Credit Where It's Due

Alexa Mardon, August 2016

The topic for this post was initiated by friend and colleague Karissa Barry. A while back, Karissa emailed us in hopes that we’d create a post around the importance of crediting artists on social media. As dance artists, it’s our responsibility to properly credit our collaborators, whether they be photographers, videographers, lighting designers, outside eyes, etc. On the other hand, when choreographic material is shared online, it’s important that credit is given to the creator of the work. Ownership, lineage, and artistic license can be slippery subjects, and as always, this post started with one angle in mind and snowballed via related pieces of writing.

As a dance artist, I’m interested in what some best practices might be in terms of consistently crediting all of a work’s collaborators – from light, sound, and costume, to dancers and outside eyes. Would this be a document any folks would be interested in crowdsourcing together?

I’m also interested in how this phenomenon of artistic credit and ownership translates within our “ephemeral” form, how the idea of artistic and collaborative ownership plays out along gender lines, and the transmission of certain forms within educational structures. How much of what lives in my body, or the way I move is really “mine?” How much of it is learned, imposed, rejected, re-purposed? Deanna’s Dance Histories post from June deals with some of these questions, too, in the context of appropriation.

But for now, in collaboration with Karissa, I’ve compiled a series of links which touch on many of these topics, but I would love to hear your input on related reads you’ve come across too.

Some basics around crediting photographers on social media, and a breakdown of Creative Commons licenses, and an online, non-profit library of free media:

Giving Credit on Social Media

Creative Commons Licences

Within the realm of music and visual art, artists battle YouTube’s enforced subscription service, female artists don’t get credit for their work, and artist-on-artist theft is questioned:

Artist Refuses Subscription Service

Bjork is Tired of Not Getting Credit

Grimes Says Men Still Get all the Credit

When is Artist-on-Artist Theft Okay?

And some articles around copyright in choreography:

Beyonce vs. De Keersmaker

Copyright in Choreography in Canada

Dancing Around the Issue of Copyright

Any thoughts, ideas and/or practices to share? Please let us know via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email