Project DARE falls under the umbrella dancers' transition initiative of the Hong Kong Dance Alliance, with the aim of providing induction to dance professionals interested in finding more about career possibilities beyond stage performance.
Talk 1: Dance Education -- "From dance 'teacher' to dance 'educator' - basic concepts of Dance Pedagogy/ Motif Teaching/ Creative Movements"
Being the first talk of the series, it was held on 16 Jan 2012. It was our pleasure to have Miss Yunyu Wang as our speaker. Miss Wang is a certified Labanotation teacher, reconstructor and Laban Movement Analyst. She has a MFA from the University of Illinois and is a founding dancer of Cloud Gate Theatre, Taiwan. Miss Wang is now the President of World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific.
About 50 participants joined the 2-hour talk, during which Miss Wang gave a high level introduction to Laban Movement Analysis. She then placed the concept of "dance education" in front of this theoretical backdrop to explain the difference between teaching "movement" and teaching "dance." Dance students should be encouraged to participate in creating movement and to understand their bodies, the knowledge in Dance Science and the different techniques in Somatics could help dance tutors in planning lesson plans more systematically.
Talk 2: Marketing -Basic concepts of Marketing and Dance Programme Publicity
The discipline of marketing applies not only to commercial sector, but also to dance, especially when artists have to deal with the reality of ticket sales. If the number of tickets sold is a reflection of the marketing effort devoted to the programme, what skills are required to take artists to their goals?
Katy Cheng, Marketing Director of Hong Kong Arts Festival Ltd., spent two hours in the evening of 12 March 2012 with over 20 practicing artists and arts administrators to reveal her experience and "tips" in dance marketing. While touching on basic marketing principles of the 4Ps, positioning, and advertising skills, Katy focused her sharing on case studies that provide real-life examples to close the perception gap of the relationship between "arts" and "sales." She also advised participants that as artists, while they should be dedicated to creating works, they should also be alert to what's happening around them so that their works can more readily relate to audiences, and hence a larger ticker sales potential.
Talk 3: Touring - how to create opportunity and how to nurture future potential
The 3rd talk of Conversation Series explores how emerging artists could get the attention from overseas program buyers and nurture for themselves overseas performance experience. The area of touring is getting more attention partly because of the stagnant audience growth in Hong Kong, and because of globalization trend making the exchange of cultural activities more and more popular.
Our speaker was Elaine Yeung, Chief Manager (Audience Building, Festivals & Entertainment), Leisure and Cultural Services Department, who previously spent a long period of time overseeing cultural exchange events of the LCSD. The talk was intended to be a small-group, cosy discussion on 1st June 2012. Elaine kindly shared her experience with the participants and welcoming took their questions and comments. One important piece of advice by Elaine to young artists was that they should strive for any kind of performing opportunities, regardless of scale, venue or target audiences, because this is the most direct way of creating exposure and remembrance. Also artists should aggressively reach out to producers to introduce themselves, and must maintain a positive attitude when failure calls as reality is harsh and competition keen. An artist's road to success is long and winding, but persistence wins.