Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

New NYU Center Dedicated to Studying Art of Ballet

The New York Times reported yesterday on “dancer turned historian” Jennifer Homans and her new academic center at NYU – one dedicated to the study of ballet and other dance forms. In addressing the need for this center, Homans sites her fear that ballet is a dying art form, saying that she hopes her center will bring attention to ballet not just as a form of dance but as “a serious subject of academic inquery” that expands beyond the dance world. She states, “‘We’re in the middle of a completely changing world, and where is this art form? What is it going to become?'”

One of the chief responsibilities of arts and cultural organizations is the preservation of the arts. Highly specialized centers, like the one proposed by Homans, fill an extremely important role in todays world by helping to maintain the study of the arts. Looking at the front page of nearly any major newspaper, one infrequently sees stories about the arts, instead finding headlines about financial crises, war, and terrorist acts. While these stories are certainly extremely important, it is also important to maintain the study of arts – a field that has been relevant to human culture for thousands and thousands of years. Centers dedicated to specializations within the arts do not merely further knowledge in the field, but also help to keep the arts relevant in today’s society. 

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2 comments on “New NYU Center Dedicated to Studying Art of Ballet

  1. torisharbaugh
    September 5, 2014

    First off, thank heavens for foundations like the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that make opportunities like this possible. The current president of the Foundation, Earl Lewis, is a big proponent of connecting university studies to the community (http://www.mellon.org/about_foundation/history) and this new organization confirms his philosophy. There seems to be no better place to institute this organization than at NYU. NYU is notorious for being an artistic campus and is located in one of the cultural hubs of the United States.

    The fact that this new organization is bringing in various disciplines was the part of the article that really jumped out to me. Not only is the dance world going to gain diverse perspective on their artistic field, but it is also drawing in individuals from non-artistic fields. This is a great opportunity for the dance world to impact individuals from other art and academic forms.

    I look forward to seeing how this program develops and the impact it creates. Thank you for sharing this news!

  2. sarasps85
    September 9, 2014

    Very good news. Thank you for the post and comment. I looked into it and found the project “The Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” in 2009.

    http://www.danceheritage.org/treasures.html

    I wish I could have seen this exhibit. However the NYU centre is even a better option, the activities program is very complete.
    Initiatives and organisations like these will not only inspire dance students and choreographers but will also bring more information and awareness to the overall public about the rich heritage of American Dance.

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