discuss your work or process in this forum contact Joyce Jack at Dance Northwest +44 (0)1606 863845.

(1) Lerman, Liz., Towards a Process for Critical Response, first published in Alternate Roots, 1993, and subsequently in Are Miracles Enough? Selected Writings on Art and Community 1983-1994, The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Washington DC, 1995.

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Animated: Issues 1996 - 2001