Behind the Stage:
Stage Manager’s Checklist
By Nicole Walters of Atlanta Ballet
“Stage Manager’s Checklist,” authored by stage manager Nicole Walters of Atlanta Ballet, is a new resource outlining the necessary skills required for aspiring and existing stage managers. In addition to the checklist, Nicole walks us through her “Typical Day“— which, you will quickly find, is anything but typical. Nicole was also featured as a part of Global Conversations: Behind the Stage released earlier this summer– you can see our full interview with Nicole here.
This checklist acts as a useful stepping stone as dancers consider transitioning “behind the stage” and investigate career pathways beyond dancing, though the resource is not solely applicable for classical dance companies. It has been universalised to apply to all performance arts/venues.
“DDP is stepping in during these uncertain economic times to help women advance their careers and even illuminate possible pathways following a professional dance career,” DDP Communications Lead Isabelle Ramey notes. “Fostering awareness of the skills required for these challenging positions is important– these careers, while both lucrative and more secure, still provide the adrenaline and daily challenge that so many in the performing arts seek.”
Paired with a document illustrating a “Typical Day” of a stage manager, the checklist creates a thorough and clear description of possible responsibilities, as well as some helpful tips to make the role easier. “Nothing ever goes quite as planned” says Walters, who is always preparing for the unexpected; touting resourcefulness, quick thinking, and level headedness as some of a stage manager’s greatest skills. DDP Founder Liza Yntema quips that “if Nicole had been steering, the Titanic would have never gone down.”
Inclusive Technique Class Checklist
By Gretchen Alterowitz
Western concert dance techniques are often taught in an authoritarian manner, which separates the roles of instructors and students by demarcating who holds power and knowledge (instructors), and who is subject to power and needs to gain knowledge. Authoritarian models, while sometimes defended for their rigor or results, can be abusive (emotionally, psychologically, physically) and lead to fear, anxiety, and injury. Intimidated dancers are less creative, exploratory, and willing to take risks, and their capacity to learn and develop is diminished. Inclusive teaching reimagines traditional ideas about who can and should dance and what the studio environment should feel like, with the goal of creating equity, care, and growth opportunities for all participants.
DDP’s latest checklist was put together in collaboration with Gretchen Alterowitz, a North Carolina-based artist-scholar-educator, whose work inspired some of the topics covered in DDP’s Global Conversations Round 4.
Read more about Gretchen here.
Working Towards a Global Market
As told to DDP by Assis Carreiro
A question that comes up in our discussions with choreographers, time and time again, is simple but loaded with further implications that may determine whether or not an artist is successful across the board: How does one break into the international market? Dance Data Project® is continuing to provide choreographers with tools to expand both their expertise and reach. In an effort to better guide dancemakers to the answers to this question and others, we are delighted to offer our latest resource, a new Choreographer Checklist: Working Toward a Global Market.
The checklist was put together in collaboration with Assis Carriero MBE, a London-based artistic consultant and manager with three decades of industry expertise and knowledge of dance and the wider arts and culture sectors around the globe. Assis has worked with a number of well known artists to secure commissions and offers bespoke mentorship following years of leadership and producing experience. Previously, Assis worked as the Artistic Director & Chief Executive of DanceEast and Artistic Director of Royal Ballet Flanders before joining the New English Ballet Theatre as Head of Strategic Planning and Development.
Read more about Assis on her website, www.assiscarreiro.com.
Choreographer Survival Skills Checklist
As told to DDP by Stephanie Martinez
December 17, 2019 Northfield, Illinois Dance Data Project ® (DDP) today released a checklist of “Choreographer Survival Skills,” which has been compiled by award-winning choreographer Stephanie Martinez, the subject of DDP’s latest “Meet the Choreographer” blog. From inception to touring, Martinez generously shares her decades of experience in working with dancers, companies, musicians and others. This comprehensive list of what is required to protect artistic integrity, preserve legal rights and garner the resources required to produce a successful work is available here, in the Resources section of the DDP website or in Martinez’s “Meet the Choreographer” feature, here.
Martinez is a celebrated Chicago dance artist with over 30 years professional performing experience. Her 2009 choreographic debut, AviMar, for Luna Negra Dance Theatre’s 10th anniversary season, instantly secured her status as a sought-after dancemaker. Among significant work at Universities, Martinez has created works for Thodos Dance Chicago, Same Planet/Different World, Ron De Jesus Dance, Elements Contemporary Ballet, Chicago Dance Crash, and Visceral Dance Chicago. In 2010, she assisted Broadway legend Ann Reinking in setting the Fosse Trilogy on Thodos Dance Chicago, as well as Daniel Ezralow, choreographer of Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, in remounting his celebrated work, Pulse, for Company C Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco. Martinez received a Winning Works: Choreographers of Color award in 2014 from Joffrey Ballet. Martinez’s work Bliss! will premiere in Joffrey Ballet’s main season after its world premiere in a Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Joffrey collaboration in early 2019.