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READERS' FORUM.

JOYCE DEFENDS ITS DIVERSITY

We were surprised to find the Joyce Theater as the primary example of the dance gender gap in the article, "Study Exposes Dance Gender Gap" by Shayna Samuels [Dance Magazine, March, page 35]. The statistic quoted in the article, that only one company in the fall 2000 Joyce season was run by a woman, is incorrect. Four companies with female artistic directors appeared in our fall season: Ballet Hispanico, Armitage Gone! Dance, Chamecki/Lemer, and Irene Hultman Dance.

The article did prompt us to look at our overall programming to see if a significant gender gap exists. We found that out of the 229 dance companies that have performed at the Joyce, 96 of them were led by women, 113 were led by men, and 20 were led by a combination of men and women. These statistics indicate only a slight gender gap in our programming and reflect our larger efforts to encompass the diversity of the dance field.

Linda Shelton, Executive Director, and Martin Wechsler, Director of Programming, Joyce Theater, New York

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Joyce Theater has indeed been supportive of many women dance artists. However, the three women-led companies cited other than Ballet Hispanico--Armitage Gone/Dance, Chamecki/Lerner, and Irene Hultman Dance--all appeared in the Altogether Different series in January 2001. While the Joyce considers the January series part of its fall season, the article reports only on the fall 2000 performances. This confusion is probably a hazard of reporting on an admittedly limited and informal study. But we are glad that the article prompted the Joyce to look at its gender-related track record, and we hope it has prompted other presenters to do the same.

A VOTE FOR IRISH DANCE ...

Thank you so much for the March article (and articles to come) from Darrah Carr [Dance Magazine, March, page 56]. I found it informative and refreshingly free of the politics of Irish dance. I also enjoyed her responses to the Readers' Forum, especially regarding Shawn Bowen. I have a friend who started Irish dance at 17, started out competing as a beginner and made it to preliminary championships his first year. He made it to Worlds his second year. Previous training in tap helped him, along with an incredible desire and countless hours of practice.

My daughter made it to Oireachtas her first year of competition (she also had studied other forms of dance since she was 4) in the incredibly tough age category of the under-15s. She didn't get her solo costume until right before Oireachtas, so it was even harder for her to move up during competitions at feisianna. I hope Darrah can do a "day at the feis" article to explain the daylong music, arts, and dance competition. Thank you again for exposing Irish dance to your readers in such a positive manner.

Julie Schrantz

... AND `NORMAL' DANCERS

As a young dancer well aware of the dance world, I know that dancers must be thin to make it professionally. I know that this is the truth, and in keeping with that, I do not expect to see pictures of overweight or plus-size dancers in your magazine. However, women who look healthy would be refreshing. When I look at the dancers on your pages, I immediately think, "Are they doing a cover story on starving war orphans in Somalia?" I think that dancers who have healthy bodies or (God forbid!) women with hips, would be a way to open your magazine up to a world of normal-looking dancers and a way to make young dancers feel better about themselves. Thank you for a great magazine and for listening to my comments on it.

Jane Fitzgerald Utica, NY

STAYING IN TOUCH WITH HISTORY

I've read your article "Whatever Happened to ...?" in the Dance Magazine issue of November 2000 [page 122]. I agree wholeheartedly with Clive Barnes's sentiments. HNB [Het National Ballet] performed Choreartium in February/March 2001 and in the last few seasons we also presented Les Presages. It's very important that we don't lose sight of the history and chain of influences in the dance world. What an inspiration it is for developing choreographers to see for themselves the genius of Les Noces from Bronislava Nijinska. The Dutch National Ballet has a fantastic repertory of Dutch choreographers, but also the largest Balanchine repertory outside New York City Ballet (from Petipa to Balanchine and on to Forsythe!). It's been my good fortune to be able to acquire some five ballets of Martha Graham to inspire our audiences over the last ten years.

Wayne Eagling, Artistic Director Het [Dutch] National Ballet

Send your leters to Reader's Forum, Dance Magazine, 111 Myrtle St. #203, Oakland, CA 94607, or email us at editorial@dancemagazine.com Letters must be signed with name, city, state, and include a weekly telephone or fax number for confirmation. Letters become the property of Dance Magazine, which reserves the right to edit them.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Dance Magazine, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:May 1, 2001
Words:823
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Next Article:The Way They Were.


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