Dance Preservation Organization Runs Out of Money, Lays Off Most of Its Staff

Classic Arts News   Dance Preservation Organization Runs Out of Money, Lays Off Most of Its Staff
The Dance Notation Bureau, an organization that supports dance preservation through written scores of individual works, laid off five of its six staff members at the end of October, including its executive director, the New York Times reports.

The only employee to survive the cuts was Mei-Chen Lu, who oversees the organization's library, which remains accessible. A last-minute donation meant that Mira Kim, who digitizes handwritten dance scores, could also continue to work.

The New York-based organization ran out of money, according to Lynne Weber, its chair. The organization's $300,000 operating budget is generally made up of grant money, membership dues, and donations, all of which fell far short of expectations.

In addition, disorganized finances and the departure of a bookkeeper meant that the organization was not aware of the impending financial crisis.

Volunteers are currently the bulk of the staff at the bureau, which is still waiting for a $42,000 grant to create scores for a William Forsythe work and a Martha Graham work. The organization would also like additional financing to develop a computer program that would translate dance scores, created in a system of symbols called Labanotation, into animation.

Weber was unsure of what would happen next to the bureau, although she told the Times, "It looks like we will be able to survive. What we need to do is restructure."

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