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Question of the Month

Should choreography be sanitized?

  • Andre S. - Choreographers should be able to freely express anything they want to express.
  • Maria B. - There should be some sensibility especially when making dances for youth audiences.
  • Boris W. - It is the choreographer’s duty to be bold, courageous and fearless --- remember Ballet Russes!
  • Courtney A. - If the choreography is to the point and it is purposefully executed, it should not be censored.
  • Leah B. - When it comes to depiction of violent/rape scenes and political issues, then those themes should be tackled carefully. Choreographers should be concern how the content of their dances comes across.
  • Jacek T. - Never. And yet, it is happening more and more… Cannot believe Krzysztof Pastor’s “Death in Venice” got canceled because of immorality. Who decides what moral art is?
  • Igor Z. - Perhaps you should ask the question about where the border line between being politically correct and freedom of speech is. Or, between good and bad taste?
  • Elena V. - I feel like… we are becoming less free while being more sensitive and less understanding while being more demanding.
  • Maggie J. - If Ratmansky’s “Odessa” premiered during different political climate, we would not have such a debate now...
  • Mary Wohl H. - No - choreography should not be sanitized. This sticks of censoring writers, visual artists, musicians, theater, etc..............
  • Mary R. - Your question is biased. Choreographers should have freedom to express their artistry, however, well-known choreographers should be evolving the form with new and unheard of stories. How many times should I have to see a rape scene in a ballet?
  • Kyle C. - No. Art is a means of putting a lens on a specific issue to raise awareness and change minds.
  • Laurie P. - Choreographers need the freedom to choreograph without restrictions, as audience members are free to avoid performances they find offensive
  • Kitty L. - Artists should not be censored, and should control their own work.
  • Daniel L. - I choose not to dignify this question with an answer because in doing so would mean, to some extent, that I agree with the sanitization of choreography.
  • Judith H. - I am a firm supporter of free expression. The arts deal with life. Who is suppressing free expression in dance? Sometimes subtlety rather than explicitness is most effective when themes are controversial.
  • Victoria M. - Because dance is about human experience everything we do onstage inherently expresses our values, our yearning and our outrage; we are in chains and we are liberated; we are responsible to it all.
  • Francesca J. - It concerns me when the voices of artists are stifled. This is censorship, and censorship is dangerous. Conversely, it is the artist’s responsibility to carefully consider any intentional and unintentional messages in the art they offer the world.
  • Matthew R. - No. Life imitates art and art imitates life; Life isn't always sanitized and choreography allows a platform for thoughts/different perspectives to resonate in our minds/hearts. It can bring difficult subjects to light and promote change/new ideas.
  • Oralee S. - A choreographer should express whatever calls to them. If audiences conclude something was portrayed in a tactless, disrespectful, or artistically useless way, they are also free to express their displeasure. Free speech, and feedback.
  • Asami S. - No, Choreographers are artists and our job is to express no matter the restriction. Strong voice can actually change history and people's mind.