At the Dance/USA conference last year in Washington, D.C., the panel on dance criticism focused on the PAST of dance writing, the disappearance of the staff position and the exponential shrinking of space for dance reviews. Ok, we know this is the reality. Let’s move on and build something new. What that is, I’m not sure. But I’m looking forward to working with DCA and other national and international dance organizations to discover it. As a relatively new voice to the field, I come with the perspective of one who sees not what dance criticism has been and is no longer but rather what it could be and how it needs to re-establish itself as a vital voice in the dialogue of the larger dance community. I believe the key is VISIBILITY:
– VISIBILITY of our members – in attendance and in conversation with leaders of other national and international dance organizations through panels, seminars, workshops and other tangible opportunities to talk about the FUTURE of dance writing, initiated by DCA
– VISIBILITY of our writing – both on the DCA website (which I think can be a robust tool and archive for members, artists, and dance lovers) and as a presence in existing publications (imagine a regular DCA column in the Dance/USA newsletter or in Arts Journal, for example)
– VISIBILITY of our art form – joining in conversation and collaboration with critics and writers in other artistic disciplines to represent and speak on behalf of dance, its needs, its contributions, and its value
The Dance Critics Association must re-insert itself boldly into the national dance dialogue with openness and generosity and a willingness to engage, debate, and challenge artists, arts leaders, as well as ourselves and our assumptions of what dance criticism is and where it is found. I look forward to joining you all in that adventure.