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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2000 2:05 pm 
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Luckily, people care enough about art, and dancing in particular, to have dance writing in publications, whether reviews or interviews. That's one important point. Another probably is the review, "good or bad," brings audience--people like to agree and disagree with reviewers.<P>no doubt, good written interviews take longer than reviews as good interviews are works of art themselves, and reviews are as everyone points out "opinion--yours" of someone else's work. <P>reviewers usually do not work on hiding their personalities, while a good interview does not disclose the personality of the writer, but keeps it hidden beneath the personality of the interviewee. Staying objective and being less in the picture is always more difficult. in the review, the personality of the reviewer often is more outfront than the work itself. some readers like this--others find it tedious. in either case, it seems to me, the subjective review takes less time, less thought, and usually, less research and insight.


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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2000 10:27 pm 
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Location: Australia
well, yes & no, sherri...you certainly make some good points. <P>and kevin: you are obviously naturally better at interviewing than i USED TO be!!<P>sherri - we have all acknowledged there is an element of subjectivity in reviews BUT...<P>i can spend DAYS, even a week on researching, double-checking etc. facts, quotes, comments for a REVIEW. (this is possible because i write for a bi-monthly mag with deadlines that permit this.) i wouldn't want to have to throw a review together quickly overnight - as most reviewers for daily papers HAVE TO do.<P>the issue of 'evident personality' interests me - because i HAVE always tried to keep my personality in the background as far as possible - until recently, when i decided it was better to let my own tastes and preferences be clear, even to directly articulate them at times, so as to give the reader a clear reference point from which to judge my opinions. also, so as to lighten up the tone a little, in the interests of making things more accessible, less dry/scholarly in tone.<P>just last week i came across the work of a reviewer, louise levene, who writes for the sunday telegraph in london, whose reviews were so downright funny (NOT at anyone's expense) that i immediately searched out all i could find of hers, with the intention of trying to absorb how she does this...perhaps to be able to write with a little more humour myself.<P>certainly one DOES get a feeling for HER (fun) personality from her reviews, and they (and WE) are all the better for it.<P>i am NOT disagreeing with you - rather, just bouncing off your ideas, relative to aspects i am thinking about myself at the moment... thanks for your insights!

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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2000 6:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 149
Location: New York NY USA
Thanks Stuart, I'm also glad I opened up this old thread again -although I wasn't aware that it was old- as it's been really interesting. I'm new in the writing game so I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments. <P>I guess review writing remains somewhat of an enigma for me because I haven't had enough practise. I am also a fan of "humour in writing" and would like to master the art of using my sense of humour when writing reviews. So, I guess it comes down to practise, practise, practise. <P>Congratulations to you people who do have the opportunity to write regular dance reviews for a publication. I think I have subconciously adopted Clive Barnes' theory that one needs to watch hundreds of dance performances before attempting to put ones thoughts into words; words that hold the reader. <P>Elizabeth Zimmer (Dance Editor for the Village Voice) gave me a tip to help get the information I need during interviews. I'd like to pass it on: she suggested never to ask a yes/no question, rather, one that requies at least a one sentence answer. <P><BR>

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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2000 9:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Jennifer, I'm a great believer in people having a go at reviews when they feel the moment is right, but unlike Barnes I think sooner is better than later. This is one of the glories of websites, which make it very easy to start writing reviews and beginning to acquire a style and become aware of the pitfalls.<P>After I had been writing reviews regularly for ballet.co.uk for about 9 months I wrote a piece to try to encourage others to try their hand. It is meant to be a few thoughts rather than a definitive study of the art. Here is the URL of the article:<P> <A HREF="http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_99/apr99/ss_write_review.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_99/apr99/ss_write_review.htm</A>


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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2000 4:15 pm 
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Location: Australia
an excellent article, stuart! thanks. Image<P>and jennifer: i think i know you well enough now to say "stop apologising and get on with it!" Image<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited 03-13-2000).]

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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2000 4:49 am 
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Location: New York NY USA
Great articles Stuart, thanks. Alright, alright, I'll just have to dive in there now. You're probably right, a good eye is worth a lot, why not just dive in and keep on diving?!<P>Grace, you know me? Do my postings make me that transparent? Thanks for your energy, but you're beginning to sound like my former ballet teacher, my boss, my mother Image No, seriously, we all need encouragement from time to time and now I know where to get it.

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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2000 7:30 am 
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yes jennifer, your postings ARE that transparent. Image<P>you had me worried for a minute there, so i checked your profile, and breathed a sigh of relief...

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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2000 11:47 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
It's never safe to put your two cents in a group of distinguished people as we have here but I am a daredevil. So here goes...<P>I think the great thing about the world wide web is that it gives people the chance to experiment and try their hand at everything. It is in essence the great equalizer and one of the goals of this board: to let ordinary people make a difference.<P>I propose that a new term be created for the casual fan who wants to write about dance. Instead of calling the work a review which implies an educated treatise, perhaps the writing can be called an impression. And that is what it really is, a fan's impression of a dance piece. Some are more observant than others and some are more articulate than others. It's like a travel essay where good observant writers can write beautifully about a place without really being scholars about it. This style of writing is prevalent everywhere; why not also in dance?<P>As for interviews, I find the most fascinating ones are the ones in which the interviewer interacts with the interviewee. Because I am more interested in personalities than facts (after all, you could always look up the facts for a celebrity), I like to see this personal interaction in which the interviewee lets his or her guard down. Sometimes it takes a second interview for this to happen. That is why I sometimes like to interview someone in the presence of one of his/her friends. And I love recording conversations between two dancers who know each other because they tend to get comfortable and reveal bits of their personalities that they wouldn't otherwise.<P>Alright, did I say too much?


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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2000 7:03 pm 
Azlan, what a good idea! Next time I interview a dancer or choreographer, I'll ask him/her to bring along a colleague or friend who can make us all feel more comfortable.<P>I'd like to draw from my own experience. Last year my newspaper editor interviewed in Hong Kong Thomas Edur of English National Ballet, and she asked me to be present to contribute to the questionning and later to do part of the write up. Afterwards Edur told me that he was really grateful for my presence as a dance person, as it made him feel so much more at ease.<p>[This message has been edited by Kevin Ng (edited 03-19-2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2000 11:37 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Hey, are we starting a new trend here? Kevin, another thing we should consider is streaming video on the internet...


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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2000 11:45 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Grace wrote in the "Terminology" thread:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>i am lucky - i write for australia's dance community, since dance australia is the only national dance magazine in australia (like your Dance Magazine), so i have a dance-sophisticated audience of connoisseurs, and can have the luxury of writing accordingly. this means i can go into depths and details that the general audience wouldn't understand, and don't need to.<P>if/when i write for a different audience, i write differently.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>This makes complete sense to me but I still see newspaper reviews written with a certain sense of sophistication that the average audience member misinterprets as snootines. I think it is important that dance critics for newspapers understand that the general audience tends to read superficially. Sometimes the tone alone, even if the review is positive, can turn off the casual fan.


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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2000 12:24 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
Stuart-<BR>What is the rule about copywright---I have a good quote from "The Vision of Modern DAnce" I want to put up, but want to make sure I'm not violating any copywright laws! The quote is about critics and the role of criticsm.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2000 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Hmmm....not really an area of expertise I'm afraid. My guess is that an extract of say up to 200 words with a credit given should not be a problem. 5000 words would be a problem I'm sure if a copyright holder wanted to be difficult.<P>Can you shed any light on this Shag? He's a lawyer by the way, but we don't hold it against him.


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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2000 4:00 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Stanford University has a good site that covers US copyright law and "fair use".<P>European posters, since this covers *US* law, your kilometerage may vary.<BR> <A HREF="http://fairuse.stanford.edu/" TARGET=_blank>http://fairuse.stanford.edu/</A> <P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg,<BR>Lighting Designer

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 Post subject: Re: The power of critics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2000 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Hey, thanks Mr Salzberg.


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