Guest Jeannie Posted March 23, 1999 Report Share Posted March 23, 1999 I've often wondered how critics of the dance (or any other art, for that matter) can maintain complete objectivity and review a performance fairly when the dance troupe or sponsoring theater/organization provides the critic on a regular basis with choice-location complimentary tickets and other freebies, such as free gala dinners and the like. As an "informal" and occasional dance critic on the alt.arts.ballet newsgroup & Kirov Academy web site, I pay for my own dance tickets and travel to/from places where a performance is taking place. [Yes, I even pay for my Kirov Academy recital tickets at $25 each, for myself and my husband.] Consequently, as I write, I feel very "free" in my conscience that I am telling-it-like-it-is, exactly as I see it, warts and all. I can say that ballerina-X is overweight or that the ballet company's choreographer-artistic director stinks, if that is the case. Quite simply, by paying for my tickets, I feel that I don't owe the dance troupe or sponsoring organization any favors. Only once in my "occasional dance critic career" have I accepted a comp ticket & invitations to parties. This happened only because I registered as a critic with that particular organization so that I could have access to the facilities of the press room and be sent a press kit. A representative of the organization asked "Don't you also want comp tickets?" so who was I to say "no"? I accepted. THEN they asked me "Do you want a set of comp tickets for your husband (or companion)." That's where I drew the line--Why on earth would a non-working/non-critic companion be entitled to comp tickets? I also declined a dinner invitation for the press. So, again, my question is: Do you think that it is appropriate for dance critics to accept comp tickets (& other "freebies") to performances that they will be reviewing? Is it possible for a critic to maintain impartiality in such cases? I am genuinely interested in reading your responses. Thank you, in advance. - Jeannie Szoradi Quote Link to comment
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