by Merilyn Jackson on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 12:51pm
The following is a brief remark I add to the interesting and dynamic discourse taking place on Lisa Kraus’s FB page regarding the meaning of meaning and undiscerned meaning in dance reviewing. More than a dozen people have weighed in with some 40 remarks regarding the question: If you are on FB and have something to add, please go to Lisa’s page. Lisa Kraus
Must it mean something?
I found a great deal of “meaning” in Jasperse’ Canyon. I would even say he was dismissive of the audience during the 10 minutes or so he forced us to watch his crew pull up tape. But in a longer review would ponder why and posit some answers. I would describe the Catherine Wheel this discussion has sparked as if we were dancing around Ellen having said “there was no meaning.” She said “it was difficult to discern much meaning out of the piece.” She has a right to say that, for as critics we must identify with the audience no matter how insiderish our knowledge is. Is the audience ever wrong? You bet, and history often proves it. The best writers struggle to inform the audience and lead them to thoughtful reversals of their first reactions.
More on this in Broad Street Review next week.