“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” – Twyla Tharp

All photos by Yi-Chun Wu

I adore dance. I especially love to think of myself as a dancer, all evidence to the contrary.  I always intend to support dance more – but never quite get around to it. My New Yorker friend Martha Sherman does support dance – and puts her money where her heart is. Here is Martha’s pas de deux with her fave:

Dance Theater Workshop www.dancetheaterworkshop.org is home to some of the most powerful and risk-taking dance and performance art being produced today. DTW started as a choreographers’ collective in 1965, and has been developing and supporting dance artists every since. This past fall, provocative and fun performances were given by Tere O’Connor, Lucy Guerin, Neal Medlyn, Doug Elkins and David Parker, among many others. We are so lucky to have artists like these — and Dance Theater Workshop is the place that nurtures, shows, and makes a home for them.

DTW is a place where artists can experiment and innovate. The choreographers, dancers, musicians, videographers, filmmakers, puppeteers have a beautiful stage to work on, plus there are two studios where artists can rent subsidized space to rehearse, build new ideas, and collaborate with each other. Betty’s $100 can give a choreographer up to 10 hours of studio time – that’s time enough for many artists to create a new work!

The “Fresh Tracks” program gives new young artists their first big break on a major New York stage, with 50 hours of creative residency time in the studios. Some of the people who got their start in “Fresh Tracks” or performed in the earliest phases or their careers include luminaries such as Bill T. Jones, Lar Lubovich, Whoopi Goldberg, Donald Byrd, Susan Marshall, Reggie Wilson and so many more.

If you appreciate creativity, if you like art with an edge, if you are a dance fan, or just love to people watch, you’ll love Dance Theater Workshop. On performance nights, there is free wine after every performance, conversation with the artists, and an engaging staff of “dance docents” to discuss the work  with you. Lots of people get nervous around modern dance, thinking they should “figure it out” – but at Dance Theater Workshop, you are welcome to wonder, to question, and to make up your own mind.

Come see a performance! You can find DTW on Facebook and Twitter, and don’t miss some of the great YouTube clips. With DTW, you never know what you’ll see – and the adrenaline rush of this work is like no other!

Supporting the arts is always something that makes me feel virtuous – and much more flexible. My $100 today goes to Dance Theatre Workshop in NYC – dance on!