I took this photo in Vermont, long before I ever considered dance critics an endangered lot. Never under estimate the predictive abilities of the artistic process. Anyway, after hanging out with dance critics from all over the U.S. at ADF, I report that we are still a lively bunch, even amidst a climate of nothing but dire news. Doug McLennan called us a survivalist camp. He told us to sit tight until the next wave of arts journalism shows itself. I’ll go for that. There’s a certain freedom to becoming extinct. Reinventing oneself becomes a necessity rather than a whim. Here’s his recent rant on Martin Bernheimer’s piece Critics in a Hostile World.
The disappearance of dance critics is just the tip of the sinking print ship. To catch up, read Eric Alterman’s piece in The New Yorker. To get super current Democracy Now just did a piece this morning on the declining health of American newspapers.
If you really want to get involved visit the Arts Journalism Blog Critical Edge: Critics in a Critical Age- an online debate. Wouldn’t you know it, there isn’t a dance critic in the mix.
As a sucker for hope, let it be known that Houston still rocks in its own can-do way. Glasstire and Dance Source Houston, two start-up non-profits, have picked up the slack. So let’s have art have the last word. Notice the rock is still standing tall.