PRESERVING DANCE

It’s quite possible with the dissolution of the Martha Graham Company, that her works will fall into oblivion. “Whatever its quirks, though, the Graham case is part of a widespread phenomenon: the disappearance, real or potential, of choreography. Even in this era of satellite imaging and fingertip access to unfathomable resources, much of the world’s dance catalogue has been erased.” – Washington Post

THE INTERNATIONAL ART

“Just as no football fan would ever mistake a Brazilian forward for a German one, so the seasoned ballet-goer likes to think they can tell an American or a Russian from the back of the gallery. Go to any performance of The Nutcracker in London or Manchester this week and you’ll see Danes dancing with Spaniards, Italians dancing with Japanese. Look hard and you may detect subtle differences of style. Yet stereotypes need to be handled with care: the surnames tell only half the story.” – The Telegraph (London)

HISTORY OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN DANCE

“The origins of much American entertainment – jazz, blues and rock-and-roll, social dancing from the Twist to the Hustle to college-fraternity stepping, as well as hip-hop culture, just to give a few examples — go back to the African slave trade. Those whose lives were uprooted and stamped with foreign ways in turn left an indelible mark on the art of their adoptive land.” – Washington Post

RENEWING DANCE?

“How many choreographers today are thinking about telling new tales, new tragedies, in dance? Almost all new ballets today are supine rewrites of past classics or great tomes of literature painted onto the stage with a leaden thud. The mystery is that there’s so little genuine inspiration by our own world. We hear every day of events whose imagery and emotional resonance seize us, and novelists rush to their keyboards and artists to their scalpels and camcorders, as Janacek rushed to his desk. But ballet? Nothing.” – The Telegraph (London)