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Yesterday I had a meeting with my dance mentor Ananya Chatterjea. We were winding down our meeting when I remembered an article by Brenda Dixon-Gottschild that I had read for Ananya’s class. In the article, “Some Thoughts on Choreographing History” which is found in the book Meaning in Motion: New Cultural Studies of Dance edited by Jane C. Desmond, Brenda talks about a white, female choreographer who complains to her saying that she is “sick and tired” of Brenda’s critique of irresponsible writing of dance historians. Brenda later goes on to point out that after having a conversation with this person, the writer was later able to open up and examine more thoroughly her own work. When I asked Ananya if she knew who this person was who Brenda described, she said that Brenda had never told her–Ananya was Brenda’s student and close friend.

What struck me was what Ananya said after. She said that Brenda had dealt with a great deal of hardships in writing about Balanchine, one of her main focuses. As a woman of color who was writing about the Africanus presence in Balanchines’ work, she found herself unable to even gain access to certain venues. Ananya made a strong point to me after this. She said that she is too old to work with bitches. What has the world of academia, specifically dance studies become encapsulated in? We MUST make friends in this business if we are to make a difference. Being catty, bitchy, or overly defensive about your work will get you no where, and will make the already prejudiced audience even more put off by the field.

We must must must work together, stop being defensive, and collaborate to create a web of powerful, critical writers. Critically looking at each other’s work will help us, but taking things personally will only arrest our development…haha, funny!

This is my CALL TO ACTION. Let’s stop being accusatory and combative and start being critical and nurturing. I’m only 23 and I’m already tired of the bitches.

I’m out

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