Having worked with guest repetiteur Kevin Irving for the past two weeks in preparation for the Butler Ballet’s Midwinter Dance Festival, I wanted to put in a quick plug for I-Dance, the non-profit organization Mr. Irving founded in 2010.
With the intriguing mission of choreographic exchange between the U.S. and countries in Latin America, the organization strives to bring high quality dance teachers and choreographers into contact with some of the poorer or less-exposed regions of Latin America. The mission statement expounds on the need for an international community of dance and the important of broad exposure to global artistic trends.
Even though I-Dance is not affiliated with Butler University, I can’t help but feel a sympathy between the organization and a liberal arts mindset. I know I often wax sentimental (or wane, depending on your perspective) about the liberal arts, but I can’t begin to describe the importance of having a broad worldview, especially as an artist. We cannot make art in a vacuum, and just as all text draws its meaning from other pieces of text, so all art is, even if unwittingly, a reaction to other aspects of life (sorry, I guess I’m waning deconstructionist as well). Like literary scholarship, art functions as part of a wider and longer dialogue. I-Dance, committed to opening that dialogue with places which have been somewhat isolated from the artistic conversation, deserves some sort of liberal arts gold star.
Okay, I’m done mooning over inter- and intra-disciplinary conversation. You can watch this video now.