Dance and the Future: Sustainable Contemporary Practices for the 21st Century


Arts and cultural organisations today need to have relevance in order for participants and audiences to survive economic, environmental, social and technological changes (Kaiser, 2015, p. 36). Sustainability is an important consideration for all future businesses in the context of contemporary disruptive trends and has been become increasingly integral to doing business in any industry (Bertels, Papania, & Papania, 2010, p. 8). As an interdisciplinary art form (Brannigan, 2010, p. 2) underpinned by co-creative processes that value ‘reciprocity, inclusion and collaboration’ (Fitzgerald, 2017, p. 1) for creators, participants and audiences, dance is well positioned to drive substantial change in 21st Century thinking and practices. Many disciplines utilise dance theories and practices to explore movement and social connections (Biehl-Missal & Springborg, 2015, p. 3), however challenges continue to be observed regarding cohesiveness, legitimacy and stability for the long-term sustainability of the arts organisation (Brannigan, 2010, p. 6).
This research project explores how and to what effect the term ‘sustainability’ is currently being used in arts practice and organisations' business models. Three themes including sustainability, community arts and socially engaged practice, and cultural entrepreneurship underpin the research methodology which utilises a grounded theory and reflective practice approach through the lens of sustainability’s three pillars model: social, economic, and environmental (Throsby, 2017, p. 135). The project is focused on discovering new ways to embed sustainability into arts practice and business models, which seek to elevate a dance organisation's resilience to internal and external changes (Clancy, 2014, p. 180).

Author Information
Sarah Kirkham, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ECAH2019
Stream: Arts - Performing Arts Practices: Theater

This paper is part of the ECAH2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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