There was an overview first on how to find who owns the music that you want to use for a dance production and then how to contact them and pay them the rights. All of the publishers and copyright holders use Google alerts and if you produce a concert with music and don’t clear the rights you will be busted. There were horror stories of people getting charged hundreds of thousands of dollars because they hadn’t cleared the rights.
The morning session I attended was about audience engagement and was more interesting than similar panels I’ve gone to at other conferences. One of the things they talked about was having putting the audience as close to the dancers as possible, so close in fact that you could hear them breathing. This idea that dance should be visceral and that the audience should absolutely know how hard they’re working was intriguing.
The Dance USA opening is inside the theater and the atmosphere here is festive but there are no performances; they’re saving those for Friday night at the Museum of Contemporary Art. For now there’s just a lot of food and booze and happy people mingling. I spoke with several people and all of them were interested in the fact that I am a composer and many of them had worked directly with composers in their productions.
Many directors said that they are commissioning more composed music for their productions. Everyone agreed that there are more opportunities for composers in theater now than ever before.
By Seth Boustead
So, a composer and a new music CD walk into a bar.
We can make composing relevant again. We can answer the question: Why compose now?