Lobenthal, Tobias and Gladwell

I don’t have much time to write today, so just want to point to a few good articles on the web.

1) Joel Lobenthal’s review of recent Alvin Ailey Dance premiere, “Groove to Nobody’s Business.” I loved this dance, as I wrote earlier, but Lobenthal makes me realize why with his discussion of how choreographer Camille A. Brown carefully worked out what I called the kind of spazzing out of anxious would-be subway riders to the rhythms of the music and orchestrated the dancers’ movements into a coherent whole, so that it only looks like a bunch of spastic frustrated jumping about when it’s really meticulously crafted. Also, he made me realize I’d forgotten to mention the fun centipede shape the dancers all make with their in-sync footwork while seated on the subway!

2) Tobi Tobias’s review of the other Ailey piece I just wrote about, “The Road of the Phoebe Snow.” Scroll down to the bottom of this post: I love how she talks about the advertisements for the railroad and how snow-white Phoebe was portrayed, and how choreographer Talley Beatty, who lived near those tracks and knew well the surrounding area, was showing what really went down along them. I wasn’t familiar with those advertisements and they shed light on Beatty’s work.

3) This has nothing to do with dance, but Malcolm Gladwell has an excellent article / book review in this week’s New Yorker showing how so-called IQ tests measure, basically, class. So all those claims that such tests show one race’s inherent intellectual superiority over another are all enormous mountains of racist idiocy.


  1. That’s an interesting article. In Gladwell’s second book, Blink , he talks quite a bit about the snap judgments we make about things like race and how that effects our perception in totally subconscious ways. The book itself is flawed but that particular section is pretty fascinating.

    The article also reminds me of the Toronto Science Museum’s display on I.Q. tests. I haven’t been in years, but from what I remember they have all different “I.Q. Tests” which quiz you about things like rap, thus demonstrating how I.Q. tests are culturally biased.

  2. Oh that Toronto Museum exhibit sounds fascinating, Meg. I love displays like that! I’m going to have to go up there sometime.

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