New York Times: Macaulay Farewell

By Alastair Macaulay

28 December 2018

Dance is about change. The body keeps altering its shape while we watch it move. Many of the dances that were current yesterday will not do tomorrow.

“Today people don’t dance, they jump; in my day, we danced,” an old man tells his granddaughter in an 18th-century French gazette. She replies, “In your day, they didn’t dance, they walked; today is the true age of the dance.”

Dance is dead; long live dance. How has it changed since 2007 — let alone since 1978? I cite those two dates because, with this piece, I end my time as chief dance critic of The New York Times, a job I began in 2007. But I’ve been a dance critic for 40 years now. It’s also 40 years since I first visited New York from Britain, where I’d discovered dance and other performing arts, not as a practitioner but as a wallflower: a fan who wrote letters. The letters led to criticism; criticism led me to New York.

Read Alastair Macaulay’s full article (his last as chief dance critic) in the New York Times.