Video reviews

I was able to sit in on the Dance Critics Association annual conference last summer (thanks George.) Hosted by the Kennedy Center, the meeting was an opportunity to sit in a room with the best and newest critics around, and to listen as they shared opinions, joys, and pains. Delphina Parenti‘s performance of an early modern Maslow piece punctuates my memory of the conference.

Amongst all the talking was some serious hand-wringing regarding changes wrought by technology. Does criticism have to change to reach electronic readers? Perhaps words are no longer enough? Now we will have to make videos also? There isn’t time to do that. How can we be writers and multi-media producers at the the same time?

I have no idea when this started, or if others are doing it; here is a video review of a new production of Guys and Dolls by Terry Teachout, dance and theater critic for the Wall Street Journal. I’ve enjoyed his blog on arts journal for a while.

The Joyce Theater now has a blog. Not a hat on the street one, but an actual content-carrying one. Dance Theater Workshops‘s performance listing pages now have images and video from performances.

As the new things arrive (railroads, cars, telephones, computers….) the worst that the old people can do for themselves is pretend that they can’t work with the new things. The second worst of course is thinking that the new thing can replace them/what they do. I’m pretty sure we’ll start seeing more video reviews published alongside traditional ones. Kudos to Terry and his team for not waiting for the express.

Author: Robert Bettmann

Founder of Day Eight, and the DC Arts Writing Fellowship.