Deborah Jowitt: "Dance doesn't hang on walls or sit on shelves; little of it is available online; its material as human beings. Those of us addicted to writing about it must catch it on the fly and remember it long enough to convey its essence and our response in words. In this workshop, we'll read and discuss reviews written by the participants about dances shown during the KCA season. The schedule will also include viewing video clips of dances and exchanging ideas about them and the issues they raise. I anticipate challenges and discoveries about perception, interpretation, and writing in whatever dance-related careers we have chosen."

Open to dance critics/reviewers, arts writers, arts journalists, arts bloggers, dance practitioners interested in writing on dance
Very limited capacity

Participants are expected to attend the workhop for its whole duration. They are expected to attend the KCA semi-finals season as the works presented will be used as material for the workshop (free tickets will be provided. ) Applications are considered only via EOI.


DEBORAH JOWITT began to dance professionally in 1953, to show her own choreography in 1962, and to write a regular dance column for The Village Voice from 1967 to 2011. In the 1950's and 1960's, she appeared in works by Mary Anthony, Valerie Bettis, Harriette Ann Gray, Doris Humphrey, Pauline Koner, Pearl Lang, José Limón, Sophie Maslow, Anna Sokolow, Helen Tamiris, and others. In the 1960s, she became affiliated with the then-collaborative group, Dance Theater Workshop, presenting her choreography and dancing in works by colleagues such as Jeff Duncan and Art Bauman. In the 1990s, she performed in concerts by Phyllis Lamhut, Victoria Marks, and Marta Renzi, and created an autobiographical solo, Body (in) Print, that she has since shown in many venues both in the United States and overseas.

Her articles on dance have appeared in numerous publications, among them  The New York Times, Dance Magazine, Ballet Review, and Dance Research Journal, as well as in catalogues and anthologies. She has published two collections: Dance Beat (1977) and The Dance in Mind (1985). A third book, Time and the Dancing Image (William Morrow; paperback, University of California Press), won the de la Torre Bueno Prize for 1988 and was translated into Hebrew in 2015. Her most recent book, Jerome Robbins: His Life, His Theater, His Dance, was published by Simon and Schuster in August, 2004.

She also edited and wrote the introduction for Meredith Monk (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997) and the introductions for the revised and expanded edition of Jill Johnston's Marmalade Me and for José Limón's An Unfinished Memoir (both from Wesleyan University Press, 1998). "Strange Heroes," an essay on Daniel Nagrin, appeared in On Stage Alone (University Press of Florida, 2012).

Keynote speeches include  "Writing through the Body" (annual conference, Congress of Research in Dance, Ohio State University (1998); "Beyond Description: Writing Beneath the Surface" (Korean International Dance Event, Seoul, 1996); "Form as an Image of Human Perfectability and Natural Order" (Doris Humphrey Centennial Celebration, Congress on Research in Dance conference, Columbia Teachers College, New York, 1995); keynote address, Green Mill Dance Project (Melbourne, 1994).

She has lectured, taught, and/or conducted workshops on criticism at institutions both in the United States and abroad -- among them Princeton, Barnard, the University of Copenhagen, Dance Umbrella (London), York University in Toronto, and the University of Iowa -- and has been teaching in the Dance Department of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts since 1975.  A founding member of the Dance Critics Association, she served at various times as its treasurer, newsletter editor, and co-chairman. From 1969 to 1972, she was a member of the Dance Advisory Panel to the National Council on the Arts, and its co-chair in 1972-72.

Dance Theater Workshop awarded her a "Bessie" in 1985 and in 2008 for her contributions to dance criticism, and the American Dance Guild honored her in 1991. In 1998, she received an "Ernie" -- an award reserved for dance's "unsung heroes" -- from Dance/USA. The Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) made her its 2001 honoree for her "Outstanding Contribution to Dance Research." She was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002 and a Dance Magazine Award in 2010.

She currently posts reviews at ArtsJournal


Date: APRIL 25 - 29
Time: 1pm - 5pm
Where: Dancehouse
Cost: $350 / $250 Dancehouse members
Applications for this workshop have now closed.

Participants announced:
Alice Cummins
Alison Finn
Andrew Fuhrman
Jana Perkovic
Jordan Beth Vincent
Kat Italiano
Megan Payne
Nikki Heywood
Philipa Rothfield
Philippa Hawker
Stephane Glickman
Susan Brendal





The Keir Choreographic Award Dancehouse Public Program is presented by Dancehouse in partnership with the Victorian College of the Arts at the University of Melbourne, Lucy Guerin Inc. and Deakin University and in association with the 20th Biennale of Sydney.

Dancehouse gratefully acknowledges the support of the 20th Biennale of Sydney in bringing Philipp Gehmacher, Adrian Heathfield, Adam Linder and Chyrsa Parkinson to Australia. Philipp Gehmacher and Chyrsa Parkinson are part of ghost telephone, a one-month-long chain performance curated by Adrian Heathfield for the 20th Biennale of Sydney, opening 18 March 2016 at venues throughout Sydney.

Dancehouse would like to warmly thank Phillip Keir and the Keir Foundation, Stephanie Rosenthal and Jenny Kinder for making this public program possible.

The 2016 Keir Choreographic Award is presented by Dancehouse, Carriageworks and the Keir Foundation, with support from the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.