For most dance teachers and dance studio owners, January means one thing: recital season! Time to start pulling together a theme, a piece of music and creating innovative choreography. Each choreographer has their own methodology of crafting their work whether it be alone with their iPod or maybe a collaboration with another teacher. But have you ever asked the general public what they might be interested in seeing?
Diablo Ballet of Walnut Creek, California is doing just that by pushing the boundary with a new piece called The Web Ballet. They are actually asking their followers to suggest ideas for this new ballet by Tweeting to Diablo Ballet’s Twitter Page (@DiabloBallet) about how they want the dancers to feel, the entire mood of the work and even specific dance moves or steps they would like to see with the hashtag #DiabloWebBallet.
They can also help decide the musical selection. Followers can visit Diablo Ballet’s YouTube page and “Like” their favorite out of 3 pieces composed by Sibelius, Vivaldi or Bach.
These are the types of risks and challenges more dance companies should take on. Being able to merge the classical nature of dance with a technology focused generation will not only grow their following, but will help maintain audience through online interaction. For example, I followed Diablo Ballet on Twitter via my personal Twitter handle @akrejny and within minutes I was followed back. A personal touch like that can go a long way with building rapport.
If you are interested in participating, you have until the February 14th deadline so start getting your creative ideas flowing! After the 14th, seven of the best suggestions will be chosen by Diablo Ballet’s dancer Robert Dekkers and Diablo Ballet’s Artistic Director Lauren Jonas. In just two weeks, The Web Ballet will be performed on March 1st and 2nd at Shadelands Arts Center Auditorium in Walnut Creek, California. The users who tweeted the winning suggestions will receive free tickets to the performance.