Thursday, June 06, 2013

June 6 2013

Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancers: Chris Jovilar & Stephanie Maiorano. Just a final overhead lift before Don Juan actually comes in. So the section has been about being displayed, somewhat elevated.
Don Juan in Tech Rehearsal February 2013. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. Dancers: Max Tchernychev & Stephanie Maiorano. Finally, Don Juan takes an active part in his own dream and directly dances with his "ideal."  Although he has danced with her in other guises (most notably the gypsy girl in Act One), the is the first time he meets her without in an unfiltered way.

Daily Stuff: Went in this morning to look at a piece of choreography that has been commissioned from one of our dancers. It was very nice. I just encouraged him to put a little more choreographic density into some sections. He has a good feeling for movement, so it would be nice to see more of that movement invention. And also to be a bit clearer as to what the dancer's relationship o the music was. Not musicality per say. Just, how much did the dancers need to reflect what was being sung about. The answer is not always what you might think.

Then had a nice meeting regarding creating structures for communication within and between staff, dancers, and board.

Got some great funding news that I can share next week.

Yesterday, I mentioned I was going to reflect on a discussion I had with a Brandie (the artist). Before I do so let me just state for the record. I am an ultra liberal feminist. Can't help it. I am a child of the 60's. Anyway, at the Adult Puppet Cabaret, I complemented Brandie on her work and asked her what the next step with the piece was. I remembered that she had mentioned proposing an installation at a local fairly well funded "space". She said that she didn't know but that she had decided not to approach the "space" until she had her ducks in a row and could make a "stronger" presentation. Which led me to recount to her something that had just occurred to me...

I had been asked to sit on a panel to review people for possible employment as dance instructors. As part of the initial submission, the applicants had to circle the types of dance and the ages of students they felt they were qualified to teach.

As we were waiting to begin, the two women on the panel with me started discussing and joking about "lean in", the idea that was put forth by Sheryl Sandberg (chief operating officer of Facebook) that women self eliminate themselves from positions and opportunities where they can advance themselves.

Ha Ha. Funny. Funny. How simplistic.

At the start of the interviews, we had a very nice male candidate who was clearly only marginally qualified. But he was looking for an opportunity for advancement and saw this as such. He had circled various dance forms, many of which he admitted to having only taking a couple classes of in community college. He had never had a ballet class. But he was as he told us, "Eager to try something new and a quick learner." And (this will be important in a second) had not attended college.

The next woman who came in had studied dance for over ten YEARS. She was a college graduate with a minor in dance. I also happened to know her personally. And on her interview form, she had only circled that she could teach a "modern" class. I had to ask her "Really? You couldn't teach a jazz class to 5 year olds?" "Oh yes, I suppose." "And didn't you take years of ballet?" "Oh yes, but I don't really think of myself as a ballet teacher" "For 6 year olds?" "Oh yes, I could do that."

Now this would just be an odd little story, if it didn't also happen with the next two women who walked through the door. Both more than qualified and both had self identified as being unable to do jobs they were clearly able to do. By the end of the day, the panelists and myself kept repeating "Lean In. Lean In."

So needless to say I had two words for Brandie. Lean In.



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