It is hard for audience members to learn about what we do. In an article entitled “Ballet for your Children”, George Balanchine wrote, “many of us are more easily entertained if we have in advance some information about an art that happens to be strange to us.” As someone who came to dance later in life, I can relate to his sentiment. Sometimes what we do seems awful strange.
In Bourgeon Volume 2 #1, Suzanne Carbonneau spoke about the importance of art encouraging its own discovery. Carbonneau – who is a critic – wrote of how Merce Cunnigham’s work encouraged her to understand the world in a new way, so that she could understand the work. With that understanding I am forced to question whether or not writing about dance is valuable. Perhaps to build audience, and understanding, all we need is better work.
In this issue Dr. Judith Hanna asserts that being a stripper is like being an acress. Jessica Hirst asserts a connection between the culture of sports and sexual abuse. Lisa Traiger asserts the centrality of a plural identity in Liz Lerman’s work.
I don’t know that I agree with all of these assertions, but I enjoy learning what these artists are thinking about, and find my own thoughts clarified by reading their words. If you appreciate the dance writing in this magazine, please visit www.dayeight.org, make a donation, or purchase a subscription.