Springing to a New Realm in Dance Writing


I admire dance critics, but I certainly don't envy them.  Weekends spent in a dark theater hunched over a notepad; people you barely know pretending to be your best friend; the fate of their social media lives resting in your hands.  


I think back to episodes such as the disastrous review of NYCB's Nutcracker and the firestorm that followed Alastair Macaulay's assessment of Jennifer Ringer and her cohort. Yeah, critiquing dance is something I really don't aspire to do.


If I were to categorize myself as a writer, I guess I would fall somewhere between academic or scholarly writing and commentary.  As such, I struggle to keep up with the "news" aspect of dance.  I don't see enough of it; I certainly can't hold a candle in a conversation on who's who's of modern day dancers and choreographers.  That's for the critics, I suppose…




I'm visiting St. Louis next weekend and have the opportunity to see the entirety of the Spring To Dance Festival, and it occurred to me that not writing on it would be missing out on a huge opportunity for me to experience personal growth as a writer, not to mention as an active participant in the dance community.  At the risk of being cheeky…  is it cool if I write non-critique-y critiques on what I see? 


Among my top picks that I'm excited about are Pilobolus (who I've never seen live), Jennifer Muller / The Works, and one of my Chicago favorites, Lucky Plush Productions.  Check out the amazing line-up and let me know: who and what do you want to hear about? 


Lauren Warnecke

Author: Lauren Warnecke

Lauren Warnecke is a freelance writer and editor, focused on dance and cultural criticism in Chicago and across the Midwest. Lauren is the dance critic for the Chicago Tribune, editor of See Chicago Dance, and founder/editor of Art Intercepts, with bylines in Chicago Magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, St. Louis Magazine and Dance Media publications, among others. Holding degrees in dance and kinesiology, Lauren is an instructor of dance and exercise science at Loyola University Chicago.

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