Published hard copy tends to assume a life of its own that goes on somewhere, on some shelf. I was amused to learn some years ago that my Dance Australia obituary of Robert Helpmann was a set HSC text for a dance subject in NSW. Most recently, I was confronted with the existence of my politics honours thesis (University of Melbourne, 1977) catalogued by University of Wollongong. If we had a horrified version of the smiley face symbol, I could have used it here for punctuation.
Of all my dance writing, only a tiny portion of it brought me any joy. My web site: bbdance.com.au was the best part of that. The idea was to step beyond the constraints of mainstream, general-readership media and let a review/story live its natural life rather than the (necessarily and understandably) bonsaied/footbound form required by the daily press. A 300-word newspaper review could be expanded to include some fuller discussion of a work, which is extremely valuable for a world premier. I used my newspaper review as an introduction and starting point. Then there was stuff the papers didn’t want covered, like the Condors, a Japanese troupe.
As time permits, I will upload various pieces I ran on the bbdance site. The screed I ran on the home page follows:
This is a not-for-profit site, dedicated to the arts, dance in particular. It is an extension of my work in the mainstream media, functioning as a bulletin board and archive, primarily for reviews but including other writings such as interviews with dance artists and articles covering topical issues.
While strongly believing in the importance of the presence of the arts in the daily press, I also welcome the opportunity to take things further, especially in the form of reviews that have the luxury of space and offer the chance for a fuller discussion of critical appraisal, unhampered by the constraints that necessarily operate in the tightly controlled and directed traditional media. I regard the Internet as the most significant communication development since the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press.