The intention of Broadway Dance Lab is to create a safe environment for choreographers of all backgrounds wishing to explore dance and dance driven stories away from the pressures and influences normally associated with commercial production. We believe the freedom to follow the artistic impulse will inevitably result in the development of new musicals with strong dance elements.
Broadway has a long history of being influenced by multiple forms of dance and a variety of choreographic styles. It is BDL’s philosophy that by “reaching across the aisle” we will encourage the growth and expansion of dance for the musical stage. Broadway Dance Lab invites and encourages choreographers of all backgrounds to come explore their voices and test their dance-driven ideas. BDL believes in the power of possibility and we strive to nurture unique voices and the future of Broadway dance.
Our goal is to eventually have a home of our own. Until we find that perfect spot, we rent appropriately sized space on an hourly basis from independently owned facilities throughout New York City.
Adequate space to create large dance pieces (pole free, sprung floors, mirrors, etc.) can run up to $75/hour. Sometimes even more!
Broadway Dance Lab is committed to its mission to pay highly trained professionals for their services. The Lab aims to retain the best dancers in the business in order to give choreographers of all backgrounds the most sophisticated talent with which to explore their movement. This is only possible by offering a competitive salary. Like any company, Broadway Dance Lab is looking to assemble a group of people who can build trust with one another and this takes a solid commitment of time. We believe that time is valuable.
In February 2012, Dance/NYC, a non-profit organization serving the dance community in New York City, released their “Dance Workforce Census” – an in depth look into how 1,231 dance workers make their living in the city of New York. The results were staggering. The study found that the average professional dancer in NYC earns a mere $28,000 a year, and only 55% of this from jobs in dance. ”Although a few national data sets contain the numbers of dancers and choreographers working in the United States, they rarely dive as deeply as this report does into just how many jobs are a part of the ecosystem—or how dance workers must rely on their ingenuity to survive in the existing environment”¦For the future of the art form, we—all of us together—need to invest and think creatively about how to improve the lives of our workers, establish viable career paths, and nourish future leaders.” (It’s very likely that this survey reached predominantly concert dancers, and it is interesting to note that “Broadway Dance” was ranked lowest on these dancers’ list of “Most Popular Dance Genres.”)
To read the Dance NYC study, click HERE
A concert dancer refers to someone who dances in a dance company. “Martha Graham” and “Alvin Ailey”, for instance, utilize the talents of concert dancers. Concert dancers are trained to work in a medium which uses the body as the primary mode of expression. Broadway Dance Lab invites dancers of all backgrounds to be involved in the creation of new dances made in the Broadway style. Many gifted dancers are discouraged from auditioning for Broadway shows due to the high vocal demands. Broadway Dance Lab is looking to reach out to those professionals and invite them to participate in the creation of Broadway style works.
Although the dancers in the Lab do not have to sing, we do believe well-rounded performers are a staple in Musical Theater. Broadway Dance lab simply focusses on the dance elements, allowing choreographers to channel their creative energy into the movement. Much like a composer might go to work at a piano (without his or her singers) and script-writer may go to work at a computer (without his or her actors), we allow space for the choreographer to go to work on the dance. Other elements may certainly follow as needed.