The Boeing Company just gave Neta Pulvermacher a bullhorn loud enough to be heard coast to coast: Her program The A.W.A.R.D. Show!, born at Joyce SoHo three years ago, has received a shot in the arm from the aerospace giant to set up satellite operations in Chicago, Seattle and Philadelphia beginning this summer.
Pulvermacher loves an acronym–the program’s name stands for Artists With Audiences Responding to Dance, and audiences are encouraged to assess candidate choreography according to criteria abbreviated as P.O.E.M. (Potential, Originality, Execution and Merit). It may be a little too cute, sure, but the concept is sound: Assume intelligence on the part of the viewer, and let them respond freely to the work while taking into consideration what they think the choreographer meant to communicate. We may be deeply entrenched in the era of lowest-common-democracy but if a respect for and acknowledgment of process is built into the discussion, shouldn’t the audience vote be welcomed with or without a grain of salt?
There’s a good amount of fine print about The A.W.A.R.D. Show! but the vital info for you Chicagoans is this: Choreographers’ applications are due for all four cities by 5:30pm Tuesday, March 31. Thereafter, twelve candidates will be selected and their entries will be performed at the Dance Center at Columbia College, four per night, June 24-26. On June 27, three finalists (one from each night) will receive a second showing, after which a winner–chosen jointly according to the P.O.E.M. by the audience and an expert panel–will be showered with $10,000 to make a new work, whose premiere A.W.A.R.D. helps publicize. Runners-up each receive $1,000.
Stoked? Download the Chicago application and get crackin’–March 31 is barely a month away. Merde!