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Ballet Talk for Dancers

The Critics: Sign of the Times?


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The Sunday Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times has articles on theater, film, television, art, pop and classical music, but not a word on ballet or dance. I don't remember this ever happening before, in all my years of reading the Times. I hope this is not a portent of the future.

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I noted the absence of any dance-related features in this Sunday's Art section too. I don't recall of this happening before.

More upsetting is the fewer dance reviews in the Times the last year or so. They used to review every cast of ABT/NYCB during the spring season but not the last 2 years. Anyone else noticed this??

 

Joe

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I've noticed the decrease in dance reviews, and I think it's been happening over the past 6 or 7 years. They still cover more dance than most other papers -- although the Miami Herald seems to be an exception to this; the Boston papers, too, cover a lot -- but they don't cover every performance.

 

I miss the alternate cast reviews, too, but I wonder if part of the fault for this lies with the companies as much with the editors. When the Times did cover cast changes, there weren't 7 to 10 casts of everything. First it was two or three, then four, MAYBE five -- and now there are so many it would be very difficult to cover them.

 

I don't know what the Times's situation is, but when the Washington Post began to cut back on arts coverage after the crash in '88 ('87?), it was directly related to loss of advertising. The Style section lost four pages -- something had to go, and it was the Performing Arts section. (To be fair, they also cut back on music, especially serious music. There are dozens of small concerts, mostly of new music or young musicians, that don't get covered now.)

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:unsure: Strictly off the top of my head, it seems that the Times is not at all stingy with popular (emphasis "rock") music.

 

A coordinated, spontaneous :wink: protest might be in order, folks.

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i believe in MOST recent history there was a week, an issue or two before the fallpreview, where this same omission occured. i think it was a 'theme' issue, but i forget the theme, oh yes, maybe architecture in nyc or some such...

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I like Mel's Flash Mob idea! If you'd like to form a battle plan, Mel......

 

Not to defend the Times, but there's also the off-chance that something planned fell through. I remembered, reading this, that Alan Kriegsman had his heart attack the year I started writing for the Post in the middle of writing a Sunday piece, a few hours before deadline. (As they were wheeling him out, he said, "Don't worry! I'll make the deadline!") He recovered, but the piece didn't make it into the paper that Sunday and there wasn't time to get someone to do another one. Not meaning to imply that anyone at the Times is ill, but it is possible that something went awry.

 

BUT NEVERTHELESS AND HOWEVER, we don't know why, and whether it was preventable or not, we miss having a dance piece in The Times. They should know this. Even if they'd commissioned four articles that had gone up in flames and couldn't be run and they're guilt free, they should know that we NOTICED. If you care about this issue, please write them. Just say, "I noticed there wasn't a dance article in X edition. I hope this isn't a policy." or something like that, and mentioning that you're disturbed by the diminution of coverage wouldn't hurt either.

 

AND DO THIS EVERY TIME THERE'S NOT A DANCE PIECE, or a cast change reviewed, or anything of the kind. Trust me on this one: they do not think we exist. They don't think many people read dance articles. Polls tell them this.

 

Another tip that I haven't put up for a time -- they count the number of clicks on each link, so when you're reading through our Links thread, take a moment to click on the links to dance coverage. It will make a difference. If you ever see a side bar to a dance story -- read more about Paul Taylor here, or whatever -- click it. Think of it as a "vote" that will be counted.

 

Agitate, agitate, agitate (with apologies to Frederick Douglas).

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Can't click what ain't there. :grinning:

 

However, by going to The Times's site (www.newyorktimes.com), you can click into "Arts" and from there to "Dance." Even if there are no new articles/reviews, those clicks will tally.

 

 

PS: Thought I'd just provide the -->Direct Dance Link <-- here. Maybe you'll want to add it to your "Favorites."

Edited by carbro
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However, to make matters even more interesting, there was no dance article TODAY, as well.... I think letter-writing is probably more effective than a Flash Mob. After all, 100 dance fans in the lobby of the Times Building, suddenly breaking out into paddleball while chanting, "Nuke the Whales!" (non sequitur is crucial to Flash Mobbing) could somehow be misunderstood.

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