Yesterday I heard two different people in two very different contexts say the word(s) producer-type-people.
In our planning for Pause. Listen., Chisato Ohno, Jackie Shemesh and I thought about various strategies for the work to be seen by people other than the dance community. One solution was to request that people who bought two tickets (for the price of one) should ask someone who had never watched contemporary dance before to come with them.
We are interested in what this simple request might be like for the person invited, and how it might influence the experience of the person who made the invitation. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that this could play an important part in how the work is seen.1
By and large, people are responding very positively to this request: for some it’s difficult finding someone who hasn’t seen contemporary dance, for others the request has been a tremendous pleasure.
It is the first instance of the producer-type-people that I want to describe.
At the Box Office at The Place one of the staff members mentioned that we need to have single tickets available for the performance for people who only want to come by themselves. This seems smart, although not in the spirit of our request. She then mentioned that two or three “producer type people” had explicitly clarified that they only wanted one ticket.
How is it that someone so experienced in watching dance can’t imagine that the act of choosing someone to invite to the performance2 might be an important part of how the work is seen, experienced, thought through and talked about?
I appreciate that when you are a producer-type-person you end up watching a lot of dance, and perhaps this request might feel like a gimmick (it isn’t meant to be). But, it’s disheartening at best, kind of lazy, and feels more than a little arrogant.
Shame on you producer-type-people.
By the way, there are only 30 seats available for each of the five performances of Pause. Listen. so if you are interested to see Chisato Ohno dancing then probably best not to delay too long. You can buy tickets at www.theplace.org.uk/simon-ellis-chisato-ohno-and-jackie-shemesh — just select two tickets @ £15 and the total will be £15.
See here for some of John McGrath’s writing about how broadly we can think of the performance experience: https://www.skellis.net/blog/passing-by↩︎
Preferably someone who hasn’t seen contemporary dance before, but it’s not like we are going to be checking up on them.↩︎