An Overview 解説
If one were to describe European dance since the 1990s in geopolitical terms, it would be a disintegration of the center and dispersion toward new cells.
If one were to describe European dance since the 1990s in geopolitical terms, it would be a disintegration of the center and dispersion toward new cells.
New Effortsby the Guangdong Provincial Arts Research Institute – Establishing IndependentArtist Studios
One example of this shift by public sector theater companies toward commercial-basemanagement can be seen in the new practice of not relying completely on one company’sown artists to create and produce performances but to draw on a nationwide poolof creators when putting together each new production. In other words the publiccompany takes on the role of producer in a commercially based system.
New efforts of this type are being seen at The People’s Art Theater Beijingand The People’s Art Theater Tianjin, but perhaps the most prominent effortundertaken recently has been an experimental program by the Guangdong ProvincialArts Research Institute in Guangzhou, the major Chinese city near Hong Kong andMacao. The term “Research Institute” seems to imply a group involvedin academic research rather than creation of new works, but the people at theGuangdong Provincial Arts Research Institute see “research, experimentationand production” as three aspects of a single mission, and they are presentlyinvolved in creative activities in a number of artistic fields. Their fields ofendeavor range from modern theater and traditional Guangdong theater to musicensembles performing with traditional Chinese instruments.
Attention has focused recently on a new system that the Guangdong Provincial ArtsResearch Institute is experimenting with, in which artists are given studio spaceto use for their own self-financed production activities.For example, one of the Institute’s first class directors, Wang Jiana, wasallowed to open her own “Jiana Drama Studio” within the Institute’sfacilities in April of 2004. At the same time, stage art directors, musiciansand film/video directors were also allowed to establish their own studios, andit is said that they now collaborate frequently with each other on productions.
In this way, the Institute is supporting the free creative activities of artistsin a number of fields while also embracing these artists, who are active at theleading edge of their respective fields with a contemporary management style,for use in the production of the Institute’s own productions as well. Furthermore,besides the artists in their own Institute, the trend toward enlisting the talentsof artists from all over the country is seen here as well. Considering these conditions,it is probably appropriate to say that the actual functioning of the GuangdongProvincial Arts Research Institute today is closer to that of a production companythan a research institute.
Since the establishment of the first independent studio for Wang Jiana, the numberof independent studios within the Institute has continued to grow. These includea young director in her thirties named Wang Xiangdong, who was invited to opena studio at the Institute based on her achievements in directing local civic danceand traditional dance productions at the Guangdong Province Song and Dance Theater.In the modern dance field, a studio was also provided for the director of theGuangdong Experimental Modern Dance Company, Gao Chengming. The Guangdong ExperimentalModern Dance Company was established in 1992 as China’s first modern dancecompany, and it has recently engaged in a financial tie-up with the Hong Kongdancer and stage art director Willy Tsao. Even though Hong Kong has returned toChinese possession in 1997, it is still under separate governance as an independenteconomic zone and there is a strong desire for financial tie-ups. And,we are now seeing the start of such tie-ups in the field of arts and culture.Although the Guangdong region tends to draw less attention from Japan than thenorthern centers of Beijing and Shanghai, it is often said that the winds of changeblow from the south and certainly Guangdong seems to be leading reform in thisarea.
Government-affiliated agents venture intoproduction
Another movement being seen in the general privatization of the performing artsis government-affiliated agents becoming involved in the creation of new worksand production. Until now, many agents have been involved in the performing artsas short-term managers for a set number of performances of a given production.Recently, however, some agents have begun to broaden the scope of their activitiesin light of the current trend toward independent (commercial-based) financing.
China’s largest agency is the China Performing Arts Agency of the Ministryof Culture (CPAA) established in 1957, and its primary business has been servingas intermediary in performing arts exchanges with other governments. However,since they have no experience or know-how with regard to holding commercial productionsoverseas and have little consciousness of copyrights and intellectual propertyrights, they have often suffered experiences when their prices were kept unnecessarilylow. As a result, a new organization named the CPAA International Performing ArtsProduction Co., Ltd. was formed to undertake their own production of works andmanagement of overseas performances.
The company’s first production was a performance based on Shaolin Kungfumartial arts that toured North America, Australia and other markets with a totalof over 200 performances over a five-year period beginning in 2000. During thistime, the production played before a total audience of over 400,000. Also, theaffiliated CPAA Metropolitan Theater Management Co., Ltd. was entrusted with themanagement of the Tianqiao Theater (1,200 seats) in Beijing as a rental theater.This is the theater where a production of Madame Butterfly was staged in 2002to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the reestablishment of diplomatic relationsbetween China and Japan.
The organization says that it intends to use its growing experience and know-howto create its own productions in the future in pursuit of greater profits. Presently,agencies like CPAA are headed in the direction of working together with otherlarge-scale agents in tie-ups aimed at expanding the performing arts market andare making use of facilities like the Tianqiao Theater with a long-term perspectiveas venues for development of their production management business.
The actualities of regional division of governance
Now let us turn to the question of the actual degree to which the cultural policies Lang set in motion were effective in achieving their aims. Let us also ask if his were actually revolutionary policies that contrasted significantly with Mitterrand’s aims.
A recent study by Kim Eling suggests that the seemingly impressive French cultural policy is in fact not as revolutionary as many think, and also that is not really centralized in nature. In fact, Eling insists that the decision-making process in France’s cultural programs is in practice not much different from the British system based primarily on third-party organizations.
For example, a look at the actual state of division of power to the localities reveals that the Ministry of Culture has not completely transferred power to the local governments. Rather, through the formation of supporting organizations like the regional contemporary art funds FRAC (*3), the regional museum acquisition funds FRAM (*4) and the regional commissions for historical, archeological and ethnic patronage COREPHAE (*5), the Ministry has further divided power and created working partnerships. The Ministry also expanded its network of regional culture bureaus and sent personnel and funds to them. Even more important was the fact that a contract system was implemented and the regional bureaus incorporated into it.
This meant that in reality the ability of the local governments to allocate funds for cultural programs was constrained by the contracts signed with the regional culture bureaus. In other words, the new policy sent more government funds to the regions but only to be allotted by a system that retained the old paternal attitude of national governance. It is also that in actual practice the regional bureaus to this day are given annual instruction by the Ministry of Culture about their selections of which regional bodies to give priority to in funding. And, in fact regional governments that were not used to this kind of negotiation a were most likely to accept the suggestions of the Ministry as the “results of true dialogue.”
Of course, this contract system was not implemented with complete disregard for the wishes of the regional governments. In reality, there was no tendency for funding to be concentrated in certain regions, and in 1982 all the regional governments signed contracts and most of those were subsequently renewed.
Furthermore, these contracts served to stimulate investment activities by the regional governments. And, most of all, the combined budget of the regional governments for cultural activities has come to exceed that of the national government, including the Ministry of Culture, as a result of the new policy.
However, this can also be interpreted as a situation that gives the Ministry of Culture the right to intervene in decisions about policy by the regional governments at no expense of its own. According to Eling, this means that from the standpoint of the regional governments, having the Ministry of Culture as a partner in their cultural policies ensures the “quality” of their programs. And that is proof of how powerful the value judgments of the Ministry and its subsidiary regional culture bureaus are.
Even more evident in terms of this inequality between the central and regional governments was the Grand Project. Although the national funding for cultural programs has tended to increase year by year, the percentage of budget allotted for the Grand Project rose from just 15% in 1981 to nearly 70% by 1986. This meant that less budget could be directed to other art and cultural programs, which natural required a reduction in size of the other programs. Of course the policy of division of power toward the regional governments also suffered as a result of the Grand Project. For example, the budget allotted for division of power in 1985 was 126 million francs, but that was cut in half to 63 million in 1986. What’s more, all of the Grand Project’s construction projects were in Paris, which clearly ran contrary to the socialist parties’ of regional division of power.
The case of London
Let us take the example of London to see what kinds of activities ACE, the RAB and the regional governments are engaged in and under what kind of policies they are functioning.
ACE (Arts Council of England)
ACE is a non-governmental organization operating with a good degree of independence from the national government. It is operated with the aim of distributing funds from the national government and the national lottery revenue throughout England for the purpose of developing, maintaining and encouraging the arts and making them accessible to the citizens for enjoyment.
The mandate of the ACE under its royal charter includes the following three roles: To further knowledge and understanding of the arts and understand their practical implementation. To make the arts more accessible to the populace. To cooperate with the national and regional governments, the ACW, SAC, ACNI and the related organizations both directly and indirectly and to serve an advisory role for them.
ACE has eight arts departments including dance, theater, literature, music, visual art, regional performance, audience development, broadcasting and new media, and each of these departments is staffed by specialists in the respective fields. Sitting on the ACE committees are active artists from fields like sculpture and literature and system encourages free discussion with artists about how best to distribute funds.
Among the organizations that receive funds from ACE are the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Opera House the South Bank Centre and others, and 30% of the ACE budget is distributed by the RAB. The budget received from the Ministry of Culture in 1999 was ｣22.7 million.
London Arts Board (LAB)
After its start as a subcommittee of ACGB in 1991, the London Arts Board became one of the ten RAB that went into operation nationwide in 1992. LAB is an agency that supports the arts in London and the surrounding areas and its main role is building the arts infrastructure and encouraging the development of artistic activities in the London area.
In 2000, there were 18 people working in the arts department of LAB, including specialists in the fields of theater, cross-over arts, visual arts, literature, dance and music. After that the staff was expanded to accommodate expanded ACE commissions. On the organization\'s committee sit representatives from the arts, economics, broadcasting, education and management fields.
The organization\'s funding comes primarily from ACE and the Craft Council, with the 1999 budget totaling ｣15.74 million. The LAB makes annual allotments to organizations that range in amount from ｣5,000 to ｣50,000 and it is presently supporting some 128 arts organizations and artists and monitoring the results of that support. Compared to ACE, LAB supports middle to small scale organizations and community based arts activities.
Westminster City Council (WCC)
The WCC is a regional government agency with jurisdiction over the central part of London where the largest number of arts organizations are concentrated among the 34 districts of the city and its surrounding area.
Until 1986, support for the arts in the London was conducted by the Greater London Council (GLC), a local government office for the city and its surrounding areas, through its affiliated Greater London Arts (GLA) and the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA). However, Thatcher regarded the GLC as a left-leaning body that generally opposed government policy and therefore proceeded to eliminate most of the GLC functions in 1986. This move made it necessary for the local government offices of London and the surrounding areas to quickly pick up the responsibility for supporting the arts organizations that had relied until then on the GLA and ILEA, and that situation continues.
The area of jurisdiction for WCC is the central part of London, which puts it in the unique position where its area includes numerous large-scale art organization that function on a national level as well as organizations that function only in London and local community groups. For this reason, when allotting its art support, the WCC takes into consideration not only the residents of the districts under its jurisdiction but also the people who come to London from other regions
The WCC provides support for organizations that base themselves in the WCC districts, as well as projects and events, educational programs like artists in residence and initiative funds that generate new ideas.
The WCC\'s budget for 1999 was ｣1.2 million, and its arts budget is one of the largest in London. This is because the WCC traditionally considers the arts to be important and recognizes the ability of the arts to contribute to the local community by attracting tourists and the like.
The decision to give art support is based on whether the organization or project is related to the local community and whether or not there are requests from people who want to see it. Notices telling how to apply for support at posted at places like libraries. Four or five different times a year, applications are accepted for projects that are planned to be held within the following two to three months.
One of the unique things WCC does is to issue special "less cards" to local citizens or people interested in the arts through an external card company. With this card, people can get discounts of 10% to 50% on tickets for museums or theaters participating in the program. The museum and theaters then bill the WCC for the discounted amounts and the WCC pays for it with arts support funds. Presently about one in four of local residents hold one of these cards and the system is said to be greatly appreciated.
Korea Business council for The Arts
The Korea Business Council for the Arts got its start as an incorporated body in 1994, as South Korea\'s only corporate philanthropy organization. As of March 2005, the Council has 119 corporate members and is working toward the following aims: (1) promoting the spread of awareness of social contribution through the arts, (2) stimulating corporate philanthropy movements within the population and (3) promoting the spread of a global image through international tie-ups in corporate philanthropy. Specific activities include: (1) serving as a pipeline between corporations and arts and culture organizations, (2) running a corporate philanthropy awards program (since 1991), (3) a program of corporate-sponsored events that visit private homes and homes for the elderly, (4) organizing corporate donations of things like arts performance tickets and (5) awarding corporations for outstanding corporate philanthropy programs, etc.
Based on data from 2000, more than 70% of the money from the Council\'s member corporations for support of the arts goes to the cultural facilities operated by the corporations\' own arts foundations. Among the funds going to private arts and culture organizations, the largest portion goes into the field of art (at 13%), while the amount going to the performing arts of music, dance and theater is rather small at about 8% of the total. One thing that must be noted about these figures is that rather than representing the figures for support coming from the Korea Business Council for the Arts itself, it represents the total amount of money going to support for the arts from the individual member corporations of the Council. In other words, it must be realized that corporate support for the arts by Korean corporations is not being conducted at the level of the Korea Business Council for the Arts as much as by the individual corporations or entrepreneurs.
For this reason, the Korea Business Council for the Arts does not really serve as a very effective pipeline when theaters or performing arts companies try to get financial support from corporations. However, it does play a major role as a channel for discussion about corporate philanthropy in South Korea and in helping to spread understanding of the concept of corporate support for the arts and culture.
Arts foundations of the individual corporate groups
Among the many public service foundations in South Korea, the four foundations that are particularly active in support of the performing arts are The Kumho Cultural Foundation of the Kumho Asiana Group, the Daesan Foundation of the Kyobo Life lnsurance Co., Ltd, the LG Yonam Foundation of the LG Group and the Samsung Foundation of Culture of the Samsung Group.
The Kumho Cultural Foundation concentrates its support in the fields of classical music and art. This Foundation\'s music department operates the Kumho Art Hall as a concert hall specializing in chamber music and has its own string quartet. It is a foundation known especially for its support of young musicians. Its art department runs the Kumho Museum of Art specializing in exhibitions and collection of Korean contemporary art.
Preparations were begun for organizing and funding the Daesan Foundation in 1992 and it officially began operations in 1997. Most of its patronage is in the field of literature and the Foundation takes as its key words "rural communities," "youth" and "literature." For this reason, its programs in the performing arts include a youth theater festival and regional theater festivals, and it has also supported the translation and overseas productions of Korean plays.
The LG Yonam Foundation opened its LG Arts Center in 2000 and has supported the performing arts world while operating of this facility. The theater gets a considerably larger amount of financial assistance from the Foundation than its own operating revenue, which means that the invited productions staged there as well as the productions it leases the theater out to are in effect getting indirect support from the Foundation. It is also helping to grow the performing arts audience and contributing to international exchange by inviting outstanding overseas productions to South Korea on a real-time basis.
The Samsung Foundation of Culture supports the performing arts through its literature awards program. There is also a play division in the Samsung literature awards program and the Foundation provides support for theater productions of the winning plays when they are staged. Many new playwrights have begun their careers from this award program and they are presently an important part of the Korean theater scene. The Association also created its Mampist program as South Korea\'s first private-sector overseas training program for theater artists with the aim of nurturing talent over the long term.
Arts support from public enterprises
Public enterprises that receive government funding or are directly run by the government have by nature a high level of community orientation and thus tend to be interested in public service programs. Among these, one enterprise that is especially prominent in supporting the performing arts are the Korea Racing Association (specialized non-profit organization), the Pohang Steel Corporation, the Korea Electric Power Corporation and KT&G Corporation. Besides these the Korea Gas Corporation and the Korea Land Corporation also have a relatively high level of interest in supporting the performing arts. Unlike the arts support programs of private-sector corporations that tend to gravitate toward commercial theater productions with entertainment value, these public companies select productions based on their contents and aims and tend to support works in the performing arts that are deemed to have social value, even if they may be less entertaining in nature.
Other forms of support for the arts
In addition to corporations that support the arts directly, there are also companies that provide support to theaters and arts organizations in the form of support groups, memberships or annual sponsorships that may be smaller in monetary terms than financing production costs but still constitute a significant amount of support. A variety of different types of support are being seen today, including using part of the advertising budget from a company\'s publicity activities to support production efforts or, in a recent development, providing a company\'s products rather than monetary support to enable giveaways to audiences at performances in event-type activities.
The unique character and appeal of Finnish dance
[collaboration with lighting creators]
It is the presence of cross-over type activities that transcend conventional category boundaries, like the works of Uotinen that give Finnish dance its contemporary strength. There is also active collaboration with artists from other genre, especially collaborations with media artists and lighting creators. This writer has personally feels that there is a lot of beautifully created light work in Finnish dance, and it seems as if the sensitivity of the lighting art is not unrelated to a dramatic element that originates in the Finnish natural environment with the shining brightness of the midnight sun in summer, the darkness that dominates the winter and the fact that its polar proximity makes the Aurora borealis a common sight.
‹Mikki Kunttu, Finland’s representative lighting designer›
In the work of Saarinen mentioned at the beginning, the natural light effect designed by Mikki Kunttu helped to bring an abstract expression of the religious spirituality achieved through a life of denial of human desires that is the theme of the work.
‹Marita Liulia, the multi-media artist›
The solo Hunt that takes Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring as its motif is an impressive solo that brings the theme to life within the burning energy of the dance. Beginning from silence and having the body spring to life with the music, the piece proceeds to the closing stage to build as images of Marita Liulia projected on the body in a way that created a visual expression of the human body in the information age.
‹Kimmo Koskela, the multi-media artist›
Also, there is the representative work of the edgy choreographer Arja Raatikainen, Opal-D , in which her simple choreography stands in exquisite contrast to the beautiful, lively images of Tokyo by Kimmo Koskela.
[Strong interest in Butoh]
Another notable fact is that there also a strong interest in butoh in the Finnish dance world and there are many choreographers and dancers who have studied butoh or been influenced by it. This can be imagined to be a result of an expansive approach to the natural world and the physical implications of the fact that the distant roots of the Finnish people who make up most of the population lie in Asia. For example, the approach to nudity that has resulted from Finland’s sauna culture that is an integral part of Finnish life is completely different from that of other European countries and even its neighbor Sweden. For the Finnish, nudity is neither implicative of the taboos of sexuality or the diametrically opposed concepts of utopia but simply a natural state that is part of daily life. This fact further deepens the interest in butoh as a form of dance that examines the truths of the body and the darker sides of life and seeks to encompass expressions of ailment and death as a part of dance.
The artistic director of the previously mentioned Kuopio Dance Festival from 1993 to 98, the Asian arts researcher Jukka O. Miettinen, was one of the first to take an interest in butoh and play an active role in introducing butoh artists Carlotta Ikeda and Ko Murobushi, Kazuo Ohno, Sankaijuku and Anzu Furukawa and the festival helped establish an audience for butoh in Finland.
Among the front-line dancers and choreographers in Finland are a number who have journeyed to Japan to study butoh. For example, in the case of Tero Saarinen, who performed as a dancer for the Finland National Ballet Company before forming his own Tero Saarinen & Company, he studied butoh for a year in Tokyo at the Kazuo Ohno Dance Studio. And, Arja Raatikainen and Ari Tenhula have also studied under Ohno and Anzu Furukawa.
Other butoh artists who have visited and worked in Finland include Masaki Iwana, but the influence of the late Anzu Furukawa who visited numerous times and gave many workshops was especially strong. After performing with Dairakudakan, Furukawa formed Dance Love Machine with Tetsuro Tamura. Later she moved to Germany and continued her activities based in Europe, forming a multinational dance group called Dance Butter Tokio. The reason for her popularity was probably the wild dance theater type composition of her works that made use of unexpected or comic twists and the exaggerated deformé type body movement that connected in some ways to German expressionist dance.
As a visiting instructor at a Finnish university, Anzu Furukawa concentrated on collaborative productions at the Helsinki City Theatre and staged works like the Rite of Spring in 1994 and the butoh works Bo (Keppi) and Shiroi mizu (Villi Vesi) in 1995 using mostly Finnish dancers. I saw the former in Helsinki and remember it as an appealing work that combined a complex type of eroticism and energetic and dynamic movement unlike that of other Japanese butoh artists. One of Finland’s leading dancers, Ari Tenhula, danced an important role in Furukawa’s Rite of Spring , and Arja Raatikainen and Ari Tenhula danced in her production of Chugoku no Tantei (Detective from China) performed at Tokyo’s Parco Theatre.
Another thing that characterizes Finnish dancers is their extremely long performing careers. In Western Europe, most people believe that a dancer should stop performing at the top level sometime in their 40s. Due perhaps to the attitude of placing importance on the realities of the body mentioned earlier in regard to the interest in butoh, or perhaps the influence of butoh itself, many Finnish dancers continue to perform into their 50s.
PrivateSector Theaters and the Emergence of a Democratizing Generation
Up to this point we have discussed the movements among government-affiliated theatercompanies, theaters and agents, but what about the private-sector theaters? Itis believed that theater facilities now being built by real estate developmentcompanies and the like will be used primarily for an entertainment-oriented lineupof performances or ones aimed at the tourists staying in the hotel complexes theyare built in. However, at the same time we are seeing movements suggesting thata new wave of cooperative efforts between the private sector and government-affiliatedperforming arts companies will bring a fresh impetus to the Chinese theater artsscene.
Spearheading this movement is the North Theater in Beijing where Yuan Hong, a30-something artist born in the early 70s, serves as both producer and art director.This small theater of about 400 seats stands on a quiet Huton, a small streetin one of Beijing’s older residential areas. This is one of the theatersthat belonged to the former China Youth Theater Arts Company and was vacated whenthe company merged into the China National Drama Theater Company as mentionedearlier.
At the time in 2001, there was a plan for Yuan Hong and his friend, the well-knownTaiwanese director Stan Lai to invest in the purchase of the theater andmake it the Beijing base for Lai’s company, the “Biao Yan Workshop.” However, official approval for investment from Taiwan wasnot given and Yuan ended up running the theater by himself. Thestaff are all people with independent sources of income who have gathered in supportof Yuan’s activities. With their individual expertise in different fieldsfrom finance, media, research and the like, they combine their abilities in thecreation and production of works.
The theme of Yuan’s activities is the “popularization of theater”and “returning theater to the people.” Although the government-affiliatedtheater companies are gatherings of professionals who command an unshakable positionin their respective roles, there has long been a problem that the theatrical farethey provide is lacking in variety of expression and that the contents of theirplays lack relevance to people’s lives today. And, as seen in the fact thatTsao Yu’s first play was written when he was a college student, theateris a field where anyone, pro or amateur, should have access to the stage as aplace of expression. In reality, however, the present theater scene in China hasbecome one where only the pros have the opportunity to mount productions and perform.
Yuan’s desire was to break down the status quo and bring new stimulus tothe Chinese theater world by opening up the stage to imaginative young collegestudents. In 2001, he planned and organized a student theater festival named the“Beijing High School and College Student Theater Festival.” Usingthe small theater of the People’s Art Theater Beijing, six studentplays were presented in the festival’s first holding. By its fourth holdingin 2004, however, the festival’s schedule had grown to include 31 playsperformed at the North Theater, the small theater of the People’sTheater Arts Beijing and the theater of the National Drama Theater CompanyExperimental Theater. Also, the venues had spread outside Beijing to include performancesin Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Presently, the People’s Art Theater Tianjin is apparently planninga student theater festival also, and it is expected that this movement will spreadthroughout China. It is exciting to think about the potential new talents thatwill emerge from this movement in the future. Despite its limited budget, theNorth Theater is organizing small-theater festivals in Beijing, Hong Kong and Taiwanand is nurturing new talents and conducting tours around the country with itsproductions.
Another movement in private-sector theater worthy of mention is that of moderndance companies. In China, the very concept of modern dance is still a new one,with the country’s first modern dance company having been founded in Guangdongin 1992. Due to this short history of barely ten years, most of the companiesare made up of young dancers and most are privately run. What’s more, theBeijing Modern Dance Company established under the auspices of the Beijing MunicipalBureau of Culture in 1995, was privatized in April of 2004. Its director, ZhangChangcheng, is still in his early thirties, like Yuan, and he is working activelyto create a network to enable overseas performances and invitational performances,while at the same time directing efforts toward the establishment of a foundationto support young artists.
When we think about it, these people now in their mid-30s are from the generationthat were college students at the time of the Tiananmen incident in 1989. Thatgeneration that called for democracy back then are now at the forefront of theprivatization movement and are beginning to move the Chinese performing arts worldas well.
Examining French cultural policy and programs
Concerning the question of whether or not progress has been made in achieving Lang’s aim of the “democratization of culture,” the answer is not yet clear. The birth of the left-leaning government led to a year-on-year budget increase of 1,440% in the budget category of “cultural development” which includes programs for the democratization of culture and arts education. But, this is merely proof of the fact that funding for the democratization of culture was nearly nonexistent at the time, and in fact the 1981 budget for cultural development programs was a mere 41 million francs. Furthermore, due to the subsequent influence of the Grand Project, the budget in this category would decrease in ensuing years. In contrast, as the budget for cultural activities doubled with the birth of the socialist government, the percentage of that budget going to the main cultural sectors like theater and music remained at their previous high levels. In short, while the previously ignored sectors like art and visual works like film and video received increases of 123% and 220% respectively, the traditionally strong sectors of theater and music also got significant raises of 75% and 50% respectively. In other words, there was little change in the distribution of funds in terms of percentages.
When viewed in light of these facts, it seems that actual effect of Lang’s aim of securing and promoting cultural diversity was limited. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, there has been various types of support for attention-getting mass culture, but most of this support has been in the form of one-time programs and not really large in terms budget. In short, what has happened with French cultural policy since the eighties is that more chances for support were offered by bringing out a bigger pie, but the result has been that the priority of traditional arts organizations has been maintained, thus creating a situation that can hardly be called revolutionary.
In answer to the question of why the result has turned out this way, Eling came to the conclusion based on numerous interviews that it was caused by the intervention of powerful special interest groups in the fields of the organized arts to influence policy. In other words, there are enough influential special interest groups in the fields of the traditional arts that have lobbied effectively against the bureaus in charge of policy-making to protect their interests and influence. This can be considered a situation that stands in opposition to the traditional image of French culture programs as being led by the national government. And in such a situation, the decision-making power of the policy deciding bureaus becomes especially strong in budget categories like “cultural development” where special interest lobbies cannot exist in the first place and in areas lacking organization like mass culture or still immature areas like the new creative field, both of which do not have access to the negotiating strength of interest lobbies. In such areas the budget allocations would thus be subject to the trends of the times, concludes Eling.
This leads to the idea that the actual effect of the culture policy since 1982 has been to divide the recipients of funding into something similar to sects. Seen from another perspective, we might say that there has been almost no efforts directed at achieving the kind of balance between the different sects that should be one of the essentials of a true support of a diversification of culture. In other words, it can be said that since Lang the cultural policy has recognized diversification of culture on a symbolic level but, at the same time, it has contributed to the preservation of traditional value systems and patterns of power and influence.
Lessons from the French example
Based on what we have seen, it appears that French cultural policy has not achieved the level of regional division of power that it is reputed to have, nor does the Ministry of Culture have a complete hold on decision-making power. In the end, systems are nothing more than tools for people to use, and their effect depends on how they are used. Thus, we should not assume that we can understand a nation’s cultural policy and programs based simply on a comparison of systems. French cultural policy is clearly a complex mix of the types of issues we have looked at here and, as the standards of cultural values continue to diversify in today’s society, the French example, in which the Ministry of Culture and its subsidiary organizations are attempting to be the major agents in the active support of cultural programs, is surely worthy of continued study. If indeed the previously mentioned tendency to recognize the value judgments of the Ministry of Culture and DRAC as guarantees of the “quality” of cultural programs, (while of course value judgments like the actual decisions of what programs and artists will receive funding are made by independent committees with specialization in the various fields) it is because the bureaus involved have sought to developed their abilities to make competent and refined judgments in the cultural fields and that the offices involved take appropriate responsibility with regard to the judgments and decisions they make. This is why the bureaus involved in French cultural policy and programs make a point of promoting transparency regarding the concepts and aims behind their policies, and are indeed following this policy of transparency and openness.
Specific examples of public support
Now, let us look at some actual examples of arts support to see how the system functions in the cases of large, middle and small scale organizations. (See "Example of aid revenue breakdown")
Example (1) shows the revenue breakdown of one of Britain\'s representative opera companies, the English National Opera (ENO). Since the ENO is an important national institution, ACE supplies about half of the funds necessary for the company to operate. Since the ENO is located within WCC\'s area of jurisdiction it also supports the company to a small degree by paying 10% of the ticket cost for WCC card holders. But we can see from this that the ENO has to depend on ticket sales for most of the other half of its revenue.
Example (2) is the case of one of London\'s most important photographic art galleries, Photographers\' Gallery, which is run by a non-profit organization. More than half of the gallery\'s revenue is provided by LAB in its role as supporter of important London arts organizations. But the WCC also pays for 5% of the galleries revenue.
Example (3) is the case of a youth dance group in the WCC\'s district called the Westminster Youth Dance Scene. Since this group operates for the benefit of the young people of the local community, WCC donates roughly 70% of the group\'s operating cost.
When the end finally came to 18 years of conservative governments in Britain and the Blair government came to power in 1997, the budgets for support of the arts has increased and many of Britain\'s arts organizations feel like a long hard winter has finally ended.
However, with the failure of ACE to slim down its operation as much as its was hoped to, the RAB are faced with the problem of a growing number of responsibilities but insufficient funds to increase the number of staff to accommodate the increased work load. Also, in the case of London, the capacity of LAB and the local government offices to support the arts will be influenced greatly by the policies instated by future governors of the city.
It may take several years before a state of stability is reached in terms of arts support policies and systems in Britain.
Faces of the artists, dance companies, venues
As we mentioned earlier, Finnish dancers tend to have long careers which means there is a large dance population ranging from veterans to young newcomers. There are many artists besides people like Jorma Uotinen and Tero Saarinen mentioned above.
Among the more mature choreographers and dancers are ones who went to America to study under Merce Cunningham and then returned to Finland. Like Reijo Kela, who did experimental or outdoor works that shared elements of method with the performance art of the U.S. in the 60s while showing social/political viewpoints through a unique style of expression.
There is also Tommi Kitti, who was originally trained in jazz dance but whose works feature strong choreography that draws energetic movement from other genre like ballet and show dance.
Another leading artist, and one who didn’t come to dance until later in life, is Alpo Aaltokoski, concentrating mostly on solo works and known for stylish pieces that combine sharp, well-trained movement with film and lighting.
Among the younger artists is Susanna Leinonen, who performed at the 2004 Aoyama Dance Biennale.
She won the Grand Prize at the Saitama International Creative Dance Contest.
He turned to free-lance performance after a stint as one of the lading dancers at the Helsinki City Theatre Dance Company.
She does attractive solo performances that use technique borrowed from yoga and other Eastern methods.
[The systems supporting dance]
The size of Finnish dance companies is relatively small, with the exception of the National Ballet Company. For example, the pamphlet for the Helsinki City Theatre Dance Company boasts that it is one of Finland’s largest companies, but in fact there are only about ten full-time member dancers in the company. And, the Tero Saarinen company continues to perform internationally with a basic core of only a handful of full member dancers. They employ the other dancers they may need to fill the roles for each of the specific works they perform. Regardless of whether they are regular members of a production company, however, many excellent dancers are working independently. And, the large number of dancers giving solo performances is another characteristic of the Finnish dance scene.
One of the most active production groups is Nomadi Productions, and it is the group to which Arja Raatikainen, Katri Soini, Alpo Aaltokoski and Jyrki Karttunen belong.
In terms of the theaters, halls and studios that serve as venues for contemporary dance performances, there are few large facilities with the exception of the National Opera House in Helsinki. Among the best-known venues where dance is performed regularly are the Art Space Kiasma, a comprehensive arts space in Helsinki, and a space known as the Cable Factory, which was created in a former factory complex. Stoa the Cultural Centre of Eastern Helsinki shows a lot of contemporary dance, too.
It is located in the center of Helsinki near the Helsinki Central Station and it also contains a modern art gallery space. It is a facility with a unique program concept that focuses on cutting edge multimedia visual arts including design, film and media art. It seems that modern art exhibitions have also been held with accompanying dance programs. There is an active schedule of dance workshops and performances going on here.
‹The Cable Factory›
The Cable Factory consists of several connected buildings in a huge space where workshops, recitals and performances are held, and it also focuses efforts on nurturing young artists.