Curtain Up

June 21, 2007

Dance Theater Workshop in downtown Manhattan is turning 40. The anniversary gala on June 12 will celebrate not only DTW’s longevity, but also the potential for any small, dancer-driven cooperative to grow into a major player on an international scale. For me, DTW will always be a special place. I started seeing dance there when I was in college because one of my teachers, Jack Moore, was a co-founder. After I graduated (Bennington College) in 1969, I headed down to 20th Street to show my work to Jeff Duncan, and in the process met Rudy Perez, the first New York choreographer I danced with. Jeff’s loft provided a nest of safety and a family of artists—and there was always a jar of Tasmanian honey in the kitchen. Not only did I perform my early choreography there, but I danced with Jeff Duncan, Jack Moore, and many other DTW choreographers as well. The small size of the studio, its extreme coziness, and the steam pipes in the corner were all fodder for dreaming up new dances.

I taught there too, and in one of my classes was a skinny kid named David White. He went on to lead DTW in exciting new directions. He transformed the little collective into an American institution that assists countless dance artists and helps small theaters across the country expand their audiences for dance. In “Only Yesterday” (p. 44), Barbara Roan recalls the early years at DTW, and we hear from other choreographers who called DTW their artistic home.

In this issue, for the first time, you will find an up-to-date Dance Magazine Annual Directory listing (formerly published separately as Sterns’ Annual Directory). This comprehensive directory has long been a touchstone for people in the dance field as both a resource and a practical guide. We also bring you Clive Barnes’ incisive commentary on The Royal Ballet, profiles of three of The Royal’s ballerinas, a feature on the maverick choreographer Joe Goode, and a jam-packed “Vital Signs.” So there are lots of reasons you’ll want to hang on to this issue for months, or years, to come.