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Gia Kourlas Named Dance Critic of the NYT

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Posted (edited)

I'm so disappointed to see this.

Edited by nanushka

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On the bright side, it looks like they did not opt for the all-freelancer approach taken by so many other newspapers today. Other than the Washington Post, are there any other papers in the US that actually have a full-time dance critic on staff? 

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Posted (edited)

I just don't really consider Kourlas first and foremost a "dance critic," but oh well.

Edited by nanushka

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1 hour ago, nanushka said:

I just don't really consider Kourlas first and foremost a "dance critic," but oh well.

I'm disappointed to see this too.  I don't know how I'd classify Kourlas, but she lost me when i read that she was writing a bio of Misty Copeland.   I recall too  about 5 years ago Kourlas had  described Julie Kent as [paraphrasing] one of the finest or ABT's finest dramatic ballerinas.  Nothing against Kent, I simply do not see her that way.  Yes, better to have a dance critic, although not "chief", than not.  I was hoping the NYT would name Marina Harss, who I think is an excellent writer. 

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I too was hoping for a fresher voice, like Harss or Apollinaire Scherr.

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5 hours ago, California said:

On the bright side, it looks like they did not opt for the all-freelancer approach taken by so many other newspapers today. Other than the Washington Post, are there any other papers in the US that actually have a full-time dance critic on staff? 

No -- the NYT and the Post are it.  There are still a few papers where dance is covered by a staff writer, but that is not their primary beat.

I've liked what I've read of her work, and I think she's connected to the NY community -- whether she takes on the bigger, dance-historical issues that Macaulay has done is yet to be seen. 

Fundamentally, I'm glad the paper made a commitment to someone, and to the art form.

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Very disappointed in this news also. I generally avoid Kourlas's reviews. Oh well.

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10 hours ago, sandik said:

No -- the NYT and the Post are it.  There are still a few papers where dance is covered by a staff writer, but that is not their primary beat.

I've liked what I've read of her work, and I think she's connected to the NY community -- whether she takes on the bigger, dance-historical issues that Macaulay has done is yet to be seen. 

Fundamentally, I'm glad the paper made a commitment to someone, and to the art form.

Agreed. And I wouldn't be surprised if the WaPo doesn't replace Kaufman. Congratulations to Kourlas and thanks to the Times for appointing a full-time critic for dance. Dance fans, maybe show your appreciation by writing to the paper and/or subscribing.

The Times seems to be easing out the "chief" title for critics when and where it can.

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22 minutes ago, dirac said:

Dance fans, maybe show your appreciation by writing to the paper and/or subscribing.

Digital subscriptions are surprisingly cheap. We have to get past the idea that journalists/writers of any kind should work for free.

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2 hours ago, California said:

We have to get past the idea that journalists/writers of any kind should work for free.

Thanks!

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Congratulations to Gia! I was also very glad to learn that the NYT had appointed a full-time critic. I've always enjoyed her reviews and the fresh eye she brings to the world of dance.

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I realized that I hadn't read a lot by Kourlas, unlike others here, so I went searching, and found that she edited the dance department at TimeOut for twenty years, maybe the period Macaulay refers to, so I'll try to catch up there.

But in the meantime, I'll hope her work has some measure of the virtues I've found in that of Denby, Croce, and Macaulay himself, and others to a lesser degree, writing that enables us to see what they saw through their eyes, that enables us to follow their thinking along to their judgements and conclusions, and, regardless whether we agree with them or not, that enables us better to draw our own conclusions and to deepen our own experiences of the performances we see - even of ballets these writers didn't write about.  "Just like being there," yes, great exercise for strengthening our seeing minds.   

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At least the NYT is moving on to some degree by naming a dance critic successor. Good luck to Ms. Kourlas.

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On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 11:45 PM, cobweb said:

I too was hoping for a fresher voice, like Harss...

Not Harss. We'd get a steady diet of "All-Ratmansky, All-the-time." Kourlas is perfect - fresh and light, yet knowledgeable.

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15 hours ago, Roberta said:

Not Harss. We'd get a steady diet of "All-Ratmansky, All-the-time."

I don`t think that`s fair to Harss at all.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 8/2/2019 at 9:47 AM, California said:

Digital subscriptions are surprisingly cheap. We have to get past the idea that journalists/writers of any kind should work for free.

In this context, I agree. I would prefer the option of purchasing single articles.

I recall Gia Kourlas picking up on and supporting such potentially fine talents as Simone Messmer early on. Although I've not followed her recently, I found many of her older articles to be both sympathetic and intelligently interesting.

Edited by Buddy

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On 8/5/2019 at 4:30 PM, Roberta said:

Not Harss. We'd get a steady diet of "All-Ratmansky, All-the-time." Kourlas is perfect - fresh and light, yet knowledgeable.

 

10 hours ago, kbarber said:

I don`t think that`s fair to Harss at all.

I agree.  Harss has reviewed ballet, modern, flamenco, Indian and maybe other dance forms.  She's not a one note writer.

I II agas reviewed ballet, modern, flamenco, Indian and maybe other dance forms.  She's far from a one-note writer/

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1 hour ago, Marta said:

She's far from a one-note writer.

This lovely appreciation of the great Odissi dancer Bijayini Satpathy is Exhibit 1.

Dip into her dance writing at The New Yorker, DanceTabs, The New York Times, and WNYC to get a sense of her range.

PS - Go see Bijayini Satpathy if you can! She is magnificent. (She's the dancer on the right in the linked video.)

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9 hours ago, Buddy said:

In this context, I agree. I would prefer the option of purchasing single articles.

I'd love to see that option for some publications I just don't follow, but I don't know of a newspaper who currently offers this -- do you have any examples?

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The Times is $15.00 a month – 50 cents a day. Single articles elsewhere start at $3.00 or $4.00 and on up. The Times and the Wall Street Journal are the only US papers left really keeping an eye on lots of dubious things and acts on a day to day basis. Even if I don't read all the national articles, I figure in some way I'm voting for good government by subscribing (at least to the Times).

Yes, a vote for Marina Harss per Marta and Kathleen O'Connell's links, most recently her well considered Dance Tabs Bournonville review.

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The Washington Post is $3.99/month via Amazon. Excellent national and political reporting. 

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30 minutes ago, Quiggin said:

Yes, a vote for Marina Harss per Marta and Kathleen O'Connell's links, most recently her well considered Dance Tabs Bournonville review.

Thanks Quiggin, I hadn't read that one. Ulrik Birkkjaer is one busy boy.

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10 hours ago, California said:

The Washington Post is $3.99/month via Amazon. Excellent national and political reporting. 

I cosign the WP at $3.99/month. The reporting is indeed excellent and well worth the price of a foamy caffeinated beverage at your local coffeeshop.

Also, a PSA for your local library, which may well make digital media available to you if you have a library card. My NYPL library card gives me access to a ton of digital media via both my desktop browser (the very one I'm using right now) and apps on my phone and tablet. The New York Times doesn't make itself as easy to acquire via public resources as say, The Washington Post, the LA Times, USA Today, or any number of magazines and journals (including The New Yorker if you want to see what Jennifer Homans is up to, which isn't much), but NYPL cardholders can access a database of text-only versions of all of the articles the NYT has published since 1980, including the ones it published this morning. It's not the best way to peruse the paper as part of your morning read, but the database's search engine is excellent and it is a dandy tool for research. 

The NYPL is admittedly a powerhouse version of a local library, but one shouldn't assume that one's own hometown library doesn't make these resources available to cardholders - especially if it's plugged into a state-wide or regional library network. Lots of digital educational tools — e.g., Mango Languages, Lynda.com, Naxos Music Library, Oxford Reference Online, etc — have portals designed for public & academic libraries.

Really, take a look at what your local public library has to offer — you might be pleasantly surprised at how much is there.

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I am confused. I signed up on the Post website for unlimited access to the digital edition for $10 a month. I just checked Amazon and didn’t see an offer of the same access for $3.99 a month. What do you get for $3.99 a month and can you access it on an iPad?

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