Who is Arlene Croce and how did she affect arts criticism in the late 20th century? How do her statements reflect her values?
Arlene Croce, dance critic for the New Yorker, gained national prominence when she refused to view and write about the dance piece "Still/Here," by the black, gay and HIV positive choreographer Bill Jones. According to her article "Discussing the Undiscussable," Croce objects to Jones' style of work known as "victim art" which incorporated ... "video-and audiotapes of real people with cancer and AIDS" in to his performance that were neither dancers nor dancing within the piece (Berger 1). Consequently, Croce's article is not a review/critique of the dance piece in particular but about the genre this type of sympathetic art falls into and the effect the piece has on the audience. Because of its content, Croce felt that she could not responsibly review someone that she felt sorry for or hopeless about.
Croce felt that the critic has three responsibilities. Croce argued against any art that manipulated the critic or audience based on feelings of sympathy, pity or admiration.
Croce along with many of her collogues saw academic criticism reduced over the past thirty years to base arguments and inconsequential rhetoric. Croce worked for the New Yorker for nearly 25 years and built a reputation as being a competent dance critic who reported on both the pros and cons. Her position and credentials gave her article "Discussing the Undiscussable," a voice that was filtered through one of the best and most highly regarded magazines in New York City. Because Croce worked for the New Yorker, her article became important in the dance criticism realm because her article highlighted several problems in dance criticisms in the 20th century. The article also served as a paradigm...