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Make art from the soul, not art to be sold.

As the clock passes midnight, and the ‘creative night burst’ begins, I sit here and ponder the future of the company I wish to begin. I ask myself ‘what should the company be?’, ‘how can I show who really I am and what I represent?’ and “should I be more like this, or like that?’. Working over the years, I have gained some knowledge of the scene and come across many different companies, and I see many similarities within them that would make me think twice if I were to replicate them. Yet still, they are successful, funded and popular companies.

I see a lot of companies...A LOT, of companies who are producing incredibly sub-standard work yet are continually touring and well-funded throughout the year. And choreographers, who make European circuits creating similar looking work in each establishment. Alongside this, applying for funding seems to be a genuine art form in itself, with a seemingly endless line of ‘flaming hoops’ that one must jump through in order to even be put into consideration of receiving any support, but that is a separate problem in itself. However, what is clear to see, is that the word ‘commercial’ has most definitely seeped into the contemporary world.

I don’t mean ‘commercial dance’, the term used for more television-based media, of which I am also a fan of. I mean ‘commercial contemporary dance’. This trend of branding yourself and your work with an esoteric name, then charging unbelievable amounts of money for (sometimes) unoriginal workshops or performances. Facebook has without a doubt been a catalyst for the rise in this commercial wave. Have artist pages, Instagram videos of rehearsals, and companies participating in the newest viral trend (think Mannequin Challenge) all in some way contributed to a ‘cheapening’ of the work? It’s hard to say. But we’re working in the contemporary dance field. Working (hopefully) with the concept that what we are producing is original and new, and is ideally pushing the boundaries of where art can go. We should be reflecting on the world around us because we are the voice of this generation and no one else ever will be. It’s just us. And settling for being ‘a part of the machine’ should be called out for the injustice to this generation that it is.

Perhaps here, I should state, that of course, this is all a subjective opinion. There are those that would say I couldn’t be further from the truth. However, I think it is important to voice this opinion. I should be honest with myself. Even within the ethos of ‘helping the dance community grow together’, I still feel we should call bullshit on companies that concen