Reflections on the CDA National Conference
By Ronald Holgerson
Counting down …
10. Incredible time management and resource challenges faced by the Canadian dance community generally, and independent choreographers/dancers in particular, can be overcome in part by the support of friends and colleagues, but constantly require superior effort, resilience and courage.
9. Enhancing and enriching Canadian dance history is essential, and requires ongoing curatorial and collection resources with a view to generating a legacy of renowned choreography for future generations.
8. The broadest “field” of Canadian dance includes many remarkable acts of creation, offered to audiences that increasingly want to view and/or participate in diverse dance forms and cultural expression, creating an expectation for informed producers and presenters to educate, inform, collaborate and promote.
7. The energy and invigorating spirit of the newest generation of creators reflects expansive intercultural understanding, oblivious to colour, geography, origin and traditional dance definitions, providing an exhilarating injection of research, discovery, innovation and commercialization potential.
6. Following the example of the United Kingdom, the Canadian Dance Assembly and its members have an ownership/leadership role to play in mapping the full expanse of dance with the intention of repositioning and branding Canadian dance as integral to society and cultural expression.
5. The power and influence of Canadian dance is most clearly understood when all elements of the “field” are present, including research and development, creation, participation, presentation, and both live and digital dissemination.
4. National and international touring continue to enrich Canadian dance for creators, dancers, and audiences, while live/electronic programming will benefit from more mixed series/programs that demonstrate the wide variety and excellence of Canadian dance expression.
3. New models, practices and structures that replace or reposition the current duality of independent choreographers/dancers and professional companies will be needed as twenty-first-century dance emerges as a movement-based, non-linguistic cultural expression easily shared by all.
2. The Canadian cultural mosaic, federal government model, and disparate financial support systems result in resource inequities that demand national collaboration, involving all members of the dance community, to overcome fiscal and cultural division. United, the dance community is strong.
1. At the core of Canadian dance as integral to society is the overarching demand for quality artistic creation and presentation, a quality of which Canadians can be proud and that demands increased understanding and celebration on the part of Canadian citizens.