News from the Edges

By Siegel, Marcia B. | The Hudson Review, Winter 2007 | Go to article overview

News from the Edges

Siegel, Marcia B., The Hudson Review

News from the Edges

NEW DANCE IDEAS ARE PRETTY SCARCE FOR THOSE OF US without regular access to the combustible New York scene. There may not be a newdance culture as consolidated as the so-called postmodern dance of the 1960s and '70s, but then, the postmodern dance may not have been as consolidated as it appears in retrospect. Postmodernism dismantled the basics of theatrical dance at the time, but it also opened doors to popular culture, inter-arts alliances, and an aesthetics of the commonplace. Most of its main actors have migrated into film, opera, theater, teaching, and the therapeutic professions. Trisha Brown is the only star post-modern with an ongoing dance company. That evolution says as much about postmodernism's creative potential as it does about the tense economics of art in the twenty-first century.

Most artists would say economics is the name of the game, though. For dancers starting out, there seem to be only two ways to go: place yourself on the ladder to the big time, where you accept the burdens of marketing, fundraising, networking, and packaging yourself and your work toward mainstream visibility; or accept limited resources, work at your own pace, and live below the publicity radar. Not everyone who elects to climb is pandering to the public, and not everyone who works modestly is making creative breakthroughs. But small, friendly audiences don't necessarily crave challenge, and impressive new work does get sponsored by major presenters. The most important things I saw last summer arrived under the aegis of stable institutions-committed dance companies, far-sighted presenters, festivals and funders, or a combination of the above. In July, Concord Academy Summer Stages Dance brought several intriguing new faces to the Boston scene. Marking its tenth season, this small but expanding series of classes, workshops and performances is headed by the area's most progressive presenters, Richard Colton and Amy Spencer, who also run Concord Academy's dance program. In a slightly different format, the excerpted Karole Armitage work, In this dream that dogs me, went on to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival later in the summer.

Karole Armitage is a case study in tenacity and ingenuity. Now in midcareer, she seems poised at last to make it as a mainstream avant-gardist. Armitage belongs to a generation of ambitious dancers who absorbed the dance revolution as disciples of the first postmoderns, choreographic individualists like Bill T. Jones, Stephen Petronio, Bebe Miller, and Susan Marshall. Armitage crashed onto the New York scene at the end of the 1980s after dancing with the Geneva Ballet and Merce Cunningham. For her notorious early work Drastic-Classicum she handed out earplugs to the audience in anticipation of Rhys Chatham's high-decibel score. After a few years and several decreasingly impressive but media-friendly punkish dances, she quit the New York economic labyrinth and found work with ballet and opera companies in Europe, where it was possible to get prestigious commissions and subsidies. In 2005 she returned to the States with a new company, Armitage Gonel Dance, and a less in-your-face repertory. Critics raved. The company immediately entered the touring derby.

In this dream that dogs me in Concord lived up to the acclaim it received from the New York critics. The five Gone! dancers were predictably wonderful and also, not so predictably, arresting as individuals. They fit the postmodernist ideal of diversity-racially, physically and temperamentally. Armitage's choreography brings out their differences but doesn't build narrative around them. Hers is a dance of almost pure affect. The dancers' interactions read as behavior, but the behavior doesn't add up to role-playing. There's an air of sexual attraction and resistance, but no one permanently attaches to anyone else. Everyone seems to have the potential to be either active or passive, pursuer or pursued, although the women usually seem to get what they want. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

News from the Edges


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.