I attended parts of the Dance Critics Association conference this weekend, and am very glad that I did. While I would have liked to attend the whole thing, I had some rehearsal conflicts that I could not get out of. In the end, I attended one workshop on Saturday, and two workshops and a lecture on Sunday.

I’ll get into the individual sessions in subsequent posts (I was originally was going to do one post but it got too long), but the overall benefit of my attendance was meeting other dance writers, both new and established, catching up with friends and acquaintainces, and getting an overall sense of the state of the dance writing profession and the interrelationships between those who dance and manage dance companies, and those who write about them.

I got the sense that dance criticism is at a crossroads. This year has seen many arts critics job losses from traditional newspapers due to budget cuts. The average age is on the older side, and most of these critics quite rightly focused on the art of writing about dance, are not as tech savvy as they need to be to evolve with the changing times. As one critic asked, how can we adapt to new technology, blogging rather than working for a newspaper and still get paid for it? At the end of the conference, that question remained unanswered, but a dialogue had started.

Advertisements