Dance Critics Association Annual Conference
21st Century Dance Writing: Multimedia, Multiarts, Multitasking
June 22-24, 2012 New York City
May 31, 2012
So You Think You Can Ignore Dance on TV?
A provocative discussion about dance on television is among the panels planned for the upcoming Dance Critics Association 2012 Conference, “21st Century Dance Writing: Multimedia, Multiarts, Multitasking,” scheduled for June 22-24 in New York City.
At: Alvin Ailey Dance Center, New York City
For information and to register go to the DCA website at dancecritics.org.
Panels planned for the DCA's 2012 conference will look at some of the current issues impacting the field of dance writing and dance writers.
Other panels scheduled include:
* "Dance/Talk," a panel exploring choreographers who use language in their work. Panelists include choreographer Jennifer Muller.
* A panel on the state of dance writing today. Panelists include Robert Greskovic, Leigh Witchel, Christine Jowers and moderator Robert Johnson.
* "The New York School of Dance Criticism 1965-85". Panelists include Deborah Jowitt, Marcia Siegel, David Vaughan, and 2012 Senior Critic honoree Nancy Goldner with moderator Alastair Macaulay.
Other scheduled panels include sessions on the role of the dance critic - snark or praise, and how to survive as a dance writer.
The conference will begin with a keynote panel led by Virginia Johnson, artistic director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem on how changes in the cultural landscape have impacted changes in dance coverage.
Elizabeth Zimmer will also present her legendary Kamikaze Writing Workshop.
Panel Description: As dance critics we largely focus our energies, our editorial space and our knowledge on art or concert dance. For the most part, our field has rarely taken time to examine in depth dance in popular culture, especially on television. And yet television dance, from variety shows like “The Ed Sullivan Show” to the teen dance shows like “American Bandstand” and “Soul Train” to music videos by artists like Lady Gaga and Beyonce has been a staple in the diets of American audiences. Is it time to for dance writers and critics to step into the fray and find a way to write about dance on television including programs like “So You Think You Can Dance,” especially since these television viewers represent our greatest audience for dance in America? As dance critics should we and can we use our critical voices to shape the conversation?
DCA 2012 Conference Schedule at a Glance
Friday, June 22
9 am: Registration opens
9: 45-10:45 am: Keynote panel discussion led by Virginia Johnson, Artistic director, Dance Theatre of Harlem
11-12:30 pm: The state of dance writing today
1:30-3 pm: Dance/Talk - a panel focusing on choreographers who use language and their approaches to making work
3:30-4 pm: Calliope Award presentations
4:15-5:30 pm: Session on the importance of preserving the papers of dance writers
Saturday, June 23
9:30-11 am: Survivor: Dance Writer - a panel on how to make it work
11:30-12:30 pm: Senior Critics Award Lecture by Nancy Goldner
12:30-1:30 pm: Lunch break
1:30-3 pm: Digital Dance and the 21st century Dance Writer - a panel that will look at dance writing in the 21st century, from reviewing from DVD's, to the impact of blogging, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
3:30-5 pm: Impact of dance on television - a panel looking at the impact of dance on television with shows like “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Sunday, June 24
9:30-11 am: Snark, Praise and the role of the Critic today
11:30-1pm: DCA MEMBERSHIP MEETING
2-3:30 pm: "The New York School of Dance Criticism, 1965-85"
Vitolio Jeune began his dance training at age 17 in his native Haiti at Artcho Danse under the guidance of Jeanguy Saintus. He was a principal dancer with the Ayikodans Dance Company, touring nationally and internationally for five years, as well as a guest artist with la companie Trilogie. Jeune is a graduate of the New World School of The Arts and finished as top-14 contestant in FOX's televised “So You Think You Can Dance,” season five. Jeune has danced several works by Martha Graham, Jose Limon and Robert Battle. He is currently a soloist with the Garth Fagan Dance and has been with the GFD since August 2009. Jeune was recently featured twice in Dance Magazine: Best of 2010 as most intriguing newcomer, and in a full-page On the Rise article as a dancer in May 2011.
Kate Lydon is editor in chief of Dance Spirit, the magazine read by dancing teens all over America, and editor at large for Dance Magazine, the trusted source for professional dancers, serious students and their teachers. At Dance Media, Lydon is also the editorial advisor for Pointe magazine, a contributing editor to Dance Teacher magazine and artistic advisor to Dance Media's exclusive web video series Dance 212, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of professional dancers in New York City. At American Ballet Theatre, Lydon is the artistic coordinator for ABT's Studio Company, assisting the co-directors with planning, repertoire, and taking rehearsals. She is also a teacher on staff at ABT's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and a ballet mistress to the children for ABT's renowned Nutcracker. Lydon edited American Ballet Theatre's National Training Curriculum and is on ABT's Artistic Board of Examiners from Primary to Level 7. Lydon has adjudicated for the Capezio ACE Awards, Youth America Grand Prix and Regional Dance America and serves on the board of Dizzy Feet Foundation. She is a former member of both San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, where she danced classical, neo-classical and contemporary roles.
Simon Lythgoe (invited) came to the United States from the UK in 2001 to produce “American Idol” after successfully completing work on “Popstars,” an Australian talent competition and ancestor of juggernaut, “American Idol.” Prior to arriving in the US, Simon had already amassed an impressive list of television credits, including work on the Sydney Olympics and the Seven Network's long-running drama, “Home and Away,” and “Late Night with David Letterman.” Since his arrival in the US, Simon has produced six seasons of “American Idol,” two seasons of “So You Think You Can Dance,” and Mark Burnett's, “On the Lot,” a series developed for Fox. In 2007, Simon was recruited by “American Idol” producer, Fremantle to co-executive produce CMT's “Can You Duet,” and “Celebrity Family Feud.” Simon consulted on “America's Got Talent,” and “Let's Make a Deal.” Simon has received 3 Emmy nominations for his work on “American Idol” and 1 Producers Guild of America nomination and in 2005 received a People's Choice Award for “American Idol.”
Tonya Plank is a former competitive ballroom dancer and lifelong ballet lover. In 2006 she began her dance blog, Swan Lake Samba Girl, journaling her own experiences ballroom dancing and covering concert dance in New York. The blog has been lauded by several critics, including Vanity Fair's James Wolcott, and was written about in the Wall Street Journal. In 2009 she was interviewed for a CNN article on the popularity of dance shows on television. She's also written about dance for several websites, including Explore Dance and the Huffington Post. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
Adam Sklute was named Artistic Director of Ballet West in March of 2007. Prior to that time he was Associate Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet where he began as a dancer in the mid-1980s. Since then Sklute has presented Ballet West audiences with 15 Utah and world premieres by such renowned choreographers as George Balanchine, Ulysses Dove, Nicolo Fonte, Jiri Kylian, Mark Morris, Bronislava Nijinska, Helen Pickett, Andre Prokovsky, Michael Smuin, Ben Stevenson, Twyla Tharp and Stanton Welch. Additionally, he conceived and produced his own new versions of Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty and developed Ballet West's wildly successful new works program - Innovations.
Under Sklute's leadership, Ballet West has garnered increased national and international exposure. In 2008, Ballet West appeared at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of its Ballet Across America Festival. In February 2009, the company graced the cover of Dance Magazine for the first time in 24 years, and Sklute's production of The Treasures of the Ballets Russes garnered rave reviews from The New York Times among other international publications. On the strength of that review, the company was invited to appear at New York City's City Center as part of their 2009 Fall for Dance Festival, Ballet West's first return to New York since 1981. In 2009, Ballet West also performed at California's Laguna Dance Festival, and in 2010 and 2011 they participated in the Chicago Dancing Festival and performed at Wolftrap Park for the Performing Arts.
An adjunct professor of dance at the University of Utah, Sklute actively oversees Ballet West's Academy, teaching regularly and developing and focusing its syllabus with the Academy faculty. Sklute currently serves on the Board of the Gerald Arpino Foundation. He is a finalist judge for the Youth America Grand Prix, The World Ballet Competition and an adjudicator for the American College Dance Festival Association. He is also a guest teacher and coach for dance programs and workshops worldwide.
An arts journalist since 1985, Lisa Traiger writes on dance for The Washington Post Weekend section and edits From the Green Room, Dance/USA's online eJournal. From 1997-2006, she was a freelance dance critic for The Washington Post Style section. As arts correspondent, her pieces on the cultural and performing arts appear regularly in the Washington Jewish Week where she has reported on Jewish drum circles, Israeli folk dance, Holocaust survivors, Jewish Freedom Riders, and Jewish American artists from Ben Shahn to Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim to Y Love, Anna Sokolow to Liz Lerman. She has written for Dance, Dance Teacher, Washingtonian, The Forward, Moment, Dance Studio Life, Stagebill, Sondheim Review, Asian Week, New Jersey Jewish News, and Atlanta Jewish Times. In recent year's Traiger's arts writing has been recognized by the American Jewish Press Association and the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association. In 2003, she was a New York Times Fellow in the Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C. She served on the Dance Critics Association Board of Directors from 1991-93, returned to the board in 2005, and was co-president in 2006-2007. She was a member of the advisory board of the Dance Notation Bureau from 2008-2009.