Dance office initiates student letter campaign

By Erica Harding

Editor, the Gauntlet,

Re: “Reworked Masterpiece,” Oct. 3, 2002.

On Monday, Oct. 7, I picked up a copy of the Gauntlet to read the review on Sharp Edges. To my disappointment, I found an article which shredded most of the show. In the arts community, bad reviews can be part of the business; however, critics usually have some knowledge to support their opinions. This article was nothing more than a writer lashing-out at an art form, of which he knew nothing about!

The writer, Daorcey Le Bray, begins his article with very informal language, something about his “butt” holding “apprehension” to sitting in the old theatre seats. Or, the fact that he lost “one hour of life that [he’ll] never get back”

at a U of C 101 session. He immediately introduces his audience to his cynical, and perhaps childish tone.

This tone is further developed when “Sharp Edges” becomes his main focus. Le Bray opens with a low- blow, “it’s unfortunate that the University Theatre couldn’t have a better performance featured at its grand opening.” However, Le Bray’s attack gives no attention to the performance itself; there is no mention of movement, costume, music, or otherwise.

Fortunately, the reader is spared from Le Bray’s bickering long enough to read his high regards for the more popular, even mainstream stylings of choreographer Michele Moss and Decidedly

Jazz Danceworks, whom, of course, are well deserving of praise. However, the pieces contributed by professor Davida Monk were of a completely different form of dance than the jazzed-up DJD. Le Bray allows no room for personal exploration in regards to contemporary dance.

Phrases like “pinnacle of strangeness” directly connote negative images. While the phrase, “scrapping herself with a bloody antler” only points out the author’s lack of imagination regarding dance as a form of artistic expression.

The unfortunate side of this whole ordeal lies in the fact that Le Bray knew his words were unprofessional. Readers become aware of

this fact when he states a “fear that [Le Bray will] be labeled as an

opponent of progressive expression.” And yet, the article was still printed!

The question that rings out in my mind is, where was the editor’s discernment on this piece? Was this piece even edited?

The Gauntlet is supposed to be a reflection of the student body; however, a large portion of the student body was degraded by this review. Why wasn’t a dancer, or someone with even a small inkling of dance knowledge asked to write the review of Sharp Edges?

No one on this campus should be set in opposition of another. We are one, solid community. We do not have to personally enjoy everything presented, performed, or demonstrated. Le Bray may “feel free to skip the rest” of the dance performances. I am almost sure his presence won’t be missed by the Dance Department; however, the rest of campus just might be interested in expanding their horizons, while supporting fellow faculties.

– Erica Harding


Leave a comment