Dance Writing

I began watching dance in 1970, thanks to the enthusiasm of a high school girlfriend, who introduced me to the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor, the Joffrey Ballet, and many other companies. I began writing about dance much later, first as a poet, producing the poems that became my book The Art of Gravity (LSU Press, 2011). At that time, I also began publishing omnibus reviews of dance-related books and exhibitions for such publications as The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, and The Southern Review. In 2007 I became the dance critic for The Saratogian newspaper in Saratoga Springs, New York, my home town, covering summer performances at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the New York City Ballet's summer home. In 2009, The Hopkins Review invited me to become its regular dance critic, and soon after I also began contributing to Ballet Review.

 

A list of my dance pieces appears below, including links to selected articles and interviews.

 

If you would like to follow my dance criticism, please contact me and request to be added to my dance email list.

Links to Dance Articles and Interviews

Click on the Title to Read

"A Conversation with Peter Martins," the New York City Ballet's Ballet Master in Chief, in Ballet Review, Winter 2015-16.

"Enter Justin Peck, by Leaps and Bounds," a brief profile of the brilliant young choreographer as his career began, from Playbill, Fall 2012.

"City Ballet," a 2011 review of N. Y. Export: Opus Jazz, a film adaptation of the Jerome Robbins ballet, directed by Jody Lee Lipes. 

 

“Summer Romances” (Essay-review of Jessica Lang’s The Wanderer and performances by Daniil Simkin’s Intensio, Daniel Ulbricht’s Stars of American Ballet, and the Mark Morris Dance Group). The Hopkins Review, forthcoming.

 

“Girls Who Dance Like That” (Essay-review of Alexei Ratmansky’s production of The Sleeping Beauty for American Ballet Theater and Christopher Wheeldon's An American in Paris. The Hopkins Review, forthcoming.

 

“A Conversation with Peter Martins.” Ballet Review, forthcoming.

 

“The Avant-Garde as Tradition at New York City Ballet” (Essay-review of a Balanchine-Stravinsky program and a program of new works). The Hopkins Review 8.3 (Summer 2015): 432-38.

 

“A Conversation with Wendy Whelan.” Ballet Review 43.2 (Summer 2015): 98-105.

 

“Essential Eccentrics” (Essay-review of the Mark Morris Dance Group and Chalk and Soot, a collaboration between Dance Heginbotham and Colin Jacobsen, at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival). The Hopkins Review 8.2 (Spring 2015): 265-71.

 

“Jenifer Ringer” (Review of Dancing Through It: My Journey in the Ballet, a memoir by Jenifer Ringer). Ballet Review 43.1 (Spring 2015): 109-10.

 

“Family Vacations at Jacob’s Pillow” (Essay-review of Daniel Ulbricht’s Ballet 2014 and Pacific Northwest Ballet at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival). The Hopkins Review 8.1 (Winter 2015): 113-19.

 

“City Ballet Summer” (Report on the New York City Ballet’s July 2014 Saratoga Season). Ballet Review 42.4 (Winter 2014-15): 78-84.

 

“Hot Diggity” (Report on the Bolshoi Ballet’s Don Quixote). Ballet Review 42.4 (Winter 2014-15): 102-105.

 

“The Englishness of Ashton, Sarasota-Style” (Essay-review of the Sarasota Ballet’s Frederick Ashton Festival). The Hopkins Review 7.4 (Fall 2014): 565-72.

 

Daily reviewer, New York City Ballet summer season and other dance performances at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY. The Saratogian, July 2007-July 2014.

 

“Heaven and Earth in Balanchine’s Philosophy” (Essay-review of performances by the New York City Ballet of George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, Episodes, Duo Concertant, and Symphony in Three Movements). The Hopkins Review 7.3 (Summer 2014): 401-408.

 

“Childhood’s End.” (Review of a Mark Morris Dance Group performance in Albany). Ballet Review 42.2 (Summer 2014): 48-52.

 

“Tell Us a Story, Mr. B” (Essay-review of performances by the New York City Ballet of George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, La Sonnambula, and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue). The Hopkins Review 7.2 (Spring 2014): 260-67.

 

Review of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance. Ballet Review 42.1 (Spring 2014): 6-7.

 

“Reimagining Modern Classics” (Essay-review of Mark Morris’s Dido and Aeneas and Curlew River, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature). The Hopkins Review 7.1 (Winter 2014): 126-33.

 

“Balanchine’s Revolution” (Review of Balanchine and the Lost Muse: Revolution and the Making of a Choreographer, by Elizabeth Kendall). Ballet Review 41.4 (Winter 2013-14): 4-6.

 

Review of Jessica Lang’s choreographed staging of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the Glimmerglass Festival. Ballet Review 41.4 (Winter 2013-14): 11-12.

 

“Beauties and Beasts: London Dance Spectacles, Great and Small” (Essay-review of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance; the English National Opera’s Julius Caesar, directed and choreographed by Michael Keegan-Dolan; and HeadSpaceDance). The Hopkins Review 6.4 (Fall 2013): 563-70.

 

“Summer Varieties” (Essay-review of New York City Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center). Ballet Review, 41.3 (Fall 2013): 26-36.

 

“Shooting Dancers” (Review of Ballet: Photographs of the New York City Ballet by Henry Leutwyler). Ballet Review 41.2 (Summer 2013): 90-91.

 

Review of the Nuns’ Ballet by Lionel Hoche, in the Royal Opera production of Robert le Diable. Ballet Review 41.1 (Spring 2013): 7-8.

 

Review of Year of the Rabbit and Paz de la Jolla, two ballets by Justin Peck performed by the New York City Ballet. Ballet Review 41.1 (Spring 2013): 21-23.

 

“London: A Study in Scarlett and Other New British Dances” (Essay-review of the Royal Ballet in works by Liam Scarlett, Wayne McGregor, and Christopher Wheeldon; San Francisco Ballet in works by Wheeldon, George Balanchine, and Mark Morris; and Birmingham Royal Ballet in works by Jessica Lang and Hans van Manen). The Hopkins Review 6.3 (Summer 2013): 416-24.

 

“Tradition and Transition at the Royal” (Essay-review of the Royal Ballet’s productions of Swan Lake and Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto, Las hermanas, and Requiem). The Hopkins Review 6.2 (Spring 2013): 249-55.

 

“Dance as High Art, Dance as Broad Art” (Essay-review of Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer by Liz Lerman and Stravinsky’s Ballets by Charles M. Joseph). The Hopkins Review 6.1 (Winter 2013): 113-117.

 

“Two Weeks in Another Town” (Essay-review of the 2012 New York City Ballet Saratoga summer season). Ballet Review 40.3 (Fall 2012): 56-64.

Review of Daphnis and Chloe, ballet by Terence Kohler, performed by the Bavarian State Ballet. Ballet Review 40.2 (Summer 2012): 12-13.

 

“Enter Justin Peck—By Leaps and Bounds” (profile of New York City Ballet dancer and choreographer Justin Peck, commissioned by NYCB). Playbill, New York City Ballet Edition, Fall 2012: 12-16.

 

“New Ballets for a Silver Age” (Essay-review of Christopher Wheeldon’s Les Carillons and Thirteen Diversions, Peter Martins’s Mes Oiseaux and Ocean’s Kingdom, and Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird). The Hopkins Review 5.4 (Fall 2012): 581-88.

 

“Terpsichore Talks: Two New Dance-Dramas” (Essay-review of Supernatural Wife by Big Dance Theater and Angel Reapers by Martha Clarke and Alfred Uhry). The Hopkins Review 5.3 (Summer 2012): 413-19.

 

Review of More Balanchine Variations by Nancy Goldner. Ballet Review 40.1 (Spring 2012): 89-90.

 

Review of Body of a Dancer by Renée E. D’Aoust. Ballet Review 40.1 (Spring 2012): 92-93.

 

“In the Moment with Trisha Brown” (Essay-review of performances by the Trisha Brown Dance Company). The Hopkins Review 5.2 (Spring 2012): 271-77.

 

“Alexei Ratmansky’s Comic Truth” (Essay-review of The Bright Stream by Alexei Ratmansky, performed by American Ballet Theatre). The Hopkins Review 5.1 (Winter 2012): 134-40.

 

“Paul Taylor: His Times and Timelessness” (Essay-review of performances by the Paul Taylor Dance Company). The Hopkins Review 4.4 (Fall 2011): 583-89.

 

“Renaissance Fare” (Essay-review of the 2011 New York City Ballet Saratoga Season). Ballet Review 39.2 (Summer 2011): 72-79.

 

Review of world premiere performance of Renard by the Mark Morris Dance Group. Ballet Review 39.2 (Summer 2011): 25-27.

 

Review of performance by the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Ballet Review Ballet Review 39.2 (Summer 2011): 15-17.

 

“Sex and the Single Swan” (Essay-review of Black Swan, a film by Darren Aronofsky, and the New York City Ballet production of Swan Lake). The Hopkins Review 4.3 (Summer 2011): 436-44.

 

“Going Nutcrackers in New York” (Essay-review of performances of The Nutcracker by New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, and The Hard Nut by the Mark Morris Dance Group). The Hopkins Review 4.2 (Spring 2011): 284-92.

 

Review of performance by the Limón Company. Ballet Review 38.4 (Winter 2010-11): 21-22.

 

“They Do Stand Upon Pointes: Dancing Shakespearean Dreams” (Essay-review of performances of New York City Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, American Ballet Theatre dancing The Dream, and the Stephen Petronio Dance Company’s I Drink the Air Before Me). The Hopkins Review 4.1 (Winter 2011): 121-28.

 

“City Ballet” (Essay-review of NY Export: Opus Jazz, a film of Jerome Robbins’s ballet, co-produced by Ellen Bar and Sean Suozzi). Ballet Review 38.3 (Fall 2010): 43-46.

 

“Tharp’s Junk-Food Frank, Jones’s Mostly Happy Fela!” (Essay-review of Bill T. Jones’s Fela! and Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away). The Hopkins Review 3.4 (Fall 2010): 568-75.

 

Report on the 2010 New York City Ballet Saratoga Season. Ballet Review 38.2 (Summer 2010): 17-19 .

 

“Farrell, Morris, Masters, and Masterpieces” (Essay-review of performances by the Suzanne Farrell Ballet and the Mark Morris Dance Group). The Hopkins Review 3.3 (Summer 2010): 417-23.

 

“Christopher Wheeldon, Between Ballet’s Past and Future” (Essay-review of performances by Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company). The Hopkins Review 3.2 (Spring 2010): 280-86.

 

“Morris, Merce, Music, Movement” (Essay-review of performances by Mark Morris Dance Group and Merce Cunningham Dance Company). The Hopkins Review 3.1 (Winter 2010): 143-49.

 

“Like Tap Dancing About Architecture” (Essay-review of four books about dance: Reading Dance, ed. by Robert Gottlieb; Balanchine Variations by Nancy Goldner; Ballet’s Magic Kingdom by Akim Volynsky, trans. by Stanley J. Rabinowitz; and Shoot Me While I’m Happy by Jane Goldberg). The Georgia Review 63.4 (Winter 2009): 687-700.

 

“Living Dolls: New York City Ballet’s Coppélia.” The Hopkins Review 2.4 (Fall 2009): 595-605.

 

“The Touchstone” (Essay-review of six books on dance: No Fixed Points: Dance in the Twentieth Century by Nancy Reynolds and Malcolm McCormick, George Balanchine: The Ballet Maker by Robert Gottlieb, All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine by Terry Teachout,

Margot Fonteyn: A Life by Meredith Daneman, Frederick Ashton: Founder Choreographer of the Royal Ballet, edited by Cristina Franchi, and

Jerome Robbins: His Life, His Theater, His Dance by Deborah Jowitt). The Southern Review 41.3 (Summer 2005): 628-49.

 

“Building Modern Ballet” (Brief review of Charles M. Joseph’s Stravinsky and Balanchine: A Journey of Invention). The Village Voice 8-14 January 2003: 61.

 

“‘A Local Habitation and a Name’: New York City Ballet at 50” (Essay-review of Dance for a City, an exhibition at the New-York Historical Society; Dance for a City: Fifty Years of the New York City Ballet, edited by Lynn Garafola and Eric Foner; and Tributes: Fifty Years of New York City Ballet, edited by Christopher Ramsey). The Kenyon Review 23.1 (2001): 150-165.

Selected Dance Criticism