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The Buzz, 10-3: Open Art Surgery
Artists Preserve Democracy; Arabs not Welcome; Chan to Arts Presenters; Get Found!; Get 'Luminate'd

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2002 The Dance Insider

PARIS, BRUSSELS, NEW YORK and WASHINGTON -- From Flanders, Jan Lauwers, director of needcompany, writes:

"The German intendant of the Venice Film Festival said he wanted the festival to get away from its intellectual artistic image. In her speech at the opening of the Theatre Festival, Amsterdam's alderwoman for culture said that the distinction between professional and amateur theatre should be abandoned. In the proposal for the renewal of the arts act in Flanders, a great deal of importance is attached to public participation in the artist's creative process. All this is to save democracy. Let's just substitute the phrase open-heart surgery for the word art. And let's all participate in an operation and tell the surgeon how to make his cuts. Bet you the patient dies.

"Apart from that, everything's fine at Needcompany. We are deriving great pleasure from working on Grace Ellen Barkey's new piece, '(AND).' 'Goldfish Game' won the Kinematrix Prize at Venice and will be making a passing appearance at the Film Festival in Ghent. We shall soon be opening up our hearts in a new Needlab at STUK in Leuven. We shall be pleased to demonstrate there, multi-disciplinary omnivores as we are, that we question just about everything and thereby preserve democracy from its downfall. And we would like to see you participating!

"Kind regards,

Jan Lauwers

"P.S. We have decided not to do any more art for everyone, only for you!"

"And" premieres in Amsterdam October 26, and receives its U.S. premiere November 20 at The Kitchen. "Goldfish Game" is the newish movie from needcompany. And we'll have more on the Needlab later.

....Speaking of participatory democracy, Gabri Christa of DanzAisa would like to invite you -- yes YOU, New York dance insider -- to the Not in Our Name rally this Sunday in Central Park, from 1 to 5 p.m. Writes Gabri: "At 3 p.m. we will assemble in a circle to form a gigantic image of the world. Then, as one, we will take the Not in Our Name Pledge of Resistance. October 6 is the day before U.S. bombs started falling on Afghanistan one year ago. Not in Our Name -- War on the World -- No War on Iraq! Not in Our Name -- Detentions and Roundups of Muslim, Arab and South Asian Immigrants. Not in Our Name -- Detentions and Roundups of Muslim, Arab and South Asian Immigrants. Not in Our Name -- Police State Restrictions. Artists are needed for every aspect of this event. Call 212-969-8058. Rally is at East Meadow, Central Park. Enter at Fifth Avenue and 96th Street." For more details, Gabri adds, please go to this web site.

Do I or does The Dance Insider necessarily endorse this event ? No. I'm sharing the announcement because it comes from a dancer, and giving a voice to dancers is part of The Dance Insider's mission. If you have a like or contrary opinion, please send it to paul@danceinsider.com and, as long as it's legible and coherent, we'll print it. Be nice.

There is at least one new "anti-terror" law which will have a direct impact on dance artists, presenters, and audiences in the US: Starting this week, all visitors to the US from most Arab countries and Pakistan will be photographed, finger-printed, and interrogated on entering the U.S. Think this will deter artists from these countries from touring to the U.S.? Dance insider, it's already happening. Think this reduced exposure to the POSITIVE fruits of these cultures will increase the potency of negative stereotypes of Arabs -- including U.S. citizens? Right again. :(

....Speaking of the news from Washington, D.C., not all of it is bad: Dance insider Kim Chan, erstwhile director of programming at the Washington Performing Arts Society, has left that leading D.C. presenter to become vice president of Arts Presenters. Kim will be responsible for directing the development, management and implementation of all programs, including education, grant-making, publications, conference and government affairs activities. She'll also work with the organization's president, Sandra Gibson, to, she says, "identify and shape Arts Presenters' response to current issues, needs, and practices in the environment for the performing arts and presenting fields nationally." Bon chance, Bon courage, and, of course, merde, Kim!

....Speaking of presenters, how do you, dance company director insider, expect them to find you if you're not listed on the Dance Insider Online Directory?! It's cheap, it's large, and it's the only way to make sure dance presenters, dance students, dance media, and foundations know where to find you. Next updates go online October 15. Extended deadline for new submissions is FRIDAY. To be added to the list, e-mail me for details at paul@danceinsider.com. To see the DIOD, please click here.

.... Et en fin, if you're reading this in NYC and would like to see what will, at the least, be some light-infused dancing, catch Eun Jung Gonzalez and Catey Ott tomorrow and Saturday at WAX, in "Luminate." I have no idea what the choreography is like, but dance insiders in the Apple have long admired the spirited dancing of Mlles Ott and Gonzalez with the companies of Sean Curran, Heidi Latsky and others. Curtain rises at 8 p.m. both nights; more info at 718-599-7997. Go 'dere!

PEACE out!

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