What do you?
We produce things.
What sorts of things do you produce?
Dance concerts, music concert, theatrical events, readings, plays, concerts- we produce all sorts of things.
Why Moving Beauty as a name?
It follows the poem, ‘That which moves is beautiful.’ So, ‘The Moving Beauty Series’ because we put on things that move our audiences and that innately involve movement.
Where are you based?
Primarily NYC. However we have also shown work in France, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Iceland. The idea of Moving Beauty is that we go wherever we want to go.
Why don’t you have a permanent office?
Because diverting funds to maintain overhead and an address is silly. This series was literally created so that the artistic director would not have to write, ‘Juan Michael Porter II presents’ every time he produced something. There is nothing wrong with putting your name out there, however when you are frequently directing or performing in a piece that you have a hand in producing, writing ‘I wrote, directed, am starring in, and produced this piece’ feels like too much.
How do I get involved?
Participating in one of the many events or showcases we produce every year is the best way. Most people with whom we work are approached and recruited after having participated in one of these events. The second best way to get involved is to write a letter of introduction, explain an idea you have, and then request a meeting with us. We have an open door policy for ideas and are fans of people reaching out to us.
Why multimedia? Why not stick to one medium?
a.) Look at dance. Dance usually involves music, theatre, movement, costuming- it is rarely a pure solo medium based form; in practice and performance, dance is naturally a multimedia based form.
b.) Art is information that operates on a certain frequency. Each medium of art has its own special frequency. When you consider that dance puts out a specific frequency, and that music puts out its own frequency, and that lighting puts out its own frequency and so on and so forth- pretty soon you realize that it’s all a bunch of informational frequencies being absorbed by at different rates. Some people connect better with the visual frequency, some with the musical frequency, some through poetic, others through movement- in the name of storytelling, I give people numerous options for connecting to the piece because I want my audience to walk away with something and multimedia- for me- is the best method for accomplishing this.
Art is a communicative tool that establishes rapport with and expands the minds of the audience. That can be through entertainment, through subversion, through honesty, through boasting… art has many forms- some better than others- as long as it is communicating something it is probably art.
How did you get involved at Webster Hall?
A friend of mine attended one of my shows. She was working at Webster Hall and based upon my work she invited me to meet with the Director and from there I was commissioned to create a piece. I suppose the basic answer is, I knew someone and worked my butt of to impress her and her boss. Luckily, I succeeded.
What did you do at Webster Hall?
A LOT of stuff. I produced many concerts, presented hundreds of artists, created numerous new works, developed pieces, assigned commissions and stipends, ran salons, assisted my colleagues in production, created contests, ran lights and sound, scrubbed floors, ran meetings, coaxed and threatened people- you name it, I probably did it. This was all in the name of raising the profile of concert dance and art on the whole by making use of the wonderful venue.
Why did you leave Webster Hall?
I needed a change and… I felt that I was becoming lazy in producing. I.e. relying too heavily on the awesome name and prestige of Webster Hall without really doing all the nitty gritty ground work and recruiting that goes into producing. To be sure, I worked my butt off while at Webster Hall. Being there and having that ‘power’ definitely made things easier for me but it also removed me from certain aspects of producing to which I like being privy at all times.
Where do you produce now?
Anywhere with a good floor, and a good dance floor at that. I am not just a dancer but so much of what I do has a dance component to it so I have to make sure that the spaces I book have that going for it. Since leaving Webster Hall, I have produced at Dixon Place, The Church for All Nations, The Button Theatre, and now The Secret Theatre. I think The Secret Theatre has the best floor of them all.
How did you get started?
The short version is that a friend of mine said, ‘You have to hear this song’, and I responded, ‘We have to make something out of this song’. You can read (and SEE) the long version here.
Name some of your highlights.
Wow- I have so many.
Commissioning and premiering 4 separate pieces from Yasuhiko Fukuoka is huge for me.
Booking and presenting Michael Mao Dance in The Grand Ballroom is definitely one of my biggest accomplishments on a professional level.
Establishing Andrew J Nemr as The Artist in Residence and personally managing/producing all of his appearances at Webster Hall is major.
Creating Plastic & Heart Ache with Yvonne Ng and David Friend (the commission that brought me to Webster Hall)- without that, I would never have had the experience.
Writing and creating ‘light whiskey… & parting’ for Jennifer Mushkin was a dream come true.
Presenting hundreds of dance companies in that amazing space is something I will never forget.
Commissioning and producing Andrew J Nemr in his first solo concert….
Presenting Blakeley White-McGuire in her NYC premiere concert.
Helping to cultivate the artistic voices of Cameron McKinney, Rohan Bhargava, Joe Monteleone, Aaron McGloin, and Janice Rosairo stands as one of the best things I’ve done in a while.
I have A LOT of highlights.
Where do you see The Moving Beauty Series going from here?
Honestly- I see us expanding our roster and establishing a number of initiatives that raise awareness of possibilities for artists. While I love being able to work with whom ever I want through this Series, I don’t want it to become this sort of club where only people who are in the know get produced. I want to reach out and meet new people.
What are your initiatives?
To empower artists is number 1. Artists too frequently look to others to show their work when they could easily do so for themselves. I think this knowledge and awareness is terribly important if only because it makes the artist aware of what is NOT acceptable. Being an artist is not easy- production should be AND easily is when those who are on the production end mind their P’s and Q’s. Too many artists are taken advantage of or are given poor showings because something as simple as sweeping the floor was neglected. My number one initiative is to make artists demand that excellence be the norm.
That’s a lot.
I know. And it’s not impossible.
Getting artists more involved in their community by getting them to show their work outside of the ‘stage’. We live in New York City. You are legally allowed to show your work anywhere in public as long as it does not obstruct traffic or lower the quality of life standard. That offers a lot of options to be seen and more importantly to inspire someone. My 2nd top initiative is encouraging artists to expose their work to people who might otherwise never experience it.
How does one participate in these initiatives?
Well, anyone can do this. Just go out and do it. If you would like to do it with The Moving Beauty Series or with our support- write us and let us know what you are doing. Chances are, I’ll support you or at the very least throw you some hard learned valuable advice. Click here to contact us.
Where do you get your capital?
I work my butt off to remain a private presenter. Every once in a while I will partner with another person to raise capital but by and large this is a self-funded endeavour.
Why do you do this?
Because I can. That is snarky sounding. Because I don’t think other people are doing it and because I believe there is a need for it. Since I am able to do it- I do it.
Any advice to aspiring producers?
Before you produce anything, ask yourself, ‘Do I actually want to do this?’ Ask yourself this again a week later. If the answer is still yes, look at your idea and come up with a budget for how much it will cost to put it on at the most expensive and then come up with a budget for how much it will cost at the very cheapest (that is with you sacrificing a lot). Then find a crew of people you trust to work with you and support you, find and secure a space, and do the darn thing. Production is nothing more than throwing a party; if you can thrown a good party then you can produce a show.
© 2017 MOVING BEAUTY SERIES | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED