Editor Christine Jowers Guest Writes for Dance/USA
Like great American humorist Mark Twain, who remarked that “reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” upon hearing that a New York journal published his obituary, the same holds true for the long-reported dying art form of dance criticism. Writer Christine Jowers contends that dance criticism in America is far from dead. It is evolving. Read more in her response to a recent article in The Atlantic.
Reports of the Death of the American Dance Critic: Are Greatly Exaggerated
August 25, 2015
By Christine Jowers
This summer I discovered that the dance critic in America is dead. This was written up in The Atlantic Monthly, so it must be true.
Imagine my shock. I have been publishing and writing criticism as well as feature articles on dance for my website created eight years ago, The Dance Enthusiast. We have built up a contributing staff of ten writers dedicated to dance communication (note: not just criticism) — interviews, profiles, features, videos — and boast more than 200,000 avid viewers a year with top readership from dance audiences in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and London. Since 2009 our site has grown 2000 percent. All writers receive a fee for their work. I have invested money in this project because I believe in the power of dance, appreciate the commitment and talent of our many writers, and insist that our ephemeral art is documented with passion for new audiences.
But I’m not the only one, and The Dance Enthusiast is just one example of this new age of communicating about dance. There is ArtBurst Miami, a free, curated online site that publishes reviews, previews, and interviews on dance and other art forms and is funded by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and administered through the Arts & Business Council of Miami. In Philadelphia, thINKingDANCE features intelligent dance writing by dancers and others written for a dance-centric audience. The site, which is supported by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, publishes reviews, previews, features and, what it calls, “as yet undiscovered forms.” The Washington, D.C.-based but nationally and internationally focused DanceViewTimes covers dance in the more traditional, longer review format, publishing well-regarded writers like David Vaughan, George Jackson, Rita Felciano, Alexandra Tomalonis, and Leigh Witchel. In Houston, Dance Source Houston, a city-wide dance service organization, includes space in its website to publish both previews and reviews.
To continue reading Christine's piece, go to FROM THE GREEN ROOM: Dance/USA's eJournal.