By Bob Hicks
Shoving Deborah Jowitt out the door because she’s not “negative” enough is like firing God because he took that seventh day off. It’s short-sighted, presumptuous, and bound to come back and bite you in the butt.
So, ouch to Village Voice arts editor Brian Parks, who pulled the plug — at least, in the pages of his once-vital publication — on one of the most important voices in American dance writing. Not to wish plagues of locusts in his cornfield, but what was the man thinking? (To give Parks his due, he explained his disagreements with Howitt clearly, and he didn’t fire her: She decided she wasn’t willing to do the things he wanted her to do.)
Over at Arts Dispatch, Barry Johnson tackles this troubling question and broadens it to a consideration of the nature of criticism itself: what is it we want from a critic, and why? It’s a provocative analysis, and we highly recommend you read it for yourself. Get off this blog and haul on over to AD.