Dance Critics Association Conference

The annual DCA conference happened last weekend in Washington DC. I had really wanted to go but there was so much going on here and I kind of exhausted my travel budget last month between England and the Caribbean :S

Speakers and panelists included Laura Jacobs (a critic and novelist who writes beautifully lyrically about dance), Doug Fox of Great Dance (who spoke about using the internet to promote dance, his specialty), my friend Apollinaire Scherr (it was her first time speaking there!), and of course Alastair Macaulay (chief critic of NYTimes), among others. Presiding over the event was Robert Abrams, the Association’s President and the founder of Explore Dance (and my editor there — which is probably why my Blackpool review isn’t yet up 🙂 )

Anyway, thankfully Taylor went and she will be writing about it in her next few posts. It appears from Taylor’s first post that it was a fascinating and inspiring weekend and now I’m all the more sad I didn’t go…


  1. By the way, I thought Alastair Macaulay gave excellent presentation. I especially liked his demonstration of opening of Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco — he showed how dancers went from 5th position to a weight change – impressive.

    I really should elaborate on what I spoke about.

  2. Agreed, Doug. I loved how he demonstrated, haha.

  3. ooh, Doug, that sounds fascinating. Please elaborate!

    It reminds me a little of dance history class – in the opening of Serenade, of starting in parallel and opening up to the turned out first position, as if Balanchine is transforming the normal everyday body into a dancing body. Our professor also used Concerto Barocco to study Suzanne Farrell’s musicality, of how she beautifully lagged a hair behind the beat.

  4. It’s funny that he demonstrated. When I saw him speak at Barnard after he first became chief critic, he demonstrated the fluttering of the arms in Swan Lake (I can’t remember why now), but it was gorgeous! People gasped! He said he has no real training in ballet — it’s all in ballroom — but at least from his arms I believe he could have been a ballet dancer!

  5. I really wanted to have attended but I couldn’t get the day off at work. I’m looking forward to reading your accounts! And now I’m intrigued about Alastair’s demonstrations you guys are talking about! hehehe

  6. I have finally recovered enough from the DCA conference to review Tonya’s Blackpool article. It is worth the wait. You can find it here:

    By the way, if any one wants to get involved with the Dance Critics Association, email me at You do not need to be a full time, paid dance critic to join and benefit. (Other than Alastair, is there any one left any where in the US who is a full staff dance critic with medical benefits etc. at a newspaper?) The conference was great, the DCA Newsletter has resumed regular publication, and there is more to come.



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