the worst rejection letter a dancer could get 'MUST READ'
I recently met a wonderful and talented dancer visiting the Netherlands. She was kind enough to show me this email she received after applying to an audition for a brand new company in the Netherlands, ‘de Theater Company.’ In some ways I do think this ‘director’ meant well, but it came across uneducated-ly rude and personal. I ask my new friend to forward this email to me, so I can share it to the world as a example how dancers are occasionally treated.
As an artist who hold auditions myself, I always have the highest respect for dancers who put themselves out there and apply for my auditions. It blew my mind when I read this email. How this woman can write such ignorant email? I even think it’s border-lining sexist and racist. When many businesses are held responsible for how the treat their employers/ workers, I think dance companies need to do the same. Often I find dancers being treated poorly by choreographers or artistic directors. The whole world is getting better on their ways of treating people. Dance world needs to catch up.
I really hope no other company directors write as awful as this. I’m really tempted to send a copy of this email to the editor of Dance Magazine as a sample of ‘what not to write’ for all the artistic directors out there.
I have included her email address on here, because I think she needs to be responsible of what she puts out there. But please, if you do decide to respond to her… do it nicely and with respect. DO NOT do it the way she did to the 130 dancers she rejected.
Unfortunately, you are not invited for the audition of DeTheaterCompagnie (Netherlands). You are one of the 130 people who gets this disappointing message. So this message is not specifically for you. This mail goes to all.
There are different reasons for declining and rejection. I’ll mention here only some of them: 1. Some of you only sent me their CV and their pictures. But we want to see you moving ‘live’. 2. Some of you did send a youtube, but were, in the film, part of a group. So for the one who has to judge you, this is terrible, because first you are busy finding the person that has to be judged, going back to the ID picture, back to the film, back to the ID picture … this irritates and takes too long. So that doesn’t work in your advantage. 3. When I see a dancer who is not awake in his spine and in his back… and is using most of the time only his limbs… then for me, you are not a dancer. 4. Sometimes I saw people who are so severe or harsh for themselves … then I only saw tied muscles which never recuperate, muscles which do not breath or relax in between… I saw no joy in their faces. This might be related to a belief about your dance style, your stage discipline, or an unconscious cultural may be gender belief, which has settled down into your body. (This applies to all stage disciplines.). This is also relating to being able to open and to close … like a cell in your body, which is longing to .. or scared.. and again longing .. but oeps, scared again, defending.. 5. And here last but not least: Please always add your motivation for this particular group, company or project you are applying for. Take responsibility for what you really want, what you are really looking for in this company. Just applying for a job… then you degrade your own identity or soul, and the company you are applying for as well.
All these reasons are things you can work on. Remember: you are all that you have in this life. For you, you are the most important, beautiful and wonderful creature, and note, a changing thing. Nourish yourselve. Take care of yourselve. And get ‘on the move’.
Hellooo! As a modern dancer, I absolutely loved the video of Horse Dance Theatre and I saw that you were going to one of their performances. Just wanted to know if you had any other information on them cause they are fabulous! Thankss
Hey There! Yes… I went to see their show. I was invited by one of their former dancers. Their latest work is superb. I wish I could understand Chinese fully, because they integrated some spoken words into their work. What would you like to know about them? My mandarin is quite limited and I cannot read Chinese, I can’t find much information on them either via the web. However, I know their former dancers and I have been visiting their space. I can easily help you find information that you may want to know. This is their website: http://www.horse.org.tw/
If you like their stuff, you may also want to check out Shu-Yi and Dancers. He’s now one of the most talked about company here. His works have been featured in Europe, US (ADF), and Asia.