By Alex Dellaportas – Artistic Director of SYDC
JANUARY 5 2017
When we say ‘arts’, we don’t just mean paint on a canvas.
There are actually many streams of ‘arts’ – and many ways that someone can be an artist and engage with art.
The word ‘arts’ encapsulates everything we know about humanity – our human expression, our joys, our sorrows, our music, our entertainment, our desire to communicate, our knowledge of the human race, our love, our hate and just about everything that makes a soul human. The arts are as important to our lives as maths or science.
Spark Youth Dance Company was created to fill a gap in our local arts community by giving young people a dance equivalent to the many wonderful theatre companies we have down here.
There are millions of reasons why supporting this kind of art is important, but here are just five of my thoughts from my experience of life so far:
1. Art influences your life every second of every day.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get rid of all art? Of all colour? Of all life? Have you ever heard someone say that artists are not as important as our sportspeople or scientists?
Let me tell you something: the very words you are now reading would not be possible without the gift of written language, the very room you are sitting in would not have been built without the help of a designer, the clothing you are wearing was designed and made by artists, the music you love was created by artists, that concert you went to last year was the result of a large group of artists coming together, those posters you see on the street were all created by artists – your life is partly designed for you by the artists of the future and the artists that have come before us.
Art in all its wonderful forms exists in every single aspect of our lives. To ignore the beauty of communication, artworks, dance works, films, designs, music and more, would be to ignore the very idea of life completely.
2. Art creates the future.
We all know 2016 was a crazy year for world affairs. But it’s the artists of the world that know how to take something terrible and turn it into a call to action which means 2016 was an awesome year for artists.
How many times have you seen cartoons or articles or documentaries or dance pieces or pieces of music that have completely challenged your way of thinking?
As humans, we learn from what’s around us and it’s the artists, the dreamers who dare to think differently and who dare to challenge what we all know that create real change. How would we move forward as a more equal and peaceful society if there weren’t people brave enough to speak out, question us all and push for change through their work?
At Spark, we aim to fill our work with messages that transcend the storyline itself – it is important to our dancers to push, learn, think, challenge and question through their movement.
3. Art creates opportunities!
We all know dance productions are a lot of work (just see our last post!) and it’s things like dance productions that pull together a huge gathering of like-minded people and give each one of them work and purpose. In the professional sector, each new work created is an opportunity for jobs to be created and in our little Spark community, we aim to give opportunities to young people to dance, create, learn and have a place outside of their family to call home.
Spark has created a unique place for a large portion of the Mornington Peninsula to come and share the love of dance and creation. We have created something from nothing and I think that kind of power is awesome. Art gives people the chance to weave magic into their lives through self-expression and communication and it is for this reason that I think artistic organisations are super important in society.
4. Art is powerful.
Don’t lie, I know you cried at the end of The Notebook, too.
Our emotions are what make us so beautifully human and art is that special thing that can bring a tear to your eye or a knot to your stomach. Like I said before, art lets us question what we know and sometimes, this can stir up emotions that nothing else can.
Sometimes it takes a single poem, story, dance, piece of music, film, photo or artwork to unlock a part of yourself that you had never discovered – to allow you to understand more about yourself.
Those moments in life where we just understand are the most precious moments, and life wouldn’t be life without the emotions that lead us to new lessons and discoveries.
As a dancer, I’ve seen performances that have caused me to think about their meanings for days and weeks after the show has ended. I’ve seen solos that have expressed what words just simply can’t. Art is incredible and we should encourage and support those artists who allow us to feel.
5. We are all born artists.
It’s interesting to watch a small child hear music.
Usually, their first instinct will be to dance.
We are born with this incredible ability to just feel and I think it is beautiful that young children will be seen dancing at the front of music performances or that parents will often encourage their children to dance when they hear music in public because they know subconsciously that dance expresses emotion – particularly joy.
So – I implore you to leave this post and go support every single local art project and organisation there is.
Take your kid to that local dance school, go visit that local art gallery, go create that thing you’ve been wanting to create, go see that musical and go hear that orchestra play.
The arts, performing arts and creative arts are some of the most important aspects of our world and I hope that even if you don’t call yourself an artist in your everyday life that you will be an arts supporter, forever.
Support Spark Youth Dance Company through the gift of a tax-deductible donation to the website below: