Working with my business coaches this week and spending time getting clear in my head about ideal clients, work, environments, marketing, packages and the ever abstract VISION. A vision of both life and business. They took a lot of my choppy thoughts and strung together really inspiring and meaningful text. So much of what I say comes spewing out, stream of consciousness style, and starts with what something doesn't look like and doesn't feel like, and by the end, I also caught myself in some very old, outdated and limiting beliefs. Needless to say, having the coach reframe everything in such a positive way was refreshing, reinvigorating, and motivating. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks' worth of work. It's a lot to really see and accept where things were not working, to make those changes and then, when I find myself knee deep in the mud that is the transitional "I don't know how this looks moving forward" to trudge through it.
We're still filling dates for 15/16 Read on for artist tours and availability
Darrah Carr Dance | ModERIN (above)
Darrah’s company will tour ModERIN, the fusion work, in the mid Atlantic and Carolinas in March 2016. There are some dates remaining. Fees start between $10,000-12,000 and can include outreach. The company will perform this summer at Jacob’s Pillow and The New Victory.
Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble Kulu Mele has open availability in the mid Atlantic. Fees start at $8500. The company will perform at Jacob’s Pillow this summer.
Robert Post | POST Comedy Theatre Robert will be in MN late January 2016 and we have availability in the upper Midwest around then. Fees range $3500-5000.
Parallel Exit | Everybody Gets Cake Everybody Gets Cake is a new smaller ensemble piece is available for mid Atlantic tours. It premiered at 59E59 Studios in NYC this winter and the critics adored it, referring to it as Monty Python meets Laugh In. Fees start at $5000.
Lyle Cogen | Sticks & Stones Sticks & Stones is her one-woman theatre piece on the topic of bullying. It’s offered in three versions for K-2, 3-5, and middle school. The fall is filling up although we have early or late October availability in IN, IL, and WI. We are considering a mid-November TX visit as well. Fees start at $3500.
Elska | Middle of Nowhere
The three-piece company will tour the enchanting Middle of Nowhere to the mid Atlantic in November 2015 and into Alberta, Canada in February 2016. We have availability around those dates for the mid Atlantic community and western US and Canadian provinces. Fees start at $3000.
I had the pleasure of listening to Capacity Interactive's founder Eric Gensler at an event last week here in Philadelphia. I'm a pretty savvy digital marketer - what was this guy really going to tell me that I didn't already know? I'm fairly unimpressed when it comes to sessions on marketing these days. Everyone rehashes the same old same old and it's tough for me, being in the arts, on a limited budget, to go where the fresh ideas are happening (I'm thinking Content Marketing World). I know there's more out there that I don't know.
Well as it turned out, Eric gave me a ton of new information. In fact, I'm eyeballing how to attend his company's Digital Marketing Bootcamp for the Arts this fall in NYC.
There were tons of ideas and take aways that I am eager to start playing around with...some I had known and now have a deeper understanding of how and why they work, and some brand new ideas to try.
For today, I want to mention the power of video. This isn't new news. We've been hearing about how ideal video is for a few years now...how it's better than even compelling photos, its reach is far and wide and it goes viral faster. Capacity Interactive uses a case study with Jacob's Pillow Dance to illustrate video's power as a storyteller and a driver of ticket sales. It sends your print ads and glossy brochures back to the Dark Ages.
My take-aways? Creating 15, 30 and 60 second videos is worth the investment. So is exploring different types of video (documentary, promo, behind the scenes).
Next, Facebook and YouTube are duking it out old school Batman style for video publishing and Facebook rewards big time. So with certain videos, skipping YouTube and posting directly to Facebook is one strategy I can do immediately. I can also promote those videos on Facebook, linking directly to certain landing pages on a site (another post about Facebook ads coming soon).
My final take-away was more of a question to consider. What about theatre and video? Particularly when the work isn't yet created? And if we work with equity actors? This is a slippery slope and one that involves pouring over contracts and even negotiating. I am still turning that one over in my head and plan on reaching out to other theatre companies to better understand how they work with those challenges.
HowlRound has become a favorite online industry publication of mine in recent months. Now I'm not a theatre artist so some of the content is too niche for me, however, many of the contributions around ideas are wonderful reads, including a recent series about Parenting & Playwriting. This quote by author Catherine Trieschmann stopped me mid Facebook scroll and had me clicking through to read more and reflect on this very issue.
"I am, nonetheless, deeply dismayed that the collective imagination of a group of girls, ages seven to ten, would land so squarely in the middle of the boyfriend plot with so few outliers. I don't blame the girls, however; I blame us. The storytellers. We are failing to model stories about girls that do not involve boyfriends."
You know, she's somewhat correct. At least in a lot of tween marketed film and theatre here in the States. (I can't speak to current young adult books though - that shipped sailed in the late 80s with The Babysitters' Club and Sweet Valley High). Where are the enriching and meaningful stories? And not just for the girls, but for boys too? If there isn't a girlfriend plot in some of these cheesy TV shows my 7 year old son watches, there is an incompetant parent, a fresh mouthed child, or ninja fighting.
Some of it I can control and some of it I cannot. It's there, in society. My response to her post though was about where to find the good stories. I'm lucky to have seen such thoughtful theatre for young audienes these past five years. I know it's out there. I know the best work is created in Canada and overseas mainly because those companies have governments that fund the creation and touring. Those countries value arts for young people and arts education very differently. So it means the artists have money to take risks, not worry about butts in seats, or a curriculum tie in. There is certainly great work here - I represent several - yet it's no secret how challenging it is to create it, promote it, tour it, and sustain a company without the level of support we really need.
There are good and smart stories out there for youth. My three suggestions are:
For theatre, explore any international children's festivals that are near you.
Talk to librarians and teachers for book suggestions that feature a compelling story and strong protagonists
As parents we can tell the smart and important stories to our children. The news is pretty scary and yet in those scary situations are youth who have stories to tell, whose voice will be heard some day, some way. How can we frame it in an age appropriate way? I think of a story like Anne Frank and believe there are tons more stories out there of heroic boys and girls waiting to be read by our children. So I defer again to the librarians.
Pictured: Sweet Valley High. Yes, I had crushes as young as 5th grade, and having graduated from Nancy Drew and The Babysitters' Club around age 10/11, Jess and Liz and the gang in Sweet Valley were the young adult novels of my day.
I saved this infographic last year and I regret I don't remember from where I found it. Pinterest maybe? It offers some terrific ideas for how in this crazy busy world we can still make time to stay creative. For me this spring it means getting outside more, working on my art journals, and getting back into painting.
I love that Drink Coffee is on here. It reminds me of all the Sark posters I had growing up as well as Brian Andreas Storypeople. I still love both of them although my 37 year old self defers to Elizabeth Gilbert's Facebook page for musings on life, creativity and positivity.
I searched this image on Google and it is everywhere. For the sake of this post, I'm crediting The Daily Infographic.
Irish dance company Darrah Carr Dance visits Yardley Community Center this coming Saturday, March 7, just in time for St. Patrick's Day. Darrah and her company bring their popular ModERIN repertoire, a playful combination of the words modern (dance) and ERIN (an Irish American reference to Ireland), beginning at 7:30 p.m. as part of a series of performances presented by the Bucks County Center for the Performing Arts.
The acclaimed New York City-based dance company, along with Trent Kowalik, the youngest person ever to win a Tony Award, will take the stage this Saturday. The company has graced stages from the U.S. to Canada and Ireland. They have also appeared on NBC’s ‘The Today Show’, as a guest with ‘The New York Pops’ at Carnegie Hall and at the annual New York City Irish Dance Festival, to name a few.
Among the six dancers featured in the Yardley performance will be Trent Kowalik, who played the original lead in Billy Elliot on Broadway and is now a student at Princeton University. Another dancer, Timothy Kochka, is a longtime member of Riverdance. Both Timothy and Trent have also won the world championships in Irish dancing competition.
Darrah offers a little background on Irish dance for us.
IRISH DANCE BACKGROUND
Throughout the 18th century, Irish dance was taught by traveling dance masters. When they met at fairs, they challenged each other to a public dancing contest that only ended when one of them dropped with fatigue. Solo dancers were held in high esteem. Barn doors were placed on the ground for them to dance upon. Solo dances use fast, intricate footwork, with limited arm movements.Dancers use hard or soft shoes. Hard shoes have tips and heels, enabling the dancer to make pounding rhythms. Soft shoes are similar to ballet or Scottish Highland slippers. These dances are performed on the balls of the feet, with airy, graceful, light legwork. Group dances were developed to give less gifted pupils the chance to enjoy dancing. These feature interlacing weaving patterns, often seen in celtic knotwork. Neighbors would often gather for a ceili--or house party--featuring music, dances, songs, and storytelling. Through emigration, Irish dance and music were carried to many continents. Traditions are kept alive through competitions, or feiseanna, for dancers of all ages. Competition dresses are based on the Irish peasant dress worn two hundred years ago. Most are adorned with hand-embroidered Celtic designs. Copies of the Tara brooch are often worn on the shoulder, holding a cape, which falls over the back. The worldwide success of commercial shows such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance has placed Irish dance on the international stage. Today, many students of Irish dance are not of Irish descent and classes have sprung up in places as distant from Ireland as Mexico and Japan!
Piccadilly Arts at IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth) | Booth 104
January 21-24, 2015
I welcome you back to the city and look forward to connecting again with you and talking about you family and youth programming visions. Helping me at this year's showcase will be one of my dear friends and colleagues, Alisa Carr Kaesar whom many of you already know and have worked with in the past.
A few highlights for 15/16:
Treehouse Shakers - the company was recently selected to the prestigious BAM Professional Development residency program (read more on that here) and they continue to tour Hatched for little ones as well as their newest piece, Under the Tangle, a dance theatre piece for ages 8+. Under the Tangle runs again at Ailey Citigroup Studios February 5 & 6, 2014 at 11am and February 8 at 1pm. Be sure to check your bags for the gorgeous postcard. Hatched had a terrific mid Atlantic tour this past spring and will be in the Pittsburgh area this spring if you would like to experience it.
Elska - new to the roster, you may remember Shelley Wollert, aka Elska, from the 2012 IPAY conference when she performed Middle of Nowhere in a sunrise spotlight. This enchanting program is now in residence at The New Victory Theatre LabWorks and available to tour in 15/16. The piece sold out at BAM this past December.
Parallel Exit - the company showcased a few pieces of their new work, Everybody Gets Cake at the curated Circus Now (NYU's Skirball Center) this past week during APAP. Kudos to our colleague Michael Harrington and Circus Now for producing an amazing and sold out 3 day contemporary circus event. EGC is a 3 person show and will run at 59E59 Studios January 16-February 8 and is available to tour in 15/16.
Tours are also shaping up for Darrah Carr Dance, NYC's Irish dance troupe, and in addition to main stage performances, the company offers matinees, lec/dem performances for school groups, and outreach. Also new to the roster is Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble. The Philadelphia company preserves, presents and builds upon the dance and music of Africa and the African Diaspora and offers exciting programs for youth.
Piccadilly Arts at APAP | Booth 416 Hall I | January 8-12, 2015
Chrissie and Jill head to the Hilton Midtown for APAP this week. You can find us in Americas Hall I in booth 416. As always, look for the pink and turquoise. We have a brand new booth banner to tout too. You really can't miss us. Let's just say it's a little bigger in person than Chrissie thought when she ordered a 9'x6' banner.
Don't miss out on terrific showcases by roster artists Parallel Exit, Darrah Carr Dance and Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble.
Darrah Carr Dance - NYC's Irish Dance Company - presents ModERIN
Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 3:40pm
STAM-PEDE*, an afternoon of the very best in percussion dance
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, NYC
Subway - 25 min on 1 train uptown; Taxi - 15 min from Hilton
Complimentary tickets for APAP attendees, reservations required.
Contact Chrissie DiAngelus, firstname.lastname@example.org
Darrah Carr Dance presents ModERIN and Irish Extravaganza
Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 8:20pm and 11:20pm The Hilton New York, Morgan Suite
Kùlú Mèlé African Dance and Drum Ensemble presents selections from their repertoire
Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 6:40pm
The Hilton New York, Morgan Suite
Parallel Exit, NYC’s Premier Physical Comedy Troupe
Parallel Exit presents Everybody Gets Cake
January 8, 2015, starting at 8:00pm**
The Skirball Center for Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Pl, New York, NY
Complimentary tickets for APAP attendees, reservations required.
Contact Chrissie DiAngelus, email@example.com
Subway - M train downtown; Taxi - 20 min from Hilton
*Stam-pede is curated by Darrah Carr
**The company will present 10 min showcases in between full performances throughout the night.
Congrats to roster artist Darrah Carr Dance who had a wonderful annual series at the Irish Arts Center last month. The company premiered new work over three nights. Below is a review from Eye On Dance.
November 18, 2014
Irish step dance is a captivating form in it’s own right, but that did not stop Darrah Carr Dance from giving it a modern twist. At the Irish Arts Center in Hells Kitchen, The Darrah Carr dancers took to the stage to perform in their collaborative dance form they call ModERIN. Part modern, part Irish step dance this series of dances were a lighthearted and fun way to spend an evening. It is a unique venture to blend these two forms, and though not always cohesive, there were many moments that made you want to jump right out of your seat.
The typical modern vocabulary found new life when sprinkled with patterns and movements taken from the world of Irish Step. This was reflected most successfully in the piece ‘S An Cuan Eadrainn (and the Sea Between Us). The added use of live music, with the vocalist (and choreographer) Christopher Caines stepping from side stage to interact with the dancers, presents a feeling of both Irish and Modern as a continuous blend. A sense of yearning could be felt throughout the dance in both the moments derived from modern vocabulary--reaching arms and an airy quality to the flow of transition--as well as the incorporated details of Step.
The most spectacular moments were seen in the Tradition Tunes performed by musician Liz Hanley and dancer/choreographer Niall O’Leary and Percussive Pause performed by Trent Kowalik. Both these solos highlighted the percussive nature of step. Dance and rhythm were so intricate and fast paced it was hard to match the sounds with the movement of the feet. In breathtaking speed, Kowalik stunned the audience who responded in uproarious applause as his feet came to a well deserved rest. The skill of the dancers, especially those who were highly proficient at Step dancing, really made the movement vital, creating a great showcase for a new style collaboration.