放眼舞林 An Eye on Dance 輸出美國舞蹈 Exporting American Dance
Dance Heginbotham舞團將在SPOTLIGHT: USA 上演的作品《Principles of Uncertainty》
Dance Heginbotham’s Principles of Uncertainty, 2017 (to be performed at SPOTLIGHT: USA); 攝Photo: Christopher Duggan
每年一月，來至世界各地的主辦機構和節目總監都會來到嚴寒的紐約，欣賞多個充滿啟發性的藝術節節目，當中包括American Dance Platform、American Realness和Coil Festival，同時亦會出席一些業界會議。今年，我應邀出席了在這大都會舉行的國際表演藝術協會（ISPA）年度會議，和American Dance Abroad（ADA）的國際咨詢顧問委員會議。我於2014年獲ADA邀請參加他們主辨的American Dance Recon節而認識這個機構。這個以藝術家為本的組織十分獨特，這次行程我便訪問了兩位聯合創辦人——Andrea Snyder和Carolelinda Dickey，談談(ADA)現時的工作和願景。
Annually, international presenters and program directors travel to cold and snowy New York City in January to explore numerous stimulating Festivals including American Dance Platform, American Realness, and Coil Festival, and to attend industry meetings. This year I joined those travelling to the Big Apple to attend the International Society for Performing Arts (ISPA) Annual Congress and the American Dance Abroad (ADA) inaugural Advisory Council meeting. I’ve known ADA since 2014 when I was invited to join ADA’s American Dance Recon program that allowed me to explore the US dance scene in NYC with excitement. This artist-centered organization is unique and I interviewed the two co-founders: Andrea Snyder and Carolelinda Dickey during this trip to share information about their vision and projects.
AC (Anna Chan): Both of you already have an impressive career in dance and extensive experiences in producing, presenting, and promoting dance both in America and overseas, why did you want to start a new organization, American Dance Abroad, in 2009?
AES (Andrea Snyder): The New York dance companies we managed in the 1980s and 1990s benefited greatly from international touring. In 2000, Carolelinda joined the staff of Internationale Tanzmesse and I was hired as the executive director of Dance/USA. We became acutely aware that American dance companies were struggling to find tours overseas. In fact, there was no American dance presence at that Tanzmesse. From 2002 on, Carolelinda and I worked together to populate Tanzmesse with American delegations of artists, managers, and programers that introduced new ideas and concepts about American dance to the international community.
CLD (Carolelinda Dickey): When I joined Tanzmesse in 2000, the last thing I wanted to do was work for a big institution and certainly had no wish to start one. But, as fate would have it, the 2000 Tanzmesse was indeed a wake-up call. I realized that in the 12 years since I had left NYC and been programing in Pittsburgh, the international network for American dance had largely collapsed. Andrea had just begun her tenure as president and executive director of Dance/USA, and together we decided to try and reignite the conversation and sought to reintroduce American choreographers onto the international scene.
AES: That led to convincing an American foundation to support the research and publication of a report focused on export strategies for American dance that was published in 2010. Serendipitously, when I was leaving Dance/USA after 11 years, we made our decision to formally launch American Dance Abroad and implement some of the strategies in the report.
Tanzmesse 2016 的 ADA代表團。American Dance Abroad’s delegation at Tanzmesse 2016. 圖片由ADA提供 Photo provided by ADA
AC: What caused the decline in American visibility, the system/structure, dance development, the work, the lack of need to tour overseas, or the economy? Why?
美國新聞總署（USIA）在1990年代前是美國聯邦政府的一部份，並一直支持國際巡演。但當它被編入國務院後，就削減了國際巡演的資助和關注度。從二戰後到八十、九十年代期間，美國新聞總署仍大力支持國際巡演，藝術界被視為「文化大使」，並造就了不少在海外享負盛名的舞團，例如Merce Cunningham（梅西．簡寧漢）、瑪莎．葛蘭姆（Martha Graham）、艾文艾利（Alvin Ailey）和翠莎．布朗（Trisha Brown）。但自九十年代中期起，不論公營或私營機構方面都難以見到蓬勃的文化外交景象。
AES: There was a combination of factors that negatively impacted touring opportunities for American dance artists and companies. The U.S.A. does not have a consistent policy or mechanism to support artists touring abroad. We have no Ministry of Culture to support domestic cultural programs, nor a strong presence in the Department of State.
The U.S. Information Agency (USIA), an agency of the U.S. federal government that supported international touring until the 1990s, was folded into the U.S. State Department with less emphasis and funding to support touring. When the USIA was active, the arts were viewed as ‘cultural ambassadors’ post-World War II into the 1980s and 1990s, and it introduced many of the companies better known abroad, such as Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, and Trisha Brown. Since the mid-1990s, that view of cultural diplomacy does not prevail throughout the government and private philanthropy.
CLD: I think we suffered from two very important factors. First, as an American dance presenter, I programed many international companies each season and received generous support from their governments. Our companies could not reciprocate since we do not have those financial supports for artists. Second, the rise of nationalism in cultural development in other countries, especially in Europe, led to an aesthetic divide between the dance of the U.S. and Europe. European dance looked old fashioned to us and American dance looked old fashioned to many Europeans. Additionally, since European companies were being subsidized to tour their work, an aesthetic quickly influenced the development of dance in Asian and Latin American countries, further isolating American dance.
CONTRA-TIEMPO舞團將在SPOTLIGHT: USA 上演的作品《Agua Furiosa》
CONTRA-TIEMPO's Agua Furiosa (to be performed at SPOTLIGHT: USA); 攝Photo: Steve Wylie
AC: So, ADA's primary aim is to promote American dance at global marketplaces, festivals, and international gatherings. How do you achieve it? What’s the impact and result?
AES：ADA 是一個建立橋樑的組織。我們致力支援藝術家與國際間的行家建立關係，並向他們介紹美國舞蹈的多元性及其廣闊的維度。我們的項目一直配合以上兩個策略。舉例說，American Dance Recon（ADR）邀請國際舞蹈策展人觀賞現場演出及非正式的排練室演出，用數天時間探索美國城市的舞蹈生態。自2012年起，已有超過50位國際策展人參與過分別在紐約市、三藩市、費城及伯克夏爾山區舉行的ADR座談會。我們沒有預期活動會有迅速回報，但超出我們所料，ADR在紐約進行的第一次活動後，即時就有3位藝術家收到演出邀請，非常驚喜！
AES: American Dance Abroad is a bridge-building organization. We aim to assist artists to build relationships with international colleagues and to inform international dance colleagues about the range and diversity of American dance. Our projects align with these two strategies. For example, American Dance Recon invites international dance programers to explore a U.S. city’s dance community over several days by seeing work in live performance and informal studio showings. Since 2012, over 50 international programers have attended ADR symposia in New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and the Berkshire Mountain region. We never expected that artists would be invited to venues and festivals quickly, and so were completely and pleasantly surprised after the first ADR experience in NYC to learn that three artists had instant invitations!
In the beginning, we had to convince international programers to accept the invitation to attend ADR; now we have a waiting list of colleagues who would like to learn about American dance. Our upcoming ADR West to Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland in June, highlighting a range of choreographic voices in those cities, will welcome a new group of international colleagues.
Another project – Rapid Response – supports travel costs for artists and companies who are invited by an international programer. Support is available for performance, teaching, research, collaboration, or setting work. The grants are not large, but sometimes a small bit can make the difference. We have seen an increase in the number of artist applications and geographic diversity, thus confirming to us that American dance is being sought out by international dance programers more often than in the past.
CLD：我們最新充滿野心的項目是SPOTLIGHT:USA，它將會是首個在美國國土外舉行的美國舞蹈平台。2018年3月26至28日，10個由國際評審挑選的舞團，將於保加利亞普羅夫迪夫（2019年歐洲文化首都）的舞台上演出。我們邀請來自世界各地的國際舞蹈節目統籌和當地觀眾，參與ADA和One Foundation for Culture & Arts合辦的大師班和藝術家會面活動，見證藝術家思想的多元，和進一步認識美國舞蹈。
CLD: Our newest project is our most ambitious. SPOTLIGHT: USA will be the first-ever curated platform of American dance outside the U.S. From March 26 to 28, 2018, ten companies selected by an international jury will perform on the stages in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (the 2019 European Cultural Capital). International dance programers from around the world and local audiences are invited to join American Dance Abroad and our partner organization, One Foundation for Culture & Arts, to see a range and diversity of artistic voices, meet the artists, take master classes with dance companies, and learn more about American dance. Lodging support is available to international programers.
Danielle Agami在American Dance Recon 2017期間分享她在美國舞團Ate9的工作。
Danielle Agami speaking about her work with Ate9 Dance Company during American Dance Recon 2017.
圖片由ADA提供 Photo provided by ADA
AC: How are you different from a dance agency?
AES: American Dance Abroad does not have a roster of specific artists, nor does it ‘book or sell’ artists, as do dance agencies. We consider ourselves more like a discipline-specific NGO, filling a gap in the ecology of the American dance field. We are evenly balanced in that we welcome all genres of dance from across all regions of the U.S., under the ADA umbrella.
AC: Are there similar organizations in US?
CLD: There are plenty of dance professionals and organizations that work internationally, but none that are solely focused on exporting American dance. American Dance Abroad is also highly artist-centered, keeping the American choreographer as the focus of what we do. As a result, by design we maintain a highly flexible and evolving program structure. We are always open to new partnerships and new idea and ways of working.
陳頌瑛 Anna CY Chan
Head of Dance, Performing Arts, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA)