Reader Tonya Plank: claims of sexism in the dance world not off-the-wall

Tonya: Well, I think it's very cordial of John Rockwell to respond. It's nice to know that claims of sexism are taken seriously by the powers that be! That's what struck me most about your post -- the overall sentiment that there are few women in positions of power in the dance world. Recently, a NYCB patron asked during a First Position discussion why the company had produced little to no … [Read more...]

Former Times head dance critic John Rockwell responds to Apollinaire’s grumblings

Here's an exchange with recently retired Times head dance critic, John Rockwell, in response to the following two posts about the hire of Alastair Macaulay and not a woman or a New Yorker (Here's post #1 and here's post #2, where I've summarized recent comments that I can't get access to. I also made a few revisions to my own post in light of more developments and thinking.) I know John from when … [Read more...]

Laura Bleiberg of the Orange County Register: I’m disappointed, too

Hi Apollinaire: Thanks for your comments about Alastair Macaulay being chief dance critic at the NYT. I share your respect for his gifts as a critic and writer, but disappointment that the paper did not hire a woman. A friend forwarded to me a story that had this comment in it from editor Oestreich, and I think this goes to the heart of it all: Times Classical Music and Dance Editor James R. … [Read more...]

Leading “the girls”

So the New York Times has hired its next chief dance critic, to replace John Rockwell: the fine Alastair Macaulay, of London. Some day, I will write a long post about the short Rockwell reign and the endless Anna Kisselgoff era: all the things they did wrong, and the few, right. But today--with deadlines coming out of my ears--I just want to say: I can't think of a more serious and worthy critic … [Read more...]

No, I really do like comments….

.... though the fact that they have all disappeared from the blog might suggest otherwise. You see, one day I went to check my comments folder and found thousands, from Adelbert, Al, Aloysius, Abe, Alfonso, Alfie, Ammon, Alex--and that's just a few of the As. It turns out that the phrase "foot in mouth" drives sex sites in Italy to email. Perhaps the manufacture of so many nice shoes encourages … [Read more...]

Paul Parish: I concede. On the other hand, quality-time-with-your-own-mind fits too conveniently into niche marketing

[Paul is responding to a whole chain of posts that started out with thoughts on Balanchine's ballets "Liebeslieder Walzer" and "Serenade," but has now taken on all of Western Civilization. (This should probably be the cue to stop...)] I concede everything Marc says. And I don't want to go back to national Christianity any more than I'd go back to astrology. There IS a nostalgia for it which I feel … [Read more...]

We interrupt this program….

... to urge you to get thee to the Japan Society for Big Dance Theater's "The Other Here," running only through Saturday. I mean, if you live in New York. (They will be touring to San Francisco, Houston, etc. later this year.) Two stories turn each other inside out: one, set in semirural Japan, features a salesman whose greatest attachment is to a fish (though even it arouses ambivalence in him); … [Read more...]

Marc Etlin: Do we really want to return to the monoculture of Christianity–especially since we’ve never quite left it?

[ed. note: This morning, I got about 800 emails from my friend Marc, who should have been doing his (day) job (and me, too). Anyway, I've tried to piece them together here, because they form an interesting secular humanist response to Paul's Christian humanist response to my modernist lament.] It seems to me the secular goal of fame fills the same psychological placeholder as hoping for a future … [Read more...]

Paul Parish responds: We don’t want no reality TV

[ed note: Paul is responding to my post below about how the corps fulfills the modernist project of impersonality in art, which our current age of non-stop confessional threatens.] This thing you said is extremely important: I think [the impersonality that the corps supplies] is a big deal in this age of reality TV and memoir craziness, with the prevalent notion that the closer one gets to the … [Read more...]

We interrupt this program….

...to recommend that, if you live in New York, you get thee to Karole Armitage's show at the Joyce. I haven't always been an admirer--in fact, I positively detested her last outing, at the Duke. But everything on the Joyce program is worth seeing--cherishable, even. I didn't love every moment, but I loved the spirit of it: and that's the point--it has a spirit. Each piece establishes an atmosphere … [Read more...]