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Altogether Different Festival

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Interesting article by Gia Kourlas in today's NYTimes about the Joyce's "Altogether Different" Festival. It raises questions about how to encourage true experimentation in dance.

When Altogether Different Becomes Same Old

hen Altogether Different began in 1986, it was an attempt by the Joyce Theater to showcase the work of young and frequently experimental choreographers. For three weeks in January, young dance makers who normally perform in small downtown spaces are featured for two or three nights on one of the city's most influential mainstream stages. The festival has been credited with helping the careers of Mark Dendy and David Parsons. 

But in recent years, the programming for Altogether Different began to shift away from emerging artists. One of the first signs was the inclusion in 2001 of Karole Armitage. Ms. Armitage's reputation, as the punk rock ballerina, was already internationally established, and she had previously appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Even more surprising was a program called "Black Tie Optional: Irene Hultman & Friends," which consisted of several conventional solos set to popular songs.

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