Two items related to the recent appearance of the Dance Theatre of Harlem:
Sharon, a reader from Clovis, was troubled by one of Diane Mosier’s quotations in my 7 story about the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s performance at the Saroyan Theatre. In talking about the multicultural aspect of the company’s appeal, I included a comment from Mosier (the artistic director of the Lively Arts Foundation, which brought the company to town) in which she talked about the ethnic bond that exists between black audience members and the performers. Mosier said: “Any time you went to a Dance Theatre of Harlem performance, you could see the pride in the faces of the black people who attended.”
Sharon said in a phone-mail message:
I hope if you go further with this that someone interview an African-American person and have them quote themselves. I’m trying not to let [the comment] be racist … It just sounded so white. I guess Diane Mosier isn’t getting the NAACP White Person of the Year award. Probably not. I appreciate her passion for bringing [the company] here, but maybe they ought to have somebody else do the quotes.
I think this is a case where I could have written the explanatory material around the quote more smoothly. I don’t think Mosier’s comment was offensive. She was saying that the DTOH has always been strongly identified — and positively so — with the black community. Is it legitimate for a non-black person to comment on this bond? I’d say yes. But the quotation does sound a little brittle. I could have added more context. One other thing I’d point out: the majority of the quotations in the story come from company director Keith Saunders, who is black.
WHY NO PRINT REVIEW?
In a comment on my weekend picks post, Anne Betancourt writes:
Friday night’s performance of the Dance Theater of Harlem was excellent. The audience was enthusiastic, the technique of the dancers was superb and the choreography and costumes was innovative and exciting. Why isn’t there a review of it in the paper?
Where is the review of last week’s opera by the Fresno Grand Opera. The voices of the three main leads were among the best Fresno has heard and nothing was in a paper about their performances.
Having to use this computer/blog is a drag!