Alastair MaCaulay cries at ballet, not feeling so fresh at BAM

Here, NY Times newbie, Alastair Macaulay, describes the most earnest of earnest activities–public weeping–at the NYC ballet. But then read as he boos at the apparent earnestness of Doug Varone’s “Dense Terrain,” calling it not so fresh and pretentious.

Umm…weren’t you just crying at the ballet?!!

[For an alternative, check out OUR original review of Doug Varone here…]



  1. Alastair Macaulay is unquestionably one of the best dance critics internationally with his knowledge, experience, and exacting eye for balletic invention especially.

    With that said, Macaulay broke a cardinal rule of professional reporting about the arts when he wrote a luridly mean-spirited review of Doug Varone’s “Dense Terrain” that was so overwrought with basic critical fallacies and lack of goodwill as to blight Macaulay’s reputation.

    You see, when you resort to meanness, rather than argumentation and interpretation, you release criticism from its work as a discipline of the humanities and you degrade it into the worse kind of un-evidenced expression possible.

    Alastair Macaulay may one day look back on that review and regret its nastiness and think of the fact that even reviews that pan work can be wriiten fairly and generously.

    Dance is too under-funded and too vulnerable to have mean-spirited and unprofessional reviews like that. We need fair, judicious, yet also exacting and well-evidenced reporting to shine light on the art form, even if the reviewer disagrees.

  2. BTW: Fond congratulations on this new online resource and I wish the project much success. Please note that I did not question the significance of the urinals in the lead image for CounterCritic.

  3. […] seemed based on rigid aesthetic pre-qualifications that might not apply to the work at hand, as in his barb(ar)ous review of Doug Varone’s Dense Terrain. Why would you say that a dancer is “out of shape” in a company that has […]

  4. He strikes again.

    Great blog by the way!

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