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dirac

TIME Magazine Special Issue

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TIME has produced yet another Special Issue, the first in a series called "America's Best." This one has Julia Roberts on the cover, and profiles "the artists and entertainers who rise above the rest." I scanned the list, and couldn't help noticing that there was no "Dancer" or "Choreographer." (Susan Stroman makes the cut, but in her capacity as "Broadway Director.") Desperate, I went to the section called "Odd Jobs." No luck. Apparently, TIME had room to showcase "Rappers," "Talk-Show Host," "Fashion Designer (Tom Ford, rakishly showcasing his chest hair)," and "DJ" but not Tharp, or Baryshnikov, or any rising young star. (No opera singers, either.) I actually became a little peeved, especially when I read Managing Editor James Kelly's explanation for the selection of the beauteous Ms. Roberts as "Best Movie Star": "....audiences feel they know her intimately, in all her vulnerable charm....these feelings in turn invest her screen performances with a special immediacy and resonance." I take this as Managing Editorspeak for "We wanted to put her picture on the cover."

I don't mean to pick on TIME -- newsmagazines are in a tough spot these days -- but this did strike me as a significant omission. "I welcome your thoughts on our selections," Kelly concludes. I suggest we share our thoughts with him and his arts editor, Jan Simpson.

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I think it's meant to be for "pop culture" and I doubt if you put Misha on the cover you'd sell to as big of an audience as Julia Roberts.

Sometimes I get miffed but then again I often think if mainstream ever got a hold of ballet it may end up in worse condition than it is now. I like the limited exposure and when I do open up a magazine and see a profile of a dancer/choreographer, I add the magazine to my subscription list and check the editor's page next month to see if anyone wrote in to commend them for the piece!

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I wouldn't expect to have Baryshnikov on the cover, but they should have had dancer/choreographer. However, if they don't have a "best" for orchestra, conductor, jazz musician, soprano or fine artist I would understand the omission.

Time did a America's Best about 20 years ago (God, I feel old now!) and Suzanne Farrell was profiled as America's best ballerina. It was a nice full-page article with a small picture.

This is perhaps where a good public relations person came come through. Time most likely had an ad in the media trade papers to sell ad space for the special issue. Those advertisements have deadlines. A good pr person for a top company or orchestra could get in touch with the arts editor and pitch them an artist from their organization. That doesn't mean that they'll use the artist, but it could work, especially if they make things easy for the busy editor with suggestions on photos, availability, good story lines etc...

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What - no NASCAR auto racers or wrestlers? Ooops...I'm sure that "Best Sports Figures" will warrant an issue all to themselves. ;)

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There was Hilary Hahn in the "Classical Musician" category, I think it was called, and there was a novelist, architect, artist, and so forth. I certainly wouldn't expect a dancer to make the cover of an issue such as this one, but I hope at least an effort was made to find somebody.

Wrestlers made the issue, incidentally, under "Odd Jobs."

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