Investigations Into The Contemporary Dance Company

Senior Morgan Beckwith will intern with Mystic Ballet professional dance company to gain inside knowledge about the administrative and artistic sides of a successful contemporary dance company. Follow her blog

Spring of 2013 Southern Methodist University’s Engaged Learning program awarded me with a $2,000 grant in order to effectively enhance my SMU education by exploring  outside the boundaries of the classroom.

For the duration of my project, (“Investigations into the Contemporary Dance Company”), I will be interning with The Mystic Ballet in order to gain inside knowledge about the administrative and artistic sides of a successful non-profit contemporary dance company.

With the help of my mentor, Shelly Berg, I plan to conduct a series of interviews along with real-time observations and research on the creation of artistic product and the way in which Mystic Ballet engages with the community.

As an SMU dancer I have been privileged enough to be involved with numerous rehearsals and performances within the dance community. Everything from performing with the Graham company on the Winspear stage to reconstructing a Joffery ballet with Mia Wilkins has prepared me to take the next step in my dance career. However, I found myself wondering about the actuality of working for a dance organization in today’s society: salary, contractual rights, touring, and community engagement to name a few. While there is a vast variety of management and business plan styles within the dance community I thought I would investigate one in hopes of revealing some of the realities of the way a non-profit dance company operates.

I hope to bring back this information to the SMU dance department and whoever else is interested in the larger dance administration and performance world.

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About Meleah Harris

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