And the shakeups keep coming: The New York Times is reporting that founding company member Virginia Johnson will take over the directorship of Dance Theater of Harlem from the legendary Arthur Mitchell, who started DTH forty years ago.
What’s really interesting about this story—the succession was all but inevitable—is what it suggests about the sustainability of dance writing on a national level. The article gives the impression that Johnson may not even have been looking for a job were it not for the fact that Pointe magazine, where she was editor, had recently let her go. Now, Pointe doesn’t exactly drip with cred, but it is nearly as ubiquitous as the industry’s other ad-filled, mediocre journal-of-record-by-default, Dance Magazine. Its editor was fired despite this saturation? Johnson’s quoted in the article as saying her job at Pointe was “peripheral” to the business of dancemaking. Maybe looking at heading one of dance’s only nationally-read publications as some kind of non-essential hobby was part of the problem.