Today at the end of a full (very full) day of classes at the ABT intensive, we had a 'meet the artist' seminar with Kate Lydon, former ABT dancer and current Editor in Chief at Dance Spirit Magazine. She's so nice!
She spoke about her dance career and her transition into writing and editing. Given my experience I was eager to hear what she had to say. You know that she is still pursuing her college degree?! And you know what I remembered, I might be wrong but I believe Pointe Mag's EIC hasn't (or didn't when she started there) completed her degree either. Interesting, no?
Kate was really inspiring to listen to. Her transition into her second career after feeling burnt out from ballet was interesting to hear about.
One thing she mentioned that was particularly interesting was that she believes negative reviews are not at ALL beneficial to anyone. She spoke about how dance reviews should be trying to get people to support the arts and a bad review isn't going to get them to go see the ballet.
While I think this makes sense in itself, I kind of disagree...I think negative criticism, when done respectfully (that's the key here), can help the art form improve and can aid choreographers in improving their work. I also don't know about the idea that reviews should be PR, trying to sell tickets. That's what features and interviews and previews are for, I think. Reviews need to tell it like it is, and usually they come after a short run of performances is over, so they can't sell tickets anyway. Just rambling here but it's something to think about.
In the seminar she also had the big group of us watch a few people improvise and then write down a description of the movement. It was a fun exercise to hear people's interpretations.
My body is shot from the past few days, but the intensive is going well. In addition to rehearsing Swan Lake we're doing a more contemporary piece with Brian Reeder (who just got a good review from Claudia in the Times for his piece for Studio Company). It's a cool piece and we get some freedom with the choreography to add our own ideas.
In addition to all this I'm going to a dinner event and performance of NYCB tomorrow night, which I'm looking forward to. Review of that to come.
Plus Ailey student showing on Sunday.