In an age when venue rentals, tech design and marketing can cost you three months rent and food, the Fringe Festival offers the relief of providing logistical support to help make every show a possibility.
Artists are given the breathing room to really buckle down and create, focus on movement rather than e-mailing, calling, fundraising and scheduling; elements that detract from the creative process and often wear down on the original creative vision.
Participating in the 2015 Atlantic Fringe Festival meant that I, as an emerging artist was able to choreograph and produce a 50 minute production involving 6 dancers on a very limited budget. The ability to offer an affordable ticket price to the community allowed for more exposure for myself as a choreographer and the dancers, within a broader audience under the umbrella of this beloved festival 25 years running. On top of these privileges was the exposure to critical artists above and beyond the forum of dance professionals I’m already active in.
The acceptance of the Atlantic Fringe Festival highlighted in the very name itself allows one to truly explore their artistic voice, dissolving the limitations posed by many of the very community supports we depend on to commission creative works. It is truly a gift to have the opportunity to ignore standards upheld within an already established community and blaze your own trail without consideration for whether or not it is ready for critique by the expert and trained eye.
The Fringe Festival, locally is one of the most truly open forums for artists to gather and express their real ideas, engage in important conceptualization, make mistakes but also be viewed by an active following of audience members. Because unlike many of the expectations of perfection within our society, art is never finished. Artists are never truly established, have never expressed their ideas to the full extent to which they can sigh and call it a day. By the time an artist becomes part of a certain niche or elitist artistic practice, the rough edges that makes their art palpable and alive have been smoothed down by requirements and restrictions left by the generation before. Is the project artistically viable? Does it live up to the tastes of the arts councils, the judging panels, the curators? If the artist is given no chance to see their work on stage, to make errors in the process, to fudge details how do they hone their craft?
If a child learning a language calls an “ambulance” an “ambliance” do we silence them? Do we tell them to shush until they have mastered the English language? The very nature of lottery performance creates this pure acceptance of whatever the visionary can muster. And isn’t that true art? Otherwise don’t we become Andy Warhol’s soup cans? The Fringe Festival allows for performers, in whatever form to continue their journey, stumbling along the way, to present at their fullest potential and dream further into the future with the experience of a full production in their tool kit.
Rather than writing of each dance show presented in the Atlantic Fringe Festival 2015 I would just like to say this. Congratulations for taking advantage of this forum, for taking the time and effort to present dance works and may I say thank you for being alongside with me representing dance in an effort to expose our city to this integral art form.
Here are some links to the dance shows that were featured in this year’s festival