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Posts from the ‘Dance’ Category

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Aesthetic Darwinism

Leonardo, gone but not forgotten

Leonardo, gone but not forgotten

We love the arts, and want to preserve them all…or so we think until we realize that we also need to make space for the new. In the process, forms come and go, and some ultimately die out. The process is natural and not necessarily a bad thing unto itself. However, it comes with some difficult questions. Andrew Swensen takes up some of those challenges — the need to cultivate the new, to preserve the old, and to make sure that everyone has a place in the rich world of the arts.

Read on in our latest article, Aesthetic Darwinism” (click here to read full article).

Artists May Be Like Athletes…But Art is Not

Athletics Meets Art in the Form of Mario Lemieux (Photo: Pittsburgh Penguins)

Athletics Meets Art in the Form of Mario Lemieux (Photo: Pittsburgh Penguins)

Recently Erin Yanacek offered an article on The Muse Dialogue, exploring what she sees as the similarity between her experience as an artist and her experience as an athlete. In the process, she discusses that the topic came out of a debate with colleague Andrew Swensen.

As we always seek to offer the opportunity for dialogue on the arts, Swensen has taken the time to explore everything from dance competitions to Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Add a bit of Coppola’s The Godfather, rhythmic gymnastics, and Mario Lemieux’s goal in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and you come to his argument. And what is that argument? Well, you will have to read on to see if he has been convinced in his response “Artists May Be Like Athletes…But Art is Not”

A Question of Arts Survival?

Lincoln Center, former home to the New York Opera (Photo: Nils Olander)

The Muse Dialogue continues our series on the impact of changing generations on the arts. In this article we ask the question of whether these shifts may imperil certain art forms, and asks the question: Even if Millenials do support the arts, does that mean that they will continue to support all art forms?

Andrew Swensen writes, “The matter for me is not just about “arts marketing.” No, this is a question of the survival of art forms in the face of demographic shifts and concurrent shifts in participation. I do not necessarily ascribe to some notion of arts Darwinism – that some things perish as part of the natural order of things. Yet the truth is that there are indeed some art forms that have largely passed away. Yes, I can’t remember the last time I saw someone working on a fresco.”

Click here to read our latest article from The Muse Dialogue, “A Question of Arts Survival?”

Boys, Dance and Gender Stereotypes in the Arts

Billy Elliott, as performed by David Alvarez (Photo:

For reasons surely rooted in rather silly gender expectations and stereotyping, boys typically do not dance. Call it the Billy Elliott Dilemma: If you actually want to dance, make sure that you hide it.

Andrew Swensen discusses the world of dance, the nature of artistic voice, and half of the population that has been kept out of a world of artistic expression because of gender stereotypes, in his article “Boys, Dance and Gender Stereotypes” (click link to read the full article)

Dance, Sand Mandala of the Arts

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (

The performing arts have an energy born of the instant, born of the dynamism between artist and audience on any given night. Yes, their ephemeral quality invests them with urgency and tension, because the art work is happening in real time right before your eyes.

For a variety of reasons, I would argue that dance stands apart as the most dependent on the ephemeral for its distinct beauty and impact. Dance is art of the ephemeral, beauty that must be seized in an instant, and that is precisely part of its genius and its unique place among the arts.

Click here to read the full text of our latest article from The Muse Dialogue, “Dance, Sand Mandala of the Arts.“

Tanztheater As Art Form

Marie Zimmerman takes on a journey into Tanztheater. Tanztheater is a form with literally no artistic boundaries. Productions usually have no plot or resolution, but tell of an experience meant to provoke sensations, feelings, and memories. All at once, it can be baffling, transporting, and touching.

Dance a bit with us as we launch a new issue of The Muse Dialogue, and venture into the aesthetic realm of body movement and personal expression.

Click here to read the full article of “Tanztheater As Art Form.”


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