foot in mouth: September 2006 Archives

Why would rhythmically based choreography necessarily have more interest than the example you give of the two sides of the body performing disparate intentions? Both utilize simple dance elements, so why the hierarchy?

[editor's note: Annie-B Parson is co-choreographer and co-director with Paul Lazar of the widely acclaimed Big Dance Theater, based in New York]

September 30, 2006 10:29 PM | | Comments (0)

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.]

September 28, 2006 1:24 PM | | Comments (0)

(PLEASE NOTE: Entries for each week run from oldest to newest. Comments by readers on the week's piece follow below.)

If nearly everybody likes to move and watch others move, why are dance audiences so small?

When critics consider dance's tiny place in the culture, we tend to blame the dances, the dancing, the funding, the producers, the curators, the artistic directors, the marketing, and the newspapers that have shrunk us to near nonexistence, but not ourselves. So I thought I would try it.

This blog's concern is the tricky business of recognizing dance's peculiar language and history without needlessly isolating it from the rest of the culture. Dance critics have often opted for one or the other, disappearing into the arcane or bobbling along on a sociological surface.

Topics I hope to get to:

--Do I have to leave my brain at the door? Some definitions of "stupid" in dance, and why people don't need to tolerate it

--Blackface in ballet: some definitions of "offensive" in ballet, and why people don't need to make excuses for it

--Civility in criticism: what would that be and what's it worth?

--The complaints about New York City Ballet's Peter Martins, and why he's not listening

--The trend in modern dance of using untrained dancers, and the trial it puts us through

--The contempt some modern-dance choreographers have for critics: do we deserve it?

How the blog will work: I'll post an opening gambit every Monday or so and pray it prompt response.

I very much hope that not only other critics and dance writers, but also choreographers and dancers, arts producers, curators, editors, and especially the uninvested viewer, with no more ambition than to sit in her seat and have a dance wash over her, join in. (Please pass the word--and the html.)

When you post a comment, please identify yourself, where you're from, what you do. Wouldn't it be neat if we became that elusive thing, a community?

Up next Monday, October 2: When American Ballet Theatre premiered James Kudelka's "Cinderella" this summer, a few critics were withering about his feminist update of the char girl. The question: in an art with a long, revered, and sometimes ridiculous history, when is it okay--good, even--to revamp the stories?

September 26, 2006 6:41 PM | | Comments (0)

to come

September 26, 2006 12:09 PM | | Comments (0)

Topics on Tap


Me Elsewhere

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by foot in mouth in September 2006.

foot in mouth: October 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
State of the Art
innovations and impediments in not-for-profit arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
The Unanswered Question
Joe Horowitz on music

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.