Making Art A.S.A.P at APAP

| 17 Feb 2015 | 12:59

Local festival brings dance, theater and music to town at reasonable prices  Who said ticket prices for dance, theater and music were too high for the average New Yorker? In fact, usually they are but in January every year, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) comes to town offering a multitude of artistic delights at very reasonable prices. Established 57 years ago and a New York City event since the '70s, the Washington DC-based organization offers a sampling of what's new and engaging from the US and abroad for industry professionals to select from and decide what to bring back to their communities in the coming year. While one must sign up for the conference to attend many events, just as many are open to the public. This year it took place throught January, with performances all over the city.   "The priority is to network," says Scott Stoner, director of APAP, on the phone recently. "Presenters, artists and audience members get a chance to interact in ways that are not usually available to them. It's very practical and it's very inspiring."

This year APAP is collaborating with other major festivals and series, including Under The Radar, globalFEST, Winter Jazzfest, Focus, Prototype and Coil, meaning any even wider range of theatrical experiences will be available. Those attending the forums get a chance to hear keynote speakers from the worlds of music, dance and theater, including Diane Paulus, artistic director of the American Repertory Theater, choreographer Kyle Abraham, dancer Wendy Whelan and actor and playwright Taylor Mac.

New England-based choreographer Adele Myers has participated for three years.  "I wanted to gain exposure," she says. "It's been great for the conversations with presenters, other audience members and dancers. It also gives us a chance to try out new dances. We've gotten work at new theaters every year. I don't know how else that would have happened."

Choreographer Jane Comfort echoed her words. "Something good always comes out of it," she says. "Once I wanted to try an abstract work, which I rarely have done. The day after I showed it, I got a text from the American Dance Institute, asking if I wanted to take part in its incubation program. I had been trying to get a grant to do that. The participants need a lot of stamina but if you're simply someone interested in any or all of these arts, it's an incredible education."