For a while now I’ve been talking with a number of people about a ballet project I’m planning. Many of you may have noticed my previous post, asking for contacts and information regarding schools and companies around the world. I thought I might explain a little further to clarify and build on existing ideas.
This is a plan that is still developing in many ways. I have a very basic idea of what I believe is a great way to accomplish a variety of goals that I think a lot of people can benefit from. At its core is teaching ballet. I have come to enjoy spreading my experience of ballet to people as a way of helping others and as a way to give back to an art form that gave so much to me. In the past I never saw myself as a ballet teacher and the thought of it is still difficult. Mainly because of how and where I like to teach. I noticed throughout my years in ballet, two types of teachers. One is the devoted, disciplinarian, who concentrates on the finer points and develops the the great artists of our biggest theatres. The other is a free spirited giver of whatever information they can pass on to whom ever is interested to take it, and encourages all people, from all walks of life to enjoy and experience ballet in their way. I can identify with both of these approaches but my sense of exploration and discovery has lead me to look for new avenues. Its no secret that I love to travel. As much as I love the grand cities of Europe and North America, I have come to love many areas around the world where ballet is still in its early years and some where it hasn’t caught on at all. For this reason I feel I can be of great service to ballet communities in culturally rich areas that differ significantly from my own and give them my knowledge in ballet in return. I love the idea of cultural exchange and through a project like this I feel I could continue to be a valuable asset to the art form I have dedicated most of my life to as well as continuing my own personal journey to explore our planet.
From the beginning of this idea one of the biggest and most obvious questions has been finance. As I began contacting companies and schools a common theme appeared, “we would love to have you but we cannot afford the expenses.” As I looked at options to see how I could make something like this possible, one of the first ideas I had became the clear choice. Crowdfunding has begun to enter the mainstream vocabulary and I believe it is an extremely useful tool for people like my self. Crowdfunding, with a well defined message and a means of getting that message out, can be the catalyst to get this project going. one of the core elements to crowdfunding is how to give back to those who give to your project. This is another area that has sparked my desire to engage in mutual beneficial projects.
With the multitude of people I know, who come from a dance background or a deep appreciation, I think one of the best ways to give back to people who would support a crowdfunding project like this is to share interesting stories about the experience. At first I thought, what an incredible way to use my passion for photography. As time went on I remembered my plan of someday working with small groups of talented, creative and dedicated colleagues of mine. I know so many wonderful artists who I respect so much as people and as professionals who have become great writers, photographers, filmmakers, choreographers, costume designers and many more. How much fun would it be for everyone to help rising dance communities around the world by engaging in creative and collaborative projects with a talented groups of people and then tell interesting stories that drive people’s understanding of the world? We can connect small communities to the global community. We can highlight incredible people doing amazing things in places where nobody would have that would be done. We can discover the changing image of classical ballet from an elite European art form to the multicultural, international icon it is turning into today. The possibilities are endless and I hope everyone can spare a minutes to help me out and let me know what you think. Thank you so much to everybody who has helped me develop this project thus far and thank you in advance to everybody who would like to join in and help me take this idea to the next level.