“Contemporary dance is observing as many different styles and flairs and flavors of dance and art movement. Its starting to blend a lot of the other visual performance arts and music arts, so we’re becoming a trifecta of multimedia movement performance.”–Deborah Brockus
LA Dance Festival slayed a packed to the brim audience of Angelenos. Featuring choreography by Laura Karlin, Sabrina M Johnson, and many other internationally acclaimed choreographers. The Dance Festival brings together expatriates from all over the world who come to make their mark in LA’s dance scenes.
I asked the festival’s producer Deborah Brockus how dance can adapt to attract younger audiences, who are more desiring to spend their discretionary dollars on music concerts and clothes than on attending a dance concert.
[tweet_box design=”box_13_at” float=”left” width=”40%” author=”Deborah Brockus” pic_url=”http://losangelesentertainmentnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DSC6417.jpg”]The visual effects, special effects, we don’t have those budgets.[/tweet_box]
“It’s a difficult road to hoe. We are very simplistic compared to a lot of the multimedia that’s going on. The visual effects, special effects, we don’t have those budgets. We can’t even match the budgets of Broadway, with all the crazy stuff that’s going on there,” responded Brockus. “So it (dance) almost goes a little bit raw and primitive.”
While other arts can rely on special effects, lighting, and other tricks of the trade to dazzle audiences, dancers are often left with only their bodies as their instruments.
Khilea Douglas, who performed a chills-inducing solo of Ghosts of the Middle Passage an excerpt from African Memories choreographed by Lula Washington, shattered even my loftiest expectations.
I spoke with her about what changes she currently sees and foresees in the dance industry. She warned dancers about solely focusing on technique rather than the primitive artistic roots of dance that inspire her movements and allow her to connect with audiences.
“Lines, a high leg, pointed feet, something we really strive to look like physically on the outside. But movement needs to come from the inside.
I spoke with Associate Director of the Lula Washington Dance Theater, Tamica Washington-Miller, about why audiences rarely consider attending dance performances as a form of entertainment and how to change this.
[tweet_box design=”box_13_at” float=”left” width=”40%” author=”Tamica Washington-Miller” pic_url=”http://losangelesentertainmentnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/DSC7530-e1461042115881.jpg”]
“I think it’s a matter of finding a way to create multiple access points for a range of people.”
She spoke of utilizing and absorbing tropes into the dance storytelling that are already familiar and comfortable to different audiences. Dance has traditionally prided itself on its high society status. While such a strategy of attracting people through exclusivity has worked for brands like Louboutin, it has proven counterproductive to recruiting both audiences and talent to the dance world.