2011 Choreographer Survey Highlights

In March and April 2011, to gauge interest in our CREATION IN MOTION program, we sent an online Choreographer Survey to 38 American contemporary modern dance choreographers. We received 42 responses, which shows that the survey was popular enough to be passed around.

  • 72% of the respondents were extremely to very receptive to being observed and documented by a professional visual artist while making a new dance. 28% were receptive to somewhat receptive.
  • 79% of the respondents were extremely to very interested in participating in research projects focused on their creative process. 14% were interested and 7% were somewhat interested. Research projects could involve interviews, talk-aloud protocols, video, film, or photography to be included in exhibitions or written about in scholarly articles on the psychology of the creative process.
  • Manuscript material includes notes, sketches, journal entries, excerpts from grant proposals, performance programs, costume renderings and set design plans. 54% of the respondents would be extremely to very willing to lend their manuscript material related to the making of a new dance to a temporary exhibition focused on their choreographic process. 32% were willing and 14% were somewhat willing. Several choreographers said they would also be willing to lend actual costumes, choreographic structures, choreographic notation and documentation of production meetings.
  • The average maximum number of visual artists the respondents would be comfortable with AT ONE TIME in the studio is two. Most of the respondents would limit the number of hours of documentation during rehearsal per week to 2-6 hours. Five respondents, however, would allow documentation during half their rehearsal period, and six respondents would not limit the hours per week for documentation.
  • 77% of the respondents were extremely to very receptive to being filmed discussing their choreographic process. 23% were receptive.

Selected Survey Comments
The mind and its motivations, and the investigation of the creative process have always been of interest to me.
-Elisa Monte, Artistic Director, Elisa Monte Dance

The elusive process of dance-making requires informed observation of another artist who would then document it in his or her own medium, creating a parallel work.
-David Parker, The Bang Group

The dance-making process is unique, specific, real and transformative.  It needs - no it begs - to be shared and appreciated. I believe in the inter-relatedness of ALL the arts!
-Deborah Mauldin, American Dance Guild

The process is so elusive. The general public should have a look inside what we do.
-Deborah Lohse, Artistic Director, ad hoc Ballet

Collaborating with artists of different mediums contributes to my artistic growth.
-Sharon Estacio, Choreographer

It is important to document the process and usually I am too busy to document. Usually we just document the final performance, but the process is interesting.

I'd like there to be more dialogue between dancers and visual artists, and I'd like people to have access to what goes into the process of making dance. The process is the best part!