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Mary Love Hodges

Mary Love Hodges resides in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where she balances her interests in dance, books, and sustainable living.

Dance Films Association’s 37th Annual Dance on Camera Festival

Once again, Dance Films Association and The Film Society of Lincoln Center are ushering in a new year of dance with the annual Dance On Camera Festival.

An Uneasy Holiday at PS122’s COIL Festival

Everyone is watching TV. Three performers sit in the front row of the audience, monitors on their laps, staring into the glowing screens.

Reviving Coppelia: New York City Ballet Remounts a Classic

In his 101 Stories of the Great Ballets, co-written with Francis Mason, George Balanchine remarked, “Just as Giselle is ballet’s great tragedy, so Coppelia is its great comedy.”

Christopher Williams's Epic of Martyred Men

If you’re going to demand three hours from your audience, you had better give them something good. The Golden Legend, a new work by Christopher Williams, pulled out all the stops May 12–16 at Dance Theater Workshop.

Digression: A Dance Writer Looks at Whitman Undressed

Jeremy Bloom follows Walt Whitman’s declaration literally. His “Leaves of Grass,” a nude staging of “Song of Myself,” received an invite-only viewing at the Cell Theater in May, with future engagements for the public to be announced.


“Sustainability” is the word on everyone’s lips these days. Our financial practices, healthcare system, our agriculture and energy use, nearly all facets of our infrastructure are on the table for reform. Invigorated by economic pressures, environmental protection has emerged as a popular campaign not so much out of concern for ecological health, but because it is increasingly framed as financially sound and even patriotic.

Faint Impressions of Three New Ballets

Over a week has passed since I saw American Ballet Theater’s three world premieres at Avery Fisher Hall, and I’m still not sure what to make of them. Most pleasurable, for me, was seeing the company in a new venue.

Space and Cyberspace: URSULA ENDLICHER'S Internet in the Round

I entered a room with chairs grouped together like vector fields. Clustered in triangles and rows, each group faced a different direction. Where to sit?


When moving forward, it helps to consider where one has been. On the cusp of a new decade, in my new role as Dance Editor for the Brooklyn Rail, I revisited great dance writers’ thoughts on their professions.


New York is full of special finds—the perfect cup of coffee, vintage clothing steal, or niche bookstore is often tucked into some unsuspecting nook in the city. One of my favorite examples is The Tank.


In the circles I run in, there was a lot of excitement over this year’s Fresh Tracks roster. Dance Theater Workshop’s emerging artist series has sometimes been scrutinized for a liberal interpretation of “emerging,” including artists with relatively high visibility despite the array of choreographers in New York clamoring to be seen.


After the opening performance of STREB’s Run Up Walls (continuing weekends through May 23) at her action lab in Williamsburg, much of the audience stuck around to celebrate the publication of Elizabeth Streb’s How to Become an Extreme Action Hero (The Feminist Press, 2010).


“That was the most sex, drugs and rock’n’roll I’ve ever seen…without music.” Never mind music—choreographer Melinda Ring’s new work, X, barely used any sound. My friend’s remark about the dance referred to the carnal inner forces driving each moment, not the bright colors or loud sounds that serve as markers for youthful abandon.

Editor's Note

I wanted to include the letter on the next page, in part to acknowledge an artist’s response to current dance criticism generally, but also because the writing about Bill T. Jones’s work has a specific context that I think deserves more discussion than is usually granted.

A Studio of One's Own

What conditions does an artist need to make anything worthwhile? Aside from such craft-specific tools as paintbrushes or actors, the basic resources for invention are: time and attention, and freedom from the scramble to find time and attention.

Jill Sigman’s ZsaZsaLand Keeps the Party Going

There is a moment in jill sigman/thinkdance’s ZsaZsaLand when the audience must participate. “Take out your equipment,” performer Mary Suk instructs us via megaphone, opening her cell phone and holding it up.

Celebrating Ninety Years of Merce Cunningham on April 16, 2009

Merce Cunningham’s new Nearly Ninety opened at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Spring Gala like a rock show through a kaleidoscope.

Dance Theater in Small Spaces

“Get out! Get out get out! GET OUT!” He’s yelling this right next to me, in a bathroom at full capacity with a just handful of people inside.

Young Ballerina Brings Fresh Interpretations to ABT

For their spring 2009 season, American Ballet Theatre will spruce up its roster of world-renowned ballerinas when they welcome Natalia Osipova, 23-year-old shooting star from the Bolshoi Ballet, as a guest artist.

Done Into Pictures: A New Graphic Biography Celebrates Isadora Duncan’s Feminism

Spring is finally here, and with it, loose clothing, sandals, and frolicking in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. A nice time to channel the memory of Isadora Duncan, barefoot “Mother of Modern Dance,” champion of free love and unbound expression, and yes, dress reformer.

The Brooklyn Rail Remembers PINA BAUSCH

On July 1, 2009, the Guardian printed the following poem by Wim Wenders: Pina Bausch is dead...

Deborah Slater and LAVA Offer Different Visions of Inspiration and Realization

This March saw the New York premiere of The Desire Line, from San Francisco-based Deborah Slater Dance Theater. Inspired by the subtle tensions in Alan Feltus’s paintings, depicting subjects—often in pairs—caught in quiet moments, The Desire Line expands these tableax into high intensity dance dramas.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues