A good dance critic takes risks, teases out aesthetic questions, and faces each performance with anticipation. A great dance critic like Arlene Croce makes you believe dance is really all there is to talk about.
Arlene Croce wrote the dance column in the The New Yorker from 1973 until 1998. I first learned of her column when a high school teacher shared a photocopied review in preparation to see Judith Jamison dance. I was too young, too inexperienced and Croce's words were hollow.
And then I saw Judith Jamison dance.
And nothing was ever the same.
I traded in my pointe shoes for basketball shoes. I knew I'd never be a great dancer but I could be a dance aficionado! Now too many years later, dance still leaves me speechless.
Pas de deux with Croce and check out Writing in the Dark, Dancing in The New Yorker. All roads lead to ballet for Croce so if you need a solid history in ballet, Apollo's Angeles: A History of Ballet published in 2010 is remarkable.