Questions of Practice: Pew Fellow Tania Isaac on Audience Expectations

“There is a hunger for a conversation about process,” says dancer and choreographer Tania Isaac, when asked about changes in audience expectations. Isaac explains that more audience members are interested in the how and why of a performance—that “they want to feel creative in their own respect.” She is currently at work on a creative method she calls the “Open Notebook”—a way of turning a room into a laboratory of investigation and participatory dance.

Tania Isaac, choreographer and 2011 Pew Fellow, speaks on audience expectations. Filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on November 17, 2014.

Caribbean-American dancer-choreographer Tania Isaac (b. 1975) was named one of “25 to watch” by Dance Magazine in 2006, and received a Pew Fellowship in 2011. She has penned articles on dance scholarship for publications such as the anthology Making Caribbean Dance (University Press of Florida, 2010), and is an assistant teaching professor at Drexel University.

Grants & Grantees

King Britt is on a journey, exploring the patchwork of rhythmic textures from many urban dance music cultures: deep house, hip-hop, broken beat, nu-jazz, funk, and afro-tech.

Collaborators & Colleagues

James Fei is an active composer and performer on saxophones and live electronics and an associate professor of electronic arts at Mills College in Oakland, where he has taught since 2006. He served as a Center music panelist in 2013, and an LOI panelist for Performance in 2015.

Cliveden, an 18th-century historic site once owned by the Chew family, envisioned new interpretive strategies and a series of programs based on its history of enslavement.

Grants & Grantees

Major Jackson is a poet and a 1995 Pew Fellow.

2013 Pew Fellow J. Louise Makary’s works on film combine dance, still photography, and experimental techniques, introducing unexpected, challenging elements into traditional narrative structure.

Bartram’s Garden’s new nursery propagates and promotes native plants, including some first discovered by the Bartram family, the founders of the 45-acre National Historic Landmark.

Grants & Grantees

Since 1993, Headlong Dance Theater has created over 40 works under the leadership of founders David Brick, Andrew Simonet, and Amy Smith.

Philadelphia choreographer Nichole Canuso presents a solo performance that uses personal reminiscences and universal yearnings to explore the relationship between memory and self.

Hip-hop dancer and Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier talks about how performing on the street differs from performing on stage.

Grants & Grantees

Settlement Music School is one of the country’s oldest and largest community music education organizations.

Filmmaker Heidi Saman’s film Namour is acquired for theatrical and on-demand distribution, theater artist Geoff Sobelle presents The Object Lesson at New York Theatre Workshop, and composer Jennifer Higdon is nominated for two Grammy Awards.

Grants & Grantees

Richard Torchia is a visual artist and a 1994 Pew Fellow, and the director of the Arcadia University Art Gallery.