A Note from Jim Smith

One of the best things I get to do as the Producer of DanceHouse is track and monitor the developments and innovations happening in the world of dance. I find it a fascinating activity, as dance – like politics, fashion, and culture in general – reflects society and the world around us.

When I first became involved in the dance world, in the early nineties, it was Montreal that was clearly on top of the international dance scene. At the time, many dance observers offered that this phenomenon was a reflection of Quebec boldly demonstrating and defining its distinctiveness. Then, the small European country of Belgium was generally considered to have ascended the international dance throne, a response to the developing integration of the European Union, with Belgium’s dance artists pointing out (though perhaps not consciously) that while they were European,
they were also uniquely Belgian.

With the geopolitical change that has taken place in the world in the past decade, even the context for making these macro dance observations has changed; historically, there was a nationalistic frame around the conversation with place (i.e., Quebec or Belgium) being the nexus of activity.

Currently, many would suggest that Israel – and its diaspora – defines the dance hot spot. The Batsheva Dance Company, which DanceHouse (and Chutzpah! Festival) audiences saw in 2008, have carved out a unique place of distinction in the world under the direction of Ohad Naharin. In its wake are choreographers who have worked with the company and now are currently influencing the world of dance beyond Israel.

On the DanceHouse stage we have been lucky to see a number of these artists, and will see others in the 2012-13 season. In 2009, we welcomed the Hofesh Shechter Company from Britain, directed by a Naharin prodigy who danced with Batsheva. In 2012, Gallim Dance graced the DanceHouse stage. Gallim Artistic Director Andrea Miller was a member of the Batsheva Ensemble (Batsheva’s second troupe) before forming her New York–based company. In the current season, we will see work choreographed by Shechter on the American ensemble Cedar Lake; Barak Marshall, who was House Choreographer at Batsheva from 1999 to 2001, on the Canadian BJM; and also choreography by Sharon Eyal, another Batsheva alumna, on the Norwegian-based company Carte Blanche.

Like all categorization in the art world, as soon as you can identify a trend, the field moves on, and the search begins anew to find the next hot spot. Be assured: DanceHouse will be there to find it for you.

~ by DanceHouse on September 24, 2012.

One Response to “A Note from Jim Smith”

  1. Very interesting ! I can’t wait to see what country will emerge next on the dance scene : China or Brazil maybe?

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