Writing about Dance:
If you know me, you know dance is what I’m passionate about. I don’t speak “ballerina” to people walking down the street any more, because my time has passed training and dancing as a professional… but it’s still there.
I was supposed to go to an open ballet class tonight. Supposed to, I say, because I had hoped to revitalize my dancing in England. But my body’s not that of a skinny ballerina any more, and I feel uncomfortable just thinking about ballet any more – although I feel at home when I get into class. I find difficult to go to a dance class these days because I have not yet decided that dance can be a pastime for me now – I don’t think it ever can be, and I don’t want it to. I am making an effort to take some contemporary dance classes and branch out while I’m here, but those are extra-curricular to my studies, and job if I get one – and it costs money. I want nothing more than to get fit to perform professionally again, but that takes more commitment and time than I am willing to invest right now. It is exhausting, both mentally and physically, but it is so rewarding.
I know I will envy the dancers onstage tomorrow night when I go to see NBT’s As Time Goes By at the Grand opera House. I am reviewing it for Leeds University student newspaper. Lucky me. I was thrilled when I got the task – I have been intending to get my stuff into print journalism for some time now. This is the second best thing that could happen to me right now – it is my second most desirable career, to write about dance. At least I can do now as a student; my prospects of getting to write about dance for a career look about as bleak as they did to dance for a career.
To be an arts writer I have to step outside the role of the artist or dancer, and be the observer, the interlocutor, step outside my attachment and comment on it as an art form. Or do I? How far can my experience make me a better writer about dance performances? Perhaps I can use my passion to my edification, rather than spite. I get the job of turning the beauty I once experienced into beauty in the form of words, for reader to experience it. My job is to convince them there is a world of riches waiting for them to experience as the audience themselves.
With all that said, I will be devoting more of my free time to updating my performing arts critique blog, VistaMuse (link to it on my blogroll). If you fancy, check it out in a couple of days. I have a lot of catch-up work to do to it.
All the best, Becca
PS be looking for my reviews in print and on-line Leeds University Paper (links under UK and beyond)