Choreographers: Julia Harvie (Christchurch), Sarah Knox (Auckland), Lucy Marinkovich (Wellington) and Jessie McCall (Auckland)
at Te Whaea Theatre, 11 Hutchison St, Newtown, Auckland
From 20 Apr 2016 to 21 Apr 2016
WARNING: THIS IS GOING TO BE A LONG READ BECAUSE I’M ALL FIRED UP
I’m in a quandary. I volunteered to review the Footnote show and so I must go ahead with it. However, this is not going to be easy. Something has to change. I am going to attempt a different kind of response from normal. I refuse to comment on any of the individual works or the choreographers involved. Nor am I going to mention the dancers. Instead, I wish to review Footnote.
In addition to the article in this blog (September 9, 2015) about bullying in dance, this turned up in the UK’s Guardian website that reveals bullying in the performing arts is much greater than has generally been thought. In fact, the article suggests that it is higher than in the military and health services. Here is the article:
by Lyn Gardner
A study suggests that bullying is more common in the arts than in the army. It’s time to speak out.
For many people working in theatre, bullying is a fact of life. The whispers about it are constant. One theatre chief is famous for the strops taken out on staff. People working in jobs seen (wrongly) as less “creative”, such as press or marketing, are frequently victims of this high-handed behaviour; but it can happen to anyone from stage hands to actors. Do the victims complain? Often not.
This talk by British choreographer Jonathan Burrows is worth re-posting here. It reflects on the journey and nature of dance and on its ongoing struggle to define and capture itself both historically and in the moment.
Jonathan Burrows’ keynote address for the Postdance Conference in Stockholm
CURATED BY ANDRÉ LEPECKI FOR MDT AND CULLBERG BALLET, STOCKHOLM, OCTOBER 14TH 2015
Good morning and welcome.
Andre Lepecki suggested to me that this Postdance Conference
was an opportunity to find time and space
(and he underlined time and space)
to reflect on the developments and forces that have shaped choreographic imagination
from the 1960s up to today,
and when I saw the underlining of time and space
I felt the terrible weight of the choreographic
and the task ahead of us.
How do we talk about this recent history of dance?
How might we recognise the present?
Or imagine what might happen next?
What do you want to hear?
What could I possibly say?
by Chris Jannides
It goes without saying: the workplace for a dancer must be safe. We know this well when it comes to physical safety, but don’t think it matters when it comes to psychological wellbeing and care.
As dancers we often think that the tougher we are treated, the better the outcomes are likely to be. However, the borderline here can slip too quickly into aggression, psychological or emotional abuse and bullying. What is bullying? The Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) website simply explains: ‘Bullying is ongoing unreasonable behaviour which is often intended to humiliate or undermine…’
But this is tricky territory. As bullyonline.org points out: ‘Bullying happens under the noses of those who should care enough to stop it but who don’t, either because they simply cannot believe it could happen, or because they fear the consequences (for them) of doing something about it.’ (http://bullyonline.org). So let’s look at what can or should be done about psychological, physical and sexual harassment or intimidation in our dance workplaces and environments.