Touchstone for Turbulent Times

Not long ago, a modern dance company came perilously close to giving its last performance. At fault was neither a sudden exodus of talent nor a financial crisis. The problem lay in its strategic plan – a plan that, ironically, had succeeded beyond every hope and expectation.

This plan marked a departure for the company, whose sole mission was centered on the work of its founder. Although she had always created the choreography, music, lighting, and costumes herself, she enthusiastically endorsed the plan, which for the first time called for collaborations with other artists. Collaborations, it was believed, would generate more touring dates and, thus, increase funding and exposure for the dancers.

It worked. The company secured more touring dates – and more funding – than ever before. The plan seems to be a resounding success. Yet by the tour’s conclusion, the company was on the verge of disbanding. Why?