Fresh Tracks at DTW

Put on my wellies and slogged through the slushfest last night to attend Dance Theater Workshop’s “Fresh Tracks” benefit.  It was well worth it. If this particular program (for this 45-year old series) is an accurate barometer of our current artistic atmosphere, I’d forecast rich days ahead for dance.  I’ll admit, despite being a loyal and supportive board member at DTW with my own FT story, I’ve not often walked away from this emerging choreographer showcase cheering a hokey “hooray for dance!”  But, last night I did.  The works by Vanessa Anspaugh, Jen McGinn, Liz Santoro, Eleanor Smith, Makiko Tamura, and Enrico Wey were each singularly strong and all exceptionally vibrant.  There was crackle, craft, poignancy, provocation, form, presence, thought, and wit running rampant throughout the show.

It’s incredible to feel charged and challenged by a rising generation of creative voices and to feel a particular kind of hopefulness, knowing that these artists are now only beginning the substantial component of their Fresh Tracks experience.  Besides presentation at DTW the artists are provided with a 50-hour creative residency and professional development workshops in marketing and fundraising strategies.  They’re also participating in dialogue sessions with Artistic Advisor Levi Gonzalez, facilitating open discussion about their creative process and providing a valuable opportunity to build community and discourse.  This all comes after this performance week, speaking to the need for artists to get more than just a gig and providing the field with a few better prepared members.

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