I’m giving a guest lecture on dance criticism tomorrow afternoon at San Francisco State University, and while I’ll be taking a mostly nuts-and-bolts approach, it’s rather nice timing that Deborah Jowitt’s interview with Tere O’Connor should come out this week. Its hook is O’Connor’s angry letter to New Yorker critic Joan Acocella and his contention that critics should enter into in-depth conversation with choreographers so as to approach reviewing the work through the lens of the choreographer’s intentions. Jowitt respectfully objects to this methodology, while Acocella, John Rockwell, and Jennifer Dunning weigh in with their ideas of the critic’s role. I’ll be passing this article out to the students. It’s a must-read.
UPDATE: Downtown Dancer follows up with further provocations.