Monday, April 4, 2016

What goes on my CV and where? - commission vs. instruction

Your CV is as unique as you are. Everyone doesn't fit into a little box and neither should the way we present ourselves. That being said, each industry needs some working definitions and guidelines. People working within the same field need to be on the same page and be unified in talking with people outside of their industry. Specifically, we as dancers need to understand what we're saying so we can communicate with non-dancers about our work, performances, and why dance education and performance needs to be funded!

I offer these.


Commission - a. to bring (something newly produced) into working order. From a Latin word meaning "to entrust" (from a Google search).
                        b. a work created by an artist and paid for by an individual or institution, outside of or in addition to other existing professional agreements (my own informed definition).

Repertory - a. performance of various plays, operas, or ballets by a company at regular, short intervals (from a Google search)
                   b. work in the lineage of the choreographer or company (my own informed definition)
                   c. a class in which students are lead by a professional choreographer through the creative process, usually resulting in a performance (my own informed definition).

Q: If I'm teaching a Repertory Class at an institution, and I'm being paid to create choreography on them, am I being commissioned?

A: Based on the above definitions, no. The professional title for that instance is Professor (Lecturer, Adjunt Faculty, etc) of Repertory.

Q: If I'm paid to set choreography on a group of students/ individuals/ company outside of the classroom setting, am I being commissioned?

A: Based on the above definitions, yes.

Separate the work you've done by titles. Some examples are: Studio Teaching; University/ College Teaching. Professional Commissions. Theatre Commissions.

I've also been encouraged to have an appendix to my CV, listing and detailing the courses I've taught and the choreography I've created. This, too could be separated in categories (i.e., Professional, University/ College, Studio/ Competition). For example:

Teaching College/ University
Ballet, all levels
Modern Dance, all levels
Improvisation, beginner

Teaching Studio/ Community
Ballet, all levels, child to professional
Modern Dance, intermediate-advanced, teen-professional
Tap, beginner, child to adult

(in)visible veins: Rivers Merge. 26 minutes. Site-specific Modern Dance. 23 performers, college students and professionals.
Have a Little Faith in Me. 4.30 minutes. Lyrical. 5 performers, age 11-14.

What's worked for you?

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