Optimising Support in Dance Performance


Rambert, Songs of a Wayfarer
Dancers: Ana Lujan Sanchez and Thomasin Gulgec
Choreographer: Kim Brandstrup
Photographer: Anthony Crickmay

At present virtually every dance company has to operate within highly challenging conditions. Companies face longer performing seasons, sometimes hundreds of performances a year, many weeks on the road, growing demands of technical excellence, diversity of dance vocabularies and a consistently high level of performance. Moreover, companies operate within very tight budgets which inevitably affects every aspects of their operation including the staging of new productions, shortening rehearsing periods and access to specialised support.

Dance is frequently called an athletic art form. In fact, sport is the closest performing domain and faces very similar organisational and individual challenges to dance. Sport science has made a noticeable impact on sport in terms of progress and development, whereas dance science is only making its first steps towards optimising dance performance. Nonetheless, with all the obvious similarities between sport and dance these domains also have significant differences, therefore, it is important to demonstrate a level of caution and understanding in terms of the transfer of knowledge and expertise from sport to dance.

by Misha Botting and Prof. David Collins

Optimising Support in Dance Performance

Originally published in Dance UK  magazine, Issue 56 – Spring 2005