Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Letter to the New York Times

To the Editors,

If dance is the “art with no history” as Alastair Macaulay states, fair and broad-minded reporting of it, which IS in effect its history, is all the more crucial. In Mr. Macaulay’s assessment of the last decade in dance (Choreographic Climate Change, 12/31), he dismissed the downtown modern and post-modern segment of the field as “too large for anyone to keep complete track of it.” Dance’s cutting edge is no more unwieldy than that of any other artistic field; this statement reads as lack of personal interest.

While the Times’ senior critic has considerable knowledge and skill, he’s missing the curiosity required for comprehensive reporting on dance. Biases become a problem. How can he limn the 1980’s without mention of Trisha Brown whose innovations in physical language and choreographic devices permanently changed the face of contemporary dance? While Mr. Macaulay’s stated preference for ‘joy’ in dance is understandable, deep investigation and the continuing evolution of the art form merit acknowledgement.

Sincerely yours,

Lisa Kraus

Macaulay's article: