New Dance Foundation for the Arts, Inc. (NDFA) is dedicated to the promulgation of dance as a viable 21st century art form. In pursuit of this intention, NDFA offers great advantages in allocating resources to all prospective communities broadening its reach and increasing the number of touch-points through collaborative efforts. In so doing, NDFA facilitates such outreach programming as educational activities, concert dance performances, and cultural exchange programs. Resulting, NDFA hopes to elevate cultural awareness, enrichment, and enjoyment of dance as an art form through advancing opportunities for everyone who can benefit from the arts.
The arts can ennoble and inspire individuals by fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts help express personal values, build bridges between cultures, and bring people together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. As NDFA promotes the growth of healthy cultural communities and stimulates collaborations on local, regional, national, and international levels, it plans to foster artistic activity that encourages civic dialogue on a multitude of topics related to the arts and on important contemporary human issues that energize effective arts programming and education initiatives.
Whether it is artistic or working with other dance practitioners and/or organizations, collaboration through outreach programming can most definitely be a "win-win" situation. It affectively promotes people to work in new ways toward a shared vision initiating long-term commitment, dedication, loyalty, and assurance. The process allows the collaborators to carry out a project in response to its vision while the collaboration remains the facilitator of what participants bring to the table. It works when participants are engaged and feel responsible for its successes. Additionally, collaborations are comprehensive, reaching out to all. A cornerstone of collaboration is the idea that more can be accomplished when acting together than when acting alone. No one participant is solely responsible for the achievement of a vision, but rather each participant can claim influence. While not everyone will join in, the simple act of being invited can make a difference in the level of support each project receives.
Everyone must be viewed as key partners rather than recipients of collaboration. Collaboration is not done for individuals but rather with them. For example: in an educational setting, the focus is on providing dance that will make a difference while allowing dance educators to focus on the student's learning needs; or in a creative setting, the focus is on providing performance or artistic opportunities that will make a difference while allowing artists to focus on the creative process. To achieve this goal, NDFA has designed the following four detailed programs:
NDFA uses the benefits of dance to engage, empower, and inspire individuals of all ages. In a society increasingly defined by technology, it is the inescapable human element present in dance that enjoins its educational and artistic role in building the human spirit. NDFA’s artist in residence program, master classes, Informances, and interactive lecture/demonstrations are especially designed to reach individuals and give them the following opportunities: to create, perform, and view dance; to increase the strength, flexibility, and coordination of their physical instrument; to refine social interaction; and to deepen and diversify aesthetic perceptions.
NDFA will focus on arts education where imagination, learning, and socialization drive approaches to studying issues of our time in a world that increasingly demands better. With a focus on contemporary issues, art, humanity, NDFA strives to improve the human condition through the stimulation of creative thinking. NDFA will strive to get individuals involved in the arts through creativity, innovation, and a desire to challenge the status quo because it is a key for maximizing learning and development potential. This is true both in what and how NDFA artists teach and in the intellectual ambitions of the outreach programming itself.
NDFA hopes that by exposing individuals to dance and the arts, it will help them become critically engaged citizens dedicated to solving problems, effective engagement, and contributing to the public good. NDFA wishes to embrace these principles through the following programs:
Informal Performances "Informances"
All audiences are invited to attend special performances presented by NDFA affiliates. Such performances are offered through youth and/or community programs and schools, set in an informal venue, and are followed by a brief question and answer session with the artists.
Through lively and informative lecture/demonstrations, NDFA introduces and defines the world of dance by showing the joy and creativity of movement. The demonstration includes a discussion of the professional dancer's training and daily lifestyle and also a sampling of NDFA affiliate’s repertoire. Narrated by NDFA's Director, the lecture/demonstration allows for audience participation.
Artist in Residence
This program enables individuals to develop creatively reflecting specific content with opportunities to make dances and present work in a performance setting. NDFA teaching artists interact with students in a series of sessions inspiring long-term creative experience.
NDFA offers master classes in modern dance, ballet, improvisation, composition, performance technique, dance pedagogy, creative movement, and other related forms taught by NDFA affiliate members, guest teachers, and NDFA's Director. Each class can be structured for beginning to advanced levels.
Concert Dance Performances & Touring
By exploring the forms, contents, and traditions of dance that have played a crucial role in shaping American concert dance, NDFA will bring cultural expression and the American modern dance tradition to the world. This fulfills NDFA’s mission by promoting cultural awareness, enrichment, and enjoyment of dance as an art form through advancing opportunities for everyone who can benefit from the arts. In a time when communities everywhere are becoming underserved and under-resourced in the arts, NDFA intends to promote growth of healthy cultural communities and plans to foster artistic activity that encourages civic dialogue toward a stronger arts support.
Presenting a concert dance performance and touring entails an extensive period of preparation, development, creation, and evaluation on several levels. The most evident is that new choreographic works are created or archival works are reconstructed. However, the dance itself is only one part of its infrastructure toward a performance or tour. It begins with an idea or theme for a concert leading to choreographic planning. This is followed by dance auditions, numerous rehearsals and the choreographic process, production and wardrobe planning, shop activities, administrative planning, fundraising, marketing, and concert bookings, which finally leads to the public performance.
Such a performance not only shares the power of dance, it creates numerous artistic, administrative, and staffing jobs beneficial to U.S. revenue. The arts events themselves not only collect revenue, but what surrounds the arts event like parking, taxi fees, etc. benefit, as well. In fact, data collected from 151,802 attendees at a range of arts events revealed that nonprofit arts and culture audiences generated an estimated $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission, an estimated total of $74.1 billion in 2010.
As a result of rising costs of theatre rentals, many arts events have to charge inflated ticket prices to make ends meet. NDFA will make every effort to make dance performances affordable if not free of charge and available to everyone. NDFA will think resourcefully to also customize performances and programs for specific venues. Concert dance is frequently performed in a theatre setting. As this is not an exclusive requirement, non-traditional dance venues can allow the audience to view work from various angles becoming a more active participant in the work as it is performed. Also, it not only makes the work more accessible for people, financially, it takes an art form most often seen on the proscenium stage and places it in a pedestrian setting creating an interaction that is perhaps more personal. An example of such a venue would be a gallery space, which has the potential to mix the high brow with the low brow and, in turn, can frame the work differently and in some cases more affectively than in a proscenium setting. As a result, NDFA will continually strive to make audiences excited about seeing dance no matter the venue.
Through committed vision and leadership, cultural exchange activities can provide access to expanded markets by opening doors for dance artists in the U.S. through the use of performances and other special events. It can also create and strengthen alliances and/or coalitions with like-minded individuals and groups globally to disseminate artistic expression regardless of political borders. Exchange activities can additionally bridge cultures. NDFA strongly views dialogue, education, and artistic exchange as a means of eroding prejudice and promoting peace in our shared world. NDFA hopes to effectively strengthen cultural understanding between other countries and Americans, creating innovative partnerships and affiliations.
Dancer: Kelly Roth