Three-week dance intensive
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August 8th-27th, 2016
Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance
2.0. Happy Hour, in many ways, is counterintuitive. But it has led to exciting new
partnerships, such as with the Ace Hotel, which presented Three Acts in Los Ange-
les in the fall and is now discussing bringing Happy Hour to some of its properties.
“Partnering with the Ace is really asking us to think about the show in a dif-
ferent way,” says Barnes. They’ve brainstormed with hotel executives about ven-
ues, audiences and even ticket prices. She loves working with a business because
it looks at dance differently—just as Barnes has done from the beginning.
Part of her longevity comes from operating like a business herself (though
the company is a nonprofit). Barnes, Bass and Saenz de Viteri all draw full-time
salaries; Kelly Hanson, their costume and set designer, and Jane Cox, their light-
ing designer, are part-time contractors, and all of them receive annual raises.
With the help of Three Acts, the company now has a savings account, which
“just lets you sleep better at night,” says Barnes.
But this financial security only comes from being unafraid to take big risks,
Brian Schaefer writes for The New York Times, among other publications.
and by being patient enough to give quirky ideas generous gestation periods. The
impending museum workout, two years in the making, is another such gamble,
but one that has already earned the enthusiasm of curators. “The museum hasn’t
done anything like this before,” says Juliana Dweck, of the Princeton University
Art Museum, where much of the piece was developed. “To Anna and Monica,
everything is an experiment. They’re working outside any boxes.”
Joining forces with radio hosts, hotel chains and museums isn’t so different
from cold-calling a university 300 miles away—it comes from the same “any-
thing goes” and “make it work” attitude. Nearly two decades later, Monica Bill
Barnes is still hustling, just on a much larger scale. n
outside any boxes.”