February 07, 2012
Dance Month! We're all about Dance this Month at Sternberg Clarke, and while it's all well and good to be writing about our favourite Dance Scenes in Movies or Reviewing new Dance shows, our job is to book entertainment for Corporate Events so let’s talk about that for a while, shall we?
If all this talk of Dance Acts and general limb jiggling has you itching to book some dancers for a corporate event or wedding, we thought it might be best if you're fully clued up on some of the issues involved with booking dance acts for events.
We know that *you* can dance pretty much anywhere you want to - but when it comes to professional dancers - they're a little more specific on what surfaces they'll 'do their thing' on. For safety reasons, concrete and carpet are out of the question. Tap-dancing and some other forms of dance can damage floor surfaces and therefore require a stage - we don't want to be responsible for cracking the floor of an historic London Venue, after all. Staging does come at an additional cost, so if you don't have it in place already - be sure to allow for it when coming up with an entertainment budget for dance acts. It's also important that that stage is clear; dancers don't take kindly to having to pirouette around lecterns and the like.
We always enjoy a challenge when it comes to booking entertainment in odd spaces but dance, more than most other genres, requires a certain amount of space to really work. The English National Ballet for example, require a minimum of 20ft x 20ft to perform. Though lots of dancers are happy to work around a space, performers with a set routine will have worked out their 'marks' and how much space they need well in advance. That being said, if you are looking for a dance performance in a space that isn't a traditional size or shape, bringing the performers and the agency on board as early as possible allows everyone to work out the best solution. That can be as simple as using dance acts that are mostly static or creating a bespoke routine to fit a space.
This is one of those that should be obvious but often, when booking dancers for an event, people forget how important sight lines and staging are. The view required to fully enjoy a dance performance is different from the one required of a comedian or a band. Imagine, say, booking a troupe of Irish dancers whose legs are obscured by the heads of the audience in the front row. Unless you like watching 8 people stood in a row shaking their heads ever so slightly... it's not what you'd call entertaining.
'Lifts' are key to adding some "Wow Factor" to entertainment at events - you don't need a thorough understanding of technique or the history of dance to appreciate someone being whirled in the air in a display of seemingly impossible strength. But it goes without saying that dancers need adequate height clearance to pull off the kinds of moves that make an audience gasp with astonishment. Once again, if the ceiling height just isn't there - dancers and entertainment agencies can work around it to provide something equally special, but it's something to bear in mind when enquiring about corporate entertainment.
Dancing without music might be something that some Manic Pixie Dream Girl does in an impossibly tweet indie movie to make her seem adorable, but it's not something you'd want to see at an event. Music is crucial to dancing, for performers and audience alike - if either party can't properly hear the music then the performance will be severely hampered. This is one of the reasons we quote + production for dance acts to make sure that everyone gets the best experience possible.
If you're looking to book a dance act as entertainment for a corporate event then feel free to get in touch to discuss things further with one of our team.