The most wonderful time of the year has passed and the champagne bubbles have fizzled out, so ready or not, APAP/NYC 2017 is here! The Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ conference kicks off today and continues through January 10. It’s an amazing opportunity for dance companies to connect with presenters—but also a maddening whirlwind or showcases and other events. Three participants fess up about what they can’t stand and what they love most about the conference.
Elise King, dancer with Jennifer Muller/The Works:
Hate: APAP is unfortunately always scheduled during the first week everyone gets back from holiday break, so it sort of hangs over your head during Christmas and then you only have one week to prepare.
Hate: I’ve literally put on a costume in the stairwell at Ailey between two company showcases. It’s stressful for dancers, hoping your showcases don’t overlap, or that you’ll have time to get from City Center to Ailey. It forces you to be really professional and get in the performance mindframe quickly!
Love: Being part of the energy from the whole dance community. Seeing other choreographers and dancers is a great way to begin a new year.
Tiffany Rea-Fisher, director of Elisa Monte Dance:
Hate: January is a horrible time of year. It’s a nightmare to pull together performances right then for people that hold our livelihood in their hands. But we always get it done!
Love: As a new director, I really love the social aspect. I can reconnect with friends and other new directors from far away. Last year, these connections led to a number of opportunities for the company—it took the stress off counting the number of presenter’s badges in our audience!
Love: I use the fall to create, so APAP is typically the first time I see life breathed into new works, see audience reactions and see the company perform as a whole. After 12 or 13 years attending, I can definitely say it is worth the challenges. Even if you don’t get booked directly, the connections eventually bear fruit!
Marc Bamuthi Joseph, chief of program and pedagogy for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Hate: APAP is like Burning Man for arts presenters: You’re never going to get around the whole ‘playa;’ there is no way to instantly transport yourself from the Public Theater to City Center. I’ve learned to pace myself and not over-schedule.
Love: I love the volume of performances, love that you can stumble into excellence. APAP is one of the greatest concentrations of performing artists, and I always leave motivated and inspired.