Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Roses and Thorns - In defense of the white male critic - Bruno Kavanagh

Every dancer wishes for ONE GREAT REVIEW in the New York Times which for the United States has been the arbiter of dance taste and values. British critic and American transplant Alastair Macaulay has been in love with classical Indian dance for decades and his continued Orientalism is constantly overlooked for the prestige of the masthead he writes for. Here is a recent example of his retro "take" on his favourite group NRITYAGRAM of Bangalore. The article
And here is a response to Macaulay's review from Bruno Kavanagh, no stranger to the expressive arts, and spouse of dancer Preeti Vasudevan.
- Anita Ratnam

On November 3rd, the New York Times carried what can only be described as a rave review of an Odissi presentation by Nrityagram, who’d performed at the Gerald W. Lynch Theatre in Manhattan the previous night.

“[Nrityagram’s performers are] among the world’s greatest dancers” oozed the NYT’s most senior dance critic Alastair Macaulay, “I have sometimes found Odissi the single most beautiful dance-form I’ve experienced.” This is high praise indeed from Macaulay - a man not shy of wielding the hatchet when he feels it’s  merited.

I sent the review to an Indian friend, based in the US (a member of the “Indian classical dance community” if such a thing can be said to exist—which I think it can.). I thought she’d be pleased that an Indian classical form was getting such positive attention from the senior critic of the most influential paper in the United States.

Read the article in the site 

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