First response, from writer Paul Parish

great opening gambit.
My first thought was to say, “well, Dancing with the Stars had the highest rating in all of television last week — or some such — so what makes you say the audiences are small?”
So you got ME going………. and I’m all ready to say things about the arbitrariness of some modern dancers (“why not try to make the left side of the body staccato and the right side legato”, which is a useful technical study but no basis for a dance) making it impossible for the casual viewer to have any kinesthetic identification with the dancers, since the impulses aren’t rhythmically based and are so caught up in cognitive dissonance within the dancer’s head that unless you LIKE identifying with anxiety and the stress adjacent to over-multi-tasking (and who needs more of that?), what is there to appeal to the imagination? or some such….
of course when Merce did it, part of the fabulous thing was he DID find ways to DO the impossible things he set himself, and his temperament made them strangely plausible, especially when he’d use something like that fool’s-hat sweater to increase the preposterousness.
[ed. note: Paul Parish writes for San Francisco magazine and, among many other publications. He was a Rhodes scholar same time as Clinton, and he DID inhale.]

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