Presenting Dance in Unconventional Performance Settings
This research investigates the challenges, opportunities, and best practices for the presentation of dance in unconventional performance settings, defined as performance locations which are not conventional to a particular dance form. Presenting dance in unconventional performance settings can be a powerful tool for both presenters and artists to access new audiences and create a deeper impact with their art. Unconventional spaces can lift up the field as whole by providing multiple ways in for new communities to the art of dance. However, when removing dance from its performance conventions presenters face a new set of challenges. A review of the available literature uncovers some key motivations for performing arts participation and a lack of research specifically surrounding dance in alternative locations. Interviews with twenty professionals doing this work in the field are utilized to develop a more complete picture of the use of unconventional spaces in the field of dance. The paper concludes with a list of best practices to address challenges surrounding authenticity, logistics, audience engagement, and audience development.