Curtain Up

August 21, 2007

Welcome to our 80th-anniversary issue! It’s been a heady ride, looking back at all that Dance Magazine has covered, and we want to give you a glimpse of the amazing treasure chest that is our archives. This project has been spearheaded by our mightily curious associate editor Emily Macel. While burrowing through bound copies of our magazines, she’s come up with some gems that enable us to pay homage to the full diversity of dance through the ages.


First and most daunting was choosing only 80 highlights for “80 Momentous Dance Moments.” Dance history is filled with exciting, influential events, and we wanted to represent a real range. Second, we look back on our cherished dance legends and get tributes from current great artists. In “What They Meant,” read Mark Morris on George Balanchine, Savion Glover on Gregory Hines, Carolyn Brown on Margot Fonteyn, and more. This month our “Anniversary Gallery” offers 32 of our favorite covers, forming a quick snapshot of our 80-year evolution.


Because we’re proud of our record of discovering outsize talent, we have revisited a column that spotlighted up-and-comers in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. See “What You Wish You Knew” to find out what was on the minds of stars like Gelsey Kirkland and Judith Jamison when they were featured in our pages so early in their careers.


In order to balance out all this hindsight, we asked certain visionary artists where they see dance going. In “The Next 80 Years,” look into the future through the eyes of Merce Cunningham, Ohad Naharin, Brenda Way, and others. And lest we forget the tragic AIDS blight during the last 25 years, Joseph Carman has written “What We Lost,” an elegy for all the beautiful dance artists who succumbed to AIDS-related illnesses.

About the Pilobolus connection: The first review I ever published was for Dance Magazine in 1973. The editor in charge, Richard Philp, assigned me to cover an unknown group called Pilobolus. And now, 34 years later, they helped us celebrate our anniversary by applying their courage, problem-solving skills, and panache to our anniversary cover. It was thrilling to be in their Connecticut studio and watch their group process. Their commitment to each other as individuals as well as to the overall image was inspiring.


As a birthday present to ourselves, art director Hanna Varady has updated our design with a quietly colorful, airy look. We’re thrilled with it and hope you are too. Tell us what you think.

Wendy Perron

Dance Magazine Editor in Chief

[email protected]

P.S. I have my own blog now! Go to and click on my photo to read about my ongoing dance-watching adventures.