As Summer Wanes, Adventures & Challenges Lay Ahead

Dear Friends,

Summer is coming to an end, and I must confess that much of my contact with dance these past few months has been through the pages of the New York Times and other periodicals. But that is to change soon and with a vengeance.

It has been a strange summer. The difficulties we are foreseeing about the present state of the economy loom large over us. Many will tell you that they are doing OK but I doubt it very much. To pretend that all is well would be a recipe for failure. We have put forth an incredible season for 2009-10 and yet have been unable to acquire enthused subscribers even in the small numbers we usually have. Right now it looks like we might very well be 10% below our expectations, and they were no larger than last year’s total, which was itself nothing to brag about.

Of course there is always hope as each of the performances comes closer that audiences will awaken to the beauty and excitement that is dance and that single ticket sales will make up for the shortfall.

COMPLEXIONS leap-cropped-web

Though corporate support has not wavered as far as their wanting to help, in many cases it has been reduced to reflect their own

situation. Same can be said for Foundations. This demands that we seriously look at retrenching and rethinking how we are going to go about our business.

And yet, as gloomy as that picture looks, the certainty of upcoming performances—Complexions (pictured at left), The Joffrey Ballet in our Nutcracker at the Fox, Ballet Folklórico de México, River North Chicago Dance Company, Aszure Barton & Artists, Moscow Festival Ballet, and our exciting SPRING TO DANCE™ FESTIVAL 2010—will bring renewed energies to all of us, making us deal positively with all that comes our way.

And speaking of events coming our way. No sooner am I back fromfall for dance 2009 spending four glorious days with my grandchildren Owen and Ivy, my daughter Michelle and her husband Ted, than I embark on inspirational dance journeys. First I will attend the last performance the Chicago Dancing Festival at Millennium Park in Chicago, then I fly to Chile for family business and to look at what is going on down there, returning to fly to Minneapolis and the Arts Midwest Conference and see as much as they have to offer, then journeying back to the Ravinia Festival in Chicago to see Bill T. Jones, then New York City and City Center’s Fall for Dance festival and shows at the Joyce Theater.

Rulan Tangen2In between, I shall be meeting with Rulan Tangen (pictured at left), a fascinating artist who is working with Native American traditions and bringing them into a dance/ballet format. I was fascinated about those possibilities when I was directing Ballet Arizona, so we will have much to talk about.

Well, that is it for now. I will report on the busy time ahead once I have lived it.

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