I entered the dance world as a performer, moving from my native California to New York to become a member of the company run by Harriette Ann Gray. During the 1950s, few modern dance companies functioned full-time. My friends and I jobbed around: Sophie Maslow was choreographing the Chanukah Festival; Pearl Lang needed a tall dancer for a week at Jacob’s Pillow; Doris Humphrey was auditioning people for Juilliard Dance Theater. . . . My life (if not my income) got more stable when I became a founding members of Dance Theater Workshop—then a kind of 1960s cooperative, where we choreographed our own works and performed in those of our colleagues in a small, funky loft on 20th Street.
My first stab at dance criticism came on a weekly panel show, “The Critical People,” at WBAI. I found I had an appetite for the job. In 1967, I went straight from a summer spent dancing in musicals in tents all over the northeast to writing for the Village Voice, alongside the remarkable Jill Johnson. During my forty-four year career there, I also wrote for other publications, lectured, taught, published books, and continued to perform and choreograph off and on. I guess I’m in it for life.
Anyone looking for more information can find me at deborahjowitt.com. Anyone wanting to contact me can send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. And you’re invited to leave a comment on this blog at my new online home.