I VOTE FOR A DANCE-OFF!! (with video since I'm on the East Coast)...
When modern dance = breakdancing, = yes
When modern dance equals deluded 20somethings weaving back and forth in hippie dresses, = no no no
It's funny how it comes up again and again that the Stranger writers are ultra-hipsters. I've met at one time or another many or the Stranger's writers, and most of them just don't seem all the cool to me, and I mean that in a good way. More down to earth.
And Seattle has a tradition of taking independent music seriously. This is a good thing and something to be proud of. Also, I'm for driving modern dance out of Seattle. I hear they love that stuff in New York.
The Stranger writers should be able to win this easily, assuming they have the physical coordination to do more than flail around like a spastic rag-doll to some dancer's boyfriend's gawd-awful techno-crap recordings.
Dance off, pretty please.
I suppose I have no right to take offense at sarcastic implications that thinking up new ways to insult things isn't honest work. Oh yeah, I see how it is around here.
It doesn't matter how sensitive the Stranger is to the background and history of the dancers - modern dance is still boring exhibitionism. My partner of ten years majored in dance, and drags me to shows several times a year. Even the stuff that he claims is marvelous is stupefying.
#2 wow... you must have seen modern dance a long time ago. Hippy dresses? come on. Modern dance has been using breakdance since the 80's hits breakin' and breakin' 2. I suspect this is the last time you checked out professional modern dance if at all. I say professional because we all can agree that student work is shite.
If you want to diss something, please familiarize yourself with it first.
#3 I think we should first drive out everyone so self-important they think it is cool to watch other's dreams die, bank accounts dry up, and self-confidence wither.
Congratulations on being able to wear your as*hole badge with pride. Hope it makes you love yourself more.
Haha, how square do you have to be to think the Stranger is ultra-cool? OMG
How about a lap dance off? It could be a modern lap dance off I guess.
How does this help the general pubic understand what we do?
She's got you there, hipsters.
Pants off, dance off!!!
I have a tutu you can use...
The writer would help her case if she knew the names she was checking. Amy O'Neal. Maki Morinoue.
I'm all for the dance off. Will it be as fun as the Steetbeat vs Fankick! dance-off a few years ago? The one that featured members of Seattle's modern dance scene and was a fucking blast? cool.
And since you wanted profiles on the choreographers listed in the letter, here's a start http://slog.thestranger.com/2007/09/zoe_scofield_all_over_the_goddamned_plac
A post on Slog last year about Zoe Scofield.
I think that column was a joke. Maybe it wasn't like totally *!OmG*fUnNy!*, but the serious stuff doesn't appear in the little side boxes.
It's got be hard to do improvisational dance with a great big stick up your butt.
"the general pubic," she says.
"Hipster" has become, in a few short months, a meaningless pejorative. It's time to seek out more descriptive language.
I'd be surprised if anyone, even a desperately confused hipster, actually modifies their art seeking behavior based on a Stranger review. I mean, let's be real here.
"When you write about hot poop"
I think he said the bath water was luke warm.
@18 Dipster? Hiptard?
If Modern Dance is so vital, important and appreciated in Seattle, surely the Weekly, the P-I and the Times (none of which have ever been mistaken for hipster enclaves) can provide all the fawning regurgitation of dance company press releases to both let the general public where to go to see this stuff and to impress upon the dancers parents that the monthly "help out" checks are worth it all?
The dance off sounds like a great idea--the Modern Dance dancers be all earnest and artsy and the Stranger hacks can flail about like they're having a seizure or bad drug reaction and the "general public" will be hard-pressed to tell the difference.
The Pat Graney Company rules.
What do I do with modern dance once I've seen it? Do I xfer it to my ipod to listen to while biking? Do I invite my friends over to watch it on my big screen? Can I hang it on my wall so I have something modern to look at?
Who am I kidding, like I'm ever going to watch modern dance in the first place.
tik tok: No one wants "fawning regurgitation of dance company press releases" an actual review would suffice.
pdxrichie: You are so right! OMG! I only care about consumer value too! Consume or die!
At first I was only a bit irritated by this mini-pseudo review thing, but the more comments I read, the more I think about it and now that I am one milwaukee's beast and a scotch in (thanks for driving me to drink you haters) it is bothering me more and more.
This is perhaps the most read section of the stranger all year: the bumbershoot pullout and these little fluffy boxed columns are far more likely to be read than an entire review. At a time when dancers have been dealt the massive blow of losing their home (oddfellows bldg) why kick them when their down. Stranger arts ctritcs need the performing arts, not everyone can write the coveted band interview piece every week. When you are granted a position where you have the power to influence people you should not arrogantly and recklessly toss that chance away to be merely snarky and somewhat clever.
And this comment directed more to other commenters (pj, consider this a shoutout) than to stranger critics: When anyone else is evicted due to condo development and gentrification (anyone lose a favorite bar lately?) they are met with empathy and joined in outrage. Not the performing arts who needs 'em. Anyone else is laid off or can't find work, more evidence that the Bush system isn't working. But when a dancer faces these realities they become fodder for scathing jokes and ignorant insults. Now that's clever.
So You think You Can Dance is Awesome except when they have the dancers do "modern dance" it's just kinda boring. I want to see Savage do a "modern dance" and maybe some of the tech doods.
Arts Reader, I certainly didn't mean to drive you to drink with my little comment. But let's go back to the (your?) original letter, which accused Stranger writers of being "Hipster Dictators of Cool" writing about "hot poop/ hip bands" amongst dozens of other sarcastic insults I think would easily qualify as oh-so-terrible "scathing jokes and ignorant insults."
And I actually don't think "it is cool to watch others dreams die, bank accounts dry up, and self-confidence wither." I know nothing about the situation you're describing. I simply dislike modern dance, and I think a lot of people share my opinion. Sorry we're not nicer about it.
Also, doesn't it seem a little self-important - much like what you're accusing the Stranger of - to blame your problems on the "Bush system," which is frankly insulting to people who are actually suffering because of decisions made by our current president.
#26: No one wants "fawning regurgitation of dance company press releases" an actual review would suffice.
You couldn't handle it. At least with the snark, there's the benefit of doubt that the snarkster is just poking fun. Which would you rather have, a guy laughing at you or a serious reviewer who says "Well, they aren't very good at all"? I expect you'll get the chance to test this.
Just skipping the comments posted thus far to say this:
Support local dance.
pig: if so you think you can dance is your only exposure to modern dance. you have missed out. SYTYCD is to modern dance what precious moments figurines are to modern sculpture. Seriously. You should go check out some real dance (try On The Boards) I bet you'd like it.
pj: I am not the writer of the letter and I would have had a scotch and a beast last night anyway ;)
I think the sarcastic insults you are referring to are first off not sarcastic and secondly directed not at the writers, but at commentors who say things that really are ignorant and mean.
I was not blaming anyone's problems on the Bush system. I did however point out a discrepancy in public opinion towards one sector's financial trouble and job security issues compared to others parts of the populace. Artists have to function in the same economy as everyone else. They should receive equal concern when they are evicted or lose their paychecks.
MC. I'll take real criticism any day. I myself think this will probably not be a very good dance piece. Art that is funded to be in very visible public spaces is usually not very good. We americans don't like our tax dollars to go to anything that may make us think or feel. Which means that most people only get exposed to the lowest common denominator art. sad. An arts critic could try to change this by letting people know that the lame art they saw in the park is nothing compared to that same company or others when they do something real on stage, with enough funding that they can hire top dancers and pay them for enough rehearsals that they can do something good (which for your information is commonly far below minimum wage, no onwe gets rich here). Instead the mini-review said very little about this dance (they may be in water and it may splash or they might have just assumed this) what the article does do is make hateful generalized comments about dancers altogether. It calls into question that they deserve to earn a living, makes light of their financial worries and curses them for hoping that someone will enjoy what they do. I would far prefer a review that says a dance work is bad than one that calls in to question the valid existence of dancers and dance.
Yay! Nick! Yay!
oh crap sorry double post
I'm torn here, because while I agree that the Stranger could do a better job of encouraging the disparate arts in general, the bald fact is that the music writing the dancers seem to wish the other arts writers to emulate is INCREDIBLY BAD writing. Incredibly bad writing that may be more palatable to the artists involved, but incredibly bad writing nonetheless.
The last thing we need is to continue the wanking the mainstream media proliferates concerning the massively inflated egos of performing artists.
Dance off, plz.
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