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The Aftermath


Above l-r: Ezlimar Dortolina and Jose Edwin Gonzalez against a background of video in FUNDING THE ARTS.


So how did it all turn out? 

The direct feedback from the audience and from the people who attended our "Meet the Artist" events was extremely positive, and it's very encouraging and satisfying to hear comments from strangers like those I heard. And we received a very nice review on Eyeondance.com. (You can read it via a link on our PRESS page, as well as see clips from the work on YouTube via a link on our VIDEO page.) But as Oscar Wilde said, "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life." And that was surely the case here.  I wish THE NEW YORK TIMES had come and reviewed the work. But unfortunately the TIMES critic never arrived. A TIMES photographer was sent to our Dress Rehearsal on Tuesday, and a dance critic was scheduled to review Wednesday’s Opening Night, but at the very last minute, the critic e-mailed to say she would not be attending due to financial cutbacks at the paper (so ironic and in a sense so very apt in terms of the subject matter of the piece). And without the "buzz" that a review in THE TIMES garners, our audiences remained smaller than I would have liked during the remainder of our run. I’m reminded of the scene in FUNDING THE ARTS where Lu and Robby finish a brilliant performance, and hear no applause. Robby remarks that instead of coming out to see them – the world’s greatest ballet dancers – performing live, people are all at home watching "Dancing With The Stars."  Lu responds, “But this IS Dancing With The Stars.” Which brings us to the subject of whether or not we are now witnessing the beginning of the end of live performances as we know them. Will the same technology that allows a small dance company to mount such an ambitious production ultimately be the thing that kills off live theater? Will interactive performances replace the traditional way of actors performing in front of an audience? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how the arts develop in the next decade to find out.

I did learn a lot by bringing FUNDING THE ARTS to the stage. I think the most important lesson was that if you want -- if you need -- to do something, you must just go out and do it. Do it yourself. Do it any way you can. Don't let the fact that you don't have the resources you'd ideally like, stop you. When I first began work on this project I approached some well-known cartoon animators and asked them if they'd participate. They said, "This kind of work will cost you $5000 -- per minute!" (Being that the work was a ninety-minute piece... well, you do the math...) Obviously, at that point I was forced to find another way to realize the animation component of the project, so I went off on a tangent into animation, which I never would have done, had the animators simply said "yes." So don't let anything or anyone stop you. If you have to do it, you will find a way. -- Felice Lesser

Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for the information provided here.Dance refers to a styled and patterned bodily movement(s) which is usually performed to music. Dance should serve the purpose of communication or lively expression. Dance as a medium of art has been evergreen like the cedar. In various parts of the globe, dance means different things to folks. In recent decades, the inextinguishable dance-styles have swept across the continents like wildfire.

Monir Sider

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternatasha132010

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