Friday, June 25, 2010

collaboration is key

People who have been students in my classes know that I tend to talk quickly (understatement), but may not know that I also type quickly. For this reason I am hired at times to transcribe events, and yesterday’s conference was an all-day session in Baltimore. It was a closed-door meeting so I cannot disclose details but it was incredibly inspiring to hear a room full of brilliant minds discussing how to best educate the next generations and how to make the arts a key part of this process. It made me think a lot about collaboration, and just how fruitful and generative it is to share ideas with others. On Tuesday evening I saw a collaboration at the Source Theater in DC and wrote about it here for dc theatre scene. This made me think again of the collaboration between Susan Shields and Heather McDonald. I found their work-in-process poignant and admired the way the creators integrated movement and dialogue. Then I started thinking of how, historically, collaboration has been key to the success of certain artists - not only the Judson artists who brought together dancers, painters and thinkers from varied walks of life and the performances of the Ballets Russes that resulted from Diaghilev's experiments with collaborative processes, but also Black Mountain College. In Chance and Circumstance, Carolyn Brown writes beautifully about this time. It's a great book about dance, art and life.

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