Lea Marshall responds: the call and response between writer and dance
Brian, what you say about the writer's process echoing the process of the artist under review really resonates with me.
I find writing reviews a glorious, yes agonizing process. It feels most rewarding when I can respond creatively to work that has moved me. Then a sort of call and response can begin; the artist calls through performance and we respond on behalf of ourselves as critics and of the larger community for whom we write. I was able to write this way most recently in a review for Dance Magazine, here.
My own approach to criticism includes creating a written record of an ephemeral event (description); placing the work in a context for the reader (the frame); and providing critical interpretation based on my own knowledge and experience. I'm always interested in the balance between critics' responsibilities to the artist, the audience, and the readers or cultural record.
[editor's note: Lea Marshall is cofounder and executive director of Ground Zero Dance Company and Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University's department of dance and choreography. She has written for Dance Magazine, Ballet-Dance Magazine and Dance International, among other publications.]
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