When moving forward, it helps to consider where one has been. On the cusp of a new decade, in my new role as Dance Editor for the Brooklyn Rail, I revisited great dance writers’ thoughts on their professions. Many acknowledge the enduring difficulty of describing dance (“obviously impossible,” “like nailing Jell-O to the wall”), but this gem from Sally Banes carried me into the future: “it is partly through writing and talking about dancing that we, as a culture, collaborate in producing it.”
Since those words were written, dance has continued to expand its horizons, broaden and complicate its definitions, and connect with new audiences. The conversation around dance, too, has grown. My hope is to further that conversation in the tradition of the Brooklyn Rail—with a collective of passionate writers and a sense of bold purpose. I am delighted that the pages of this issue give a sense of the breadth of New York dance today—and tomorrow—and I aim to continue bringing readers diverse experiences and new perspectives.
Editing this section holds particular significance for me, as the women that have performed this task include former teachers and friends. I am deeply grateful for all that they have shared with me.
Happy New Year, Brooklyn. Keep writing, talking, dancing, and creating.
ContributorMary Love Hodges