Curtain Up

July 24, 2007

This year, Dance Magazine turns 80!
It’s both thrilling and daunting to look back and see the breadth and depth of dance that we’ve covered. Although we will officially celebrate our anniversary in the September issue, you will find little nuggets of Dance (Magazine) history scattered in these pages throughout the year, marked with a special anniversary logo (at right). And each month we’ll have an Anniversary Page that uses some of our glorious covers of the past. This month, we chose four January covers (starting in 1949) and interviewed the dancers whose iconic images appear on them.

Meanwhile we are surging ahead in the present. Our “Summer Study Guide” is jam-packed with listings, advice, and stories about life-changing summer experiences. The always exciting “25 to Watch” heralds the extraordinary talents that our editors and writers have discovered-and we are sure you’ll hear their names in the future.

Suddenly there’s a profusion of Twyla Tharp dances in companies everywhere. This burst of interest in her work suggests that her vision-harmony through chaos, I would call it-speaks to our time more than ever. In “Tharp All Over,” Susan Reiter talks to the Tharpians who stage her choreography about how they get dancers to rise to its challenges.

A dancer’s body does not last forever. In “First, You Cry,” Michael Blake gives us a poignant account of what it’s like to have career-threatening arthritis of the hip. (Surprise-he’s still dancing!) The accompanying “Hip Tips” deconstructs some of the myths and assumptions around what may seem like a dancer-specific epidemic.

Last summer many dancers were riled by an article titled “Five Things I Hate About Ballet.” Critic Lewis Segal’s diatribe appeared in the Los Angeles Times and quickly reverberated around cyberspace. It was just the latest in a long line of attempts to denigrate ballet, but it was also a wake-up call. Ballet cannot rest on its laurels; like modern dance, it must continually reinvent itself. We asked some of the leaders in the ballet field for their suggestions on how to keep-or make-ballet vital. To read their thoughtful and bold-sometimes even sassy-responses, see Joseph Carman’s “Beyond Ballet Bashing.”

We’re excited to introduce a new section on techniques. We know that our readers want concrete information on a variety of them, so each month we will focus on a different one-its history, goals, and benefits for today’s dancers. Our first selection, which you will find in the “Teach-Learn Connection,” is the time-honored Cecchetti technique.

If you want to wish us Happy Birthday, the best way is to read the magazine every month. I personally invite you to our year-long party.

Wendy Perron

Editor in Chief