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Emails to NYMagazine re its decision to cut Tobi Tobias's dance review


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 30 July 2002 - 05:15 PM

If you'd like to make the contents of your email to New York Magazine about its decision to cut Tobi Tobias's dance reviews and to discontinue its dance reviews (pro or con) please post them here. If you're aren't a regular member of this message board and don't want to register just for this purpose but would like your letter added to this thread, please email me: at@balletalert.com Please be sure to include that you are giving me permission to post your comments.

(And if you'd like to keep your email private and not post it, that's fine too. Because people are checking our site to monitor developments in this story, it's helpful to have the letters, but I don't want anyone to feel coerced into posting them.)

--------------------------------------

To email NY Magazine about this issue, write to

caroline_miller@newyorkmag.com


Thank you.

#2 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 30 July 2002 - 06:25 PM

Here's my letter - I urge other people to write. One less voice, one less venue for coverage is a damaging thing.

Dear Ms. Miller:

I'm very sad to hear of your magazine's decision to discontinue dance coverage by Tobi Tobias.  Her reviews were the reason I read the magazine and visited the website; I have much less reason to do either without them.  Not only was her writing incisive but the coverage of an important part of New York's cultural life stated an important truth: New Yorkers don't just watch TV, they go to the theater, the opera and dance performances.  It's sad to think that you've decided that not enough people are interested to justify coverage.  Count me as one reader for whom that was the main reason I read New York Magazine with pleasure.

I hope you will reconsider this sad, and I think misguided, decision.



#3 Calliope

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 07:35 AM

I wrote too and asked how they can call themselves "New York" magazine without covering one of the cornerstones of NY culture. Many consider NY to be the dance capital of the world, yet they'll now never read about it in your magazine.
It is a disservice to the population of readers who have been influenced to go to a performance after reading one of Tobi Tobias' reviews.


and I can't remember what else I wrote b/c it was early this morning.

#4 Manhattnik

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 10:30 AM

Here's my two-cents worth:

I have read with tremendous sadness and astonishment of New York Magazine's apparent decision to drop dance coverage. For years, in giving Tobi Tobias a voice, New York Magazine has not just chronicled the development of an art form which has, more than any other, built its greatest achievements here in New York City, but has also been a discerning and important arbiter of those achievements.

It has never been more important than now to celebrate, cherish and, yes, husband our city's great cultural bounty, as Tobias has done so well, for so long. Shall the works of George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor and Mark Morris (or the hundreds of less well-known dance artists whom Tobias and your magazine gave acknowledgment and legitimacy) exist no more for the readers of New York Magazine?

In relieving yourself of Tobias, and dance as a whole, you are doubtless saving yourself a few dollars, but it's not without a cost, both to your readers and to the cultural life of the city whose name you have so proudly (but with a waning legitimacy) claimed for your own. You've also relieved yourself of at least one reader.

I devoutly hope that New York Magazine will reconsider this unfortunate decision.

Sincerely,

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 04 August 2002 - 11:30 AM

This was emailed me today, with permission to post:

Dear New York Magazine,

Please reconsider your ill advised decision to drop Tobi Tobias and dance criticism. Tobi Tobias writes with enormous verve and clarity, and the entire cultural community will be diminished if her voice can no longer be heard via your widely read magazine.

Sincerely,

Emily Wortis Leider

#6 Alexandra

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Posted 04 August 2002 - 11:52 AM

And here, belatedly, is mine:

Dear Ms. Miller,

I learned with alarm tonight that New York magazine will discontinue its dance coverage. As a dance critic for more than 20 years (Washington Post, Dance Magazine, etc.) and editor of two dance publications, I'm concerned because I believe that Tobi Tobias's voice is needed. She is a brilliant critic. She is one of the few people writing about dance today who can do so within a historical context; i.e., she's seen a lot and she knows what she's seeing. She is a fine writer with rigorous standards, which are particularly invaluable in the current dance climate.

I am also stunned that a magazine in the dance capital of the world does not consider dance worthy of coverage. Tobias's column is read. There are dance fans who buy the magazine and who subscribe to it solely to read her column.

I believe that a magazine which purports to cover the city's arts and
entertainment scene has an obligation to include dance in that coverage. I hope that you will reconsider this decision and, when next season begins, reinstate the dance coverage that those who care about dance in New York have depended on for so many years.

Sincerely,

Alexandra Tomalonis, Editor
DanceView and Ballet Alert!

#7 Alexandra

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Posted 04 August 2002 - 03:54 PM

Posted with permission of the writer:

TO: Caroline Miller, Editor
New York Magazine


I write to urge you to reconsider your decision to eliminate Tobi Tobias's dance criticism and the dance column from New York Magazine.

Eliminating dance criticism in the pages of New York Magazine--and I don't mean occasional articles or previews or listings but informed criticism by an internationally renowned and respected critic--will have serious consequences.

Historically, dance and its sister arts have flourished in New York in an environment of articulate criticism, discussion, argument. We need more not less of this today when there are fewer and fewer print outlets for arts criticism.

New York Magazine has had a stake in the cultural life and vitality of the world's dance capital which it is about to give up--and for what reason? Are we next to learn that you are dropping music, theater, film criticism? And, if not, why is dance singled out? How does this best serve your readers--and the city?

There are some things that should not be measured in dollars, subscriptions or advertisers. Your decision sends a dreadful message to others in the print media as well as to the artists, companies, presenters and businesses in the city who are the engines of the creativity and innovation that have made New York--and New York Magazine--great.

I sincerely hope you may be persuaded to reconsider your decision.

Sincerely,

Sali Ann Kriegsman
Former President, Dance Heritage Coalition
Former Executive Director, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
Former Director, Dance Program, National Endowment for the Arts
Former Dance Consultant, Smithsonian Institution

#8 Alexandra

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Posted 04 August 2002 - 06:43 PM

Another letter sent to us for posting:

A letter to Caroline Miller at New York Magazine:

I've just heard that New York Magazine will be cancelling its dance coverage. This is extremely disturbing and disappointing news. I have for years been accustomed to checking your table of contents at the newsstand, and if there is no dance review, I seldom, if ever, buy the magazine. Not because I'm such a fan of dance reviews, but because I always look forward to Tobi Tobias's writing. Whether or not I've seen the performance she describes, I'm always interested, even thrilled, to read one of her witty and thoughtful columns. There is little enough great dance writing in the world, so your unfortunate decision greatly diminishes a long-standing and much-needed artistic discourse.

Is it too late to reconsider? I'm heartbroken to think of doing without a writer who, for me, is sort of a conscience for the dance world. And then, whether you care or not, New York Magazine will be doing without a reader: me.

Sincerely yours,

June Omura, NYC

#9 justafan

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 06:48 AM

My letter:

Ms. Miller:

I know all too well that times are tough -- particularly in the publishing world. But count me as one subscriber very disturbed by your decision to cut your dance column. Let me note that I have no axe to grind. I am not involved in the dance world in any professional capacity. I am just a fan.

The key reason to subscribe to New York magazine is to be informed about life in our cultural capital. New York is considered by many to be the dance capital of the world, certainly the country. It's quite sad that when faced with budget cuts, you decided against continuing to provide an informed voice in this vital art form. To my mind, it is an indication that the magazine is a bit small-minded and has only commercial (advertising) issues at heart. Certainly, the world wouldn't miss New York's film criticism.

Unfortunately, it seems that New York is bent on becoming merely a lifestyle magazine. What a waste!

#10 Alexandra

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 04:54 AM

Another letter sent to me for posting. This is a reply to Miller's form response:

Hello:

I am stunned not by the loss of dance coverage in your magazine, but rather that you would fire the finest voice in dance criticism today.

It seems to me that you have done the wrong thing, and I encourage you
to rehire Tobi Tobias.

Best,
Andrea Siegel

#11 Jack Reed

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 02:33 PM

Here's my email:

To Ms. Caroline Miller, Editor, New York Magazine:

If the report I've read that New York Magazine will soon discontinue Tobi Tobias's dance criticism proves to be true, I'll be disappointed, because her writing on the subject is of such directness and uncommon rigor (compared to most daily newspaper "critics", for example, except for the Wall Street Journal's) that regular reading of it helps prepare me to get more out of seeing not only something she's written about but even something she hasn't, as though regularly exercising that part of my mind prevents atrophy and helps keep it toned up. The appearance of one of her contributions is usually the main reason I buy an issue of the magazine, so please continue to publish them!

Yours truly,

Jack Reed

#12 Alexandra

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 02:44 PM

Another email to be posted:

Dear Caroline Miller,

I am the artistic director and choreographer for New York City-based dance company SENSEDANCE. My press agent just informed me that the dance column in New York Magazine will be cut. I kindly ask you to refrain from taking such a misstep.

The multicolored dance scene of our city is an important component of what makes New York unique. New York without dance is unthinkable. New York Magazine without a dance column not worth picking up.

Sincerely,
Henning Rubsam
SENSEDANCE
1425 Third Avenue, #3c
NYC 10028
Tel/Fax 212.717.6869

#13 katharine kanter

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Posted 07 August 2002 - 01:42 AM

Dear Miss Miller,
>
> Please excuse the typos as I m writing on an Italian keyboard.
>
> I am a dance columnist in Europe, and have just learnt that the New York
>
> Magazine is to eliminate Miss Tobias column. I first met Miss Tobias at
> the
> Royal Theatre in Copenhagen many years ago, where she is a well-known
> figure
> respected for her competence and seriousness. If I m not mistaken, the
> Danish
> people have even decorated her with an Order for her Oral Record of the
> Royal
> Ballet there.
>
> It is a mistake to eliminate your dance column. First, many people have
> told
> me that they first became interested in dance by reading an unusual
> article
> about it. Audiences for classical ballet are dwindling just as newspapers
> and
> ˛magazines "save" money by slashing coverage. I have noticed
that Clive
> Barnes
> seems to get about three lines for his reviews. In three lines, you
> cannot do
> anything worthwhile, except perhaps write an epitaph for a tombstone.
>
> Second, it is essential for the profession to have knowledgeable OUTSIDERS
> who
> have nothing to gain by propitiating the dancers or artistic directors,
> examining their work from another, more objective standpoint. If you get
> rid
> of people like Tobi Tobias, standards will slip. The art form will become
> a
> cocktail party peopled by luvvies.
>
> Lastly, classical dance is objectively important. It must be covered. It
>
> cannot be ignored unless one s objective is to promote ignorance.
>
> Yours truly,
>
> K.L. Kanter

#14 Rachel Howard

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Posted 07 August 2002 - 12:11 PM

I sent this last week:

Dear Ms. Miller,

I am mystified by New York Magazine's decision to cut dance criticism. Tobi Tobias' fine reviews draw new readers from coast to coast, many of whom would remain unaware of the magazine otherwise. I have been one of those many silent, uncounted readers, who look forward to accessing Tobias' latest review from your website. Since editorial decisions today are so driven by the bottom line, I'm prepared to vote with my dollar. Keep your dance coverage and count me among your new subscribers.

Respectfully,

Rachel Howard
Dance Critic
The San Francisco Examiner

#15 Alexandra

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Posted 07 August 2002 - 12:16 PM

Oh, Rachel -- how clever! The Dollars for Dancing campaign is now officially launched :)


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