Study Room for Dance
Call me a specialist, but I've been wondering if we need a dedicated dance library. Like Live Art Development Agency with its Study Room but for dance: DaDA or DADA (Dance Art Development Agency)? Besides the British Library, are there any dance libraries outside of dance schools and universities? Chisenhale Dance Space comes to mind but that's more like a bookshelf and a cupboard with a tree growing in it (no offence, Chis, I know you're working your backs off fundraising to re-home the archive - go team!).
I have this suspicion there's a creeping belief that progress is principally about digitalisation, that the best of the future will be online. For my part, I would like a real place, outside of schools and the academy, to read real books. Online resources are absolutely marvellous, don't get me wrong - easy to edit and search, abundantly accessible - but there is no substitute for IRL materials. The proliferation of digital libraries ought not precipitate the end of paper and VHS and DVD ones. Examples of low budget, powerful interventions do exist. Take LADA's Study Room in Exile.
Dance producers, S.O.S!
My understanding is choreographers desperately need help in the form of producers. Who is offering advice, information and training for the next generation of producers? I personally only know two freelance producers working with dance artists. Is there a dance equivalent of ArtsAdmin?Again, the closest dance organisation to this that I can think of is Chisenhale with its Arts Counselling programme and Thinking Space provision, both free of cost. I'm not sure we need a dedicated 'DanceAdmin' building (I am not pro art form enclaving), though that would be kind of dreamy. Idealistic dissolution of art form boundaries aside, as a insider I know that independent dance makers are chronically under-resourced on the producer front. I have seen and experienced first hand the insidious effects this lack can and often does have.
To nuture new talent, practical, structural support is required: access to resources like meeting rooms, desk space and printers (if only on an ad hoc basis); opportunities to learn and skill up through workshops, courses and internships; alongside softer modes of support like bespoke one to one advice and peer group encouragement and development.