Review Of "The Dance Criticism Of Arlene Croce: Articulating A Vision Of Artistry, 1973-1987" By M. R. Strauss

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Strauss (Southeast Missouri State Univ.) presents an aesthetic framework in which to understand the critical dance writing of Arlene Croce, a former dance critic for The New Yorker (1973-87). Employing a close reading of Croce's essays, the author explores the tenets of Croce's critical practice and places her work in relation to past criticism. He emphasizes her relation to writers whose focus has been on the arts and literature. Based on an intensive review and analysis of Croce's New Yorker writings and six other essays, Strauss suggests that Croce's style is a mix of detailed, objective reporting and subjective participant-observer response. The book begins with a discussion of models for Croce's method, starting with Aristotle's Poetics, and it also chronicles writing by earlier dance writers whose approaches provided models for Croce; the author especially credits the mentorship of Edwin Denby. Strauss locates three interlaced "standards of artistic excellence" that undergird Croce's writing and demonstrates how they developed throughout her career. This is a book for those interested in arts criticism and dance. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students through faculty and professionals; general readers.


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