- The Dance Journal - http://philadelphiadance.org/blog -

Dance Traditions

[1]It is that time of year again, when productions of the Nutcracker abound. It has become a family tradition and one in which every child can get lost in their own imagination, identifying with the ballet’s heroine and her images of happiness. An incredible score written by Tchaikovsky, great costumes and beautiful dancers offer the perfect introduction to ballet and dance. Or does it?

The hordes of children and families who attend the Nutcracker will rarely be seen in the same theater again or even attend another ballet production. This annual rite is more of an introduction to the Nutcracker, than it is to ballet or even dance performances for that matter.

For many companies, the Nutcracker is their “cash cow”, bringing in audiences on such a scale as to fund both company and future “other” ballet productions. It reaches audiences well beyond their usual subscribers and regular attendees. But wouldn’t it be a novel idea, if this family activity became one for all seasons? And if the same sense of wonderment, that one walks away with after a Nutcracker performance, could be rediscovered again and again with each new dance performance attended?

So by all means attend a production of the Nutcracker this season, but also treat yourself to a myriad of other ballet and dance productions offered throughout the year!  I guarantee the more you see, the more you will want to see!


- Steven Weisz [4]

Founder & Editor
While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70’s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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