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silvy

Dance criticiscm as a subject of study

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Hi

I would like to know where / how dance critics are formed in the USA or in other countries. I mean, is there a program in University or somewhere else where critics study?

I am asking this because there is a plan here in Uruguay to offer dance criticism as a subject (an independent course, not Univertisity- dependent as far as I know), and I was curious to learn how these field is approached / taught in other countries. And because I was strongly suggested to take it, as some people consider I am suitable for the task :wallbash:

Thanks so much

Silvy

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My school has a dance major with a concentration in history and criticism. I'm not sure about any of the details, though. However, I don't think that's how most dance critics got their jobs.

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Hans:

I am fascinated at the diversity of dance education in the USA - I mean, you do have heaps of things you can do regarding dance (apart from taking class). I am afraid there aren't many of such things here :wallbash:

Silvy

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There is a very good topic on this in the Young Dancers 17-22 forum of the other Ballet Talk board. Alexandra and Natashka both were very helpful to me when I asked a similar question. Basically, I think you need a Journalism degree, just like you wanted to work for a regular newspaper. Dance/Theater Critic

I tried to include a link to it, but I have never done this before and I don't know if it worked. If not, it is on the third page of YD 17-22 and it is called Dance/Theater Critic. I hope this is helpful!

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Thanks so much for the link, Coffee.

It was insightful for me

Silvy

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I work as a freelance critic, and have a slightly different perspective on this topic. Many of my colleagues did indeed come to dance writing through a journalism pathway, but probably more of us were involved in dance first, and came to the writing part later.

As far as formal training is concerned, it's easier to get practice writing about dance in a dance program (history, performance studies, etc) than it is in a journalism program. At this time there aren't any degree programs (that I know of!) specifically in dance criticism, but there are programs from the BA to the PhD level that study dance beyond or outside of a studio environment. There are dance or arts writing classes taught in several schools (Cornish College for the Arts in Seattle is one) -- I imagine that information about those specific courses would be fairly easy to get.

On one level, it depends on your desires and interests for other parts of your life -- since there are few full-time dance writing jobs, most of us do something else as well. Some people come to dance writing as writers, and the rest of their life is involved in writing about other things. Some arrive through dance, and the balance of their time is spent there -- teaching or doing something else.

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Sandi, most of the people I know (including me) came to dance writing from something other than journalism too, and that still can be done, but if you're aiming for a career at a newspaper -- something that actually pays a dependable, regular wage -- I doubt that they'd hire someone now without an MA in journalism. And I think it's justified, since, unlike in Europe, in America the newspaper dance writer has to do features, news and criticism.

But if you're a writer, and want to write about dance, that's a different thing.

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Now I've gotten confused! :wacko: I was thinking of majoring in journalism and minoring in dance, if possible. Then I would go on and get something beyond a bachelors degree for journalism. Unfortunatly, the schools I was looking at didn't all provide a minor in dance, but I didn't have that very high on my list of priorities. As long as I could dance somewhere in the city, the school was alright. In my career I would like to be able to write about dance, but if thats not possible I guess I would just work at a newspaper or something. I don't know! I guess my question is if I should major in dance? or make the minor more of a priority? I want to be a dancer and a writer. Not just a writer that writes about dance or a dancer that happens to write! :helpsmilie:

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I'm majoring in communication right now, with the option to specialize in journalism next year. Over here in Europe it isn't possible to get a minor, or major in more than 1 topic. I take dance classes at a studio. I would love to be a dance critic, but there just isn't a market for it here. Belgium only has 1 ballet company, and it rarely gets written about in the press. (I am planning to change that though!!! :P )

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