Posted 25 December 2001 - 11:32 AM
"Everyone is well aware of what could be called the Joffrey Syndrome -- a few years ago that dance company, in a move to attract younger audiences, commissioned a work to music by Prince. That work, "Billboards," toured college campuses and was a brilliant success. But the company's core audience was alienated, the kids didn't come back for more, and before too long the Joffrey was facing bankruptcy (though not entirely because of "Billboards"). The company survived and moved to Chicago.
"The message from that experience was to avoid playing exclusively to any single audience segment."
The writer writes on the arts but is not specifically a dance person, so I was surprised at the terminology. I've heard people, in conversation, refer to "Billboards syndrome" but I didn't know it had entered common parlance.
(My take on this article: Despite a rather off-putting, to me, opening, it's one of the first I read that emphasizes that older people have ALWAYS made up the audiences for music, theater and dance, and that the reason young people aren't coming to performances is that they haven't been brought up to view theatergoing as something that's a normal and pleasurable part of adulthood.
Posted 25 December 2001 - 03:48 PM
I had a feeling with the work that it was almost in the form of a "piéce d'occasion" the occasion being the draining of company operating capital.
I do not believe that the company would mount a new work like "Billboards" now, as the exigencies of good show business do not require it, however I would agree that dedicating one's whole effort to pleasing one audience segment is not usually a sensible thing to do. That is why the Joffrey's eclecticism has made it last as long as it has, and bodes to promote its continued survival.
Posted 25 December 2001 - 05:11 PM
Posted 04 January 2002 - 08:51 PM
The point about us younguns not being brought up to go to the theater is true and untrue. Many of us were taught that going to a live performance was a part of adult life, but for most of my friends and acquaintances, it is too expensive.
Posted 08 January 2002 - 03:22 AM
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