Do TV dance shows add to live dance audiences?

October 6, 2011
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This weekend, both Dance Kaleidoscope and Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre offer their season-opening programs (at the IRT and the Tarkington, respectively). In addition, Campania Flamenca Jose Porcel will be performing at the Palladium on the 12th.

Are you going to any or all?

Whether you are or aren't, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on the impact of such hit shows as "So You Think You Can Dance?" and "Dancing with the Stars" on live dance The obvious assumption is that seeing more dance on TV should inspire more people to experience dance live.

But is that the case?

Do people still stay away, assuming they can't see that quality on local stages? Is dance something most people would prefer seeing on TV instead of live? Or are there other barriers keeping potential ticket-buyers from taking the leap?

If they do go, I'm curious about how the expectations created by these flashy programs impact appreciation for the more subtle, lengthier work locally. Can--and should--our dancers live up to the three-minute choreographed blasts offered just about every night on TV?

Whether you are a dance or a patron, a choreographer or someone considering a first visit to live dance, chime in below with your thoughts.

Your thoughts?

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  • thought from a lay person
    I don't think that they should try to live up to the shows on TV. Both formats - TV and live - should be taken as they are and appreciated for what they are worth. I would watch a TV show and appreciate how I can see a few minutes of a visually impressive dance from the comfort of my home. On the other hand, I would also go to a live performance and appreciate a more in-depth experience for all my senses...and the lack of judges giving out grades. By trying to make every live performance the same experience as a TV you are doing a disservice to those in attendance. They would never get the opportunity to appreciate the differences and benefits only a live performance can offer.
    • thoughts from a dancer/choreographer
      Live art (dance) in Indy compared to other markets has always had a tough time pulling patrons into the theatres. World renowned and flashy productions struggle, even the SYTYCD live shows struggle on tour, and they are the very same show that has such a following nation wide (myself included). There is INCREDIBLE talent in Indy, and DK and GHDT have been very fortunate to keep the spirit of dance alive in the city. They produce amazing work and have grueling hours of rehearsals in preparation for the end product. But it's tough to get people to committ to attend that aren't maybe involved in the arts or long time lovers of dance; most of the GP (general public) don't understand what their watching and sometimes it can be too deep for a non-dancer...at times its even too deep for the avid dancer (ha).
      we all are aware of the camera angles and shots tv uses...they tend to make things appear more dynamic (even for the most amazing choreography and dancers) than maybe it is in real life. And while the athletes rarely have a less than stellar performances, the TV aspect can add to, but also take away from the quality. I find it hard at times to watch some of the routines on tv because I want to see, as a whole, what is happening as opposed to a side view of the stage or one person. I, as a dancer and choreographer, always hope that the attention our art has gained because of these shows will be more of a drive to get people in the actual seats, and their kids in our studios. The students expanding to the studios is working...and I am confident that its just a matter of time before the seats are filled with excitement for the REAL DEAL! But no matter, we will keep creating and dancing! live, love, dance!
      • i hate typos
        most of the GP (general public) don't understand what *theyre* watching

        haha :)
      • :)
        agree completely jaclyn!

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