Mousonturm Studio 2

Series of lectures

When is a dancer considered to be professional?

Having recently served on audition panels for dance scholarships and Universities, I have become uneasy about bearing the decision-making responsibility shaping who may and who may not enter the profession of dance today. What values are expressed in the judgment of who can and cannot dance, and what values are unspoken? This talk will set the tone of this lecture series, by considering more generally how the professionalization of the performing arts constructs varying relations between dancers and non-dancers. A second focus is the working conditions of dancers and the systems or values that regulate these conditions. Reviewing historic documentation, census data, and conducting interviews myself, I will consider how dancers negotiate socio-economic factors such as education, health, family-status, and nationality. Is a romantic view of the past, in particular of dance in New York in the 60’s, or in Paris in the 20’s, or in Frankfurt in the 80’s warranted?