Monday, May 20, 2013

Tentative guidelines for visitors to this blog

As you probably noticed if you frequently visit this blog (thanks so much!), I devoted two posts to Dance Kaleidoscope's  "Barefoot Renegades" program. This kind of occasional "slice-and-dice" approach to performances fulfills  one of my aims: to make "Jay Harvey Upstage"   different from my Star reviews, interviews and features. There, for instance, I typically covered all of a program in one published story, unless its very diversity forced omission of one element or another.

Part of the personal stamp I hope to put on this blog will involve delaying remarks on one or more parts of the same performance, or coming back to a performance for the sake of a topical post.  Also, I may not always observe the loose requirements that govern making a proper first paragraph, or "lede," as newspaper custom has termed it. That's a hard habit to break, but I'll work at it.

In the  Dance Kaleidoscope program I wrote about Saturday, my post focus was deliberately on the brand-new piece, "Les Noces,"  and the one from the guest choreographer, Brock Clawson. I was going after the program's novelty for local audiences. Yesterday's post allowed me to isolate some of the fascinating aspects of "Afternoon of a Faun." I liked the program's other piece, the duet from "Electric Counterpoint"; I just have nothing worth saying  about it now. There will be an occasional gap of this kind, which I hope will not be interpreted as a snub.

In the spirit of adventure and welcoming your feedback, here are a few caveats about checking in with this blog:
  • I will sometimes be wrong.
  • Being wrong will sometimes mean getting facts wrong.  This is bad, and should be brought to my attention for immediate correction.
  • Sometimes "being wrong" could mean that  your interpretation differs from mine.  That spells "success" in my book, to the extent that I'd like to encourage the arts community (let's be optimistic and call it "the vast arts community") to talk about public expressions of opinion on the arts hereabouts and add their own.
  • Sure, I'm after readership, but not routine endorsement. I like to imagine folks saying, "Did you read what Harvey had to say about this?"  And to suppose they're also discussing what Aldridge, Alvarez, Coyne, Shoger, Harry, Baugh, et al. had to say! And not to decide that so-and-so is an idiot or a genius, but to examine why they agree or disagree with him/her.
  • I'm energized by the arts, but that doesn't mean I'm in love with my opinions.  I am in love with my experience of the arts, however, and hope to make it better all the  time.  I've changed my mind about performances from time to time; sometimes I'm only dimly aware of the shift. The easiest way for me to check this is to reread an old saved clipping when I've pulled out an LP or CD (where I've tucked it into the sleeve or booklet). Occasionally I've been so annoyed by what I had to say upon hearing the recording again that I've torn up the old review, embarrassed by something harsh or dense or dull or petty I wrote long ago. It's silly to be embarrassed when no one else is around, but it happens. And that's better than to be embarrassed in public, but that will happen too — especially in today's maniacally interconnected world.


  1. You are getting me excited about arts blogging again, Jay! And not just because you mentioned me, although thanks for that, too.

    Hope Baugh - Indy Theatre Habit

  2. When I heard you were leaving the Star, I was dismayed. That is until I started reading the blog. I like you even better sans editor.