Tag Archives: criticism

Emerging Arts Critics programme update

Hi all,

Toward the end of last year I wrote an extensive post about the Emerging Arts Critics programme and my participation in it, and I’d like to start by referring you there if you haven’t read it.

Just last night I attended the final performance of the 2018/2019 programme, The National Ballet of Canada’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And just this morning, my concert report on the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of Shostakovich, Langgaard, and Bartók–which is also my final contribution to the programme–was posted on The WholeNote’s website. I’d really like to thank the WholeNote staff for making the piece what it is, considering my relative naivety when it comes to classical music. I’d also like to thank them for coming up with an excellent headline for the piece–you don’t even want to know what the old one was.

Overall, this seasons’ programme has been a wonderful experience. I’ve become even closer with my fellow reviewers since last fall, and I’m already looking forward to staying connected with them in the future. I also can’t help but reflect on how much I’ve learned from the editors and mentors the programme put me in touch with. It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve had such experienced and insightful eyes take a good, hard look at my writing, and the past several months have reminded me how crucial that kind of feedback is. All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the program; this is what I love about being a writer.

If you have any interest in opera, ballet, or classical music, I hope you can get something out of it, too. And, as always, happy reading!


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Emerging Arts Critics programme

Hi everyone,

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on something that’s become a significant part of my life this fall: for the past few months, I’ve been a part of the 2018/2019 iteration of the Emerging Arts Critics programme, which is co-administered by the National Ballet of Canada, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Canadian Opera Company. The programme brings together eight emerging writers, sends us to the season’s performances of dance, opera, and classical music from each participating company, and throws us into writing reviews of one performance from each genre.

If you’ve talked with me over the past few months, you’ve probably heard that I’m having a blast with the programme. Aside from getting the chance to work with professional reviewers/mentors in various settings (workshops, one-on-one editing, etc.), I’ve also realized the incredible value of getting to talk about art with seven engaged and intelligent peers as that art is happening. Of course, the performances themselves have been fantastic, too.

Partly, I thought to write about the programme now because my contribution to its dance aspect, a review of the National Ballet of Canada’s The Dream and Being and Nothingness, was just published on The Dance Current‘s website last week (along with reviews by several of my EAC peers, which you can find here). In addition, my review of the Canadian Opera Company’s debut of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian is set to appear in the upcoming print issue of Opera Canada, which I’ve been told will be released later this month.

Working on these pieces has taught me a great deal–not only about how to review two unique and (to me) unfamiliar performance genres (for which I’m incredibly thankful to the editors of both publications), but also about how to write about and across the arts in general. To me, critical writing is simply the best way to think, feel, and learn through a work of art, and discovering that this is the case as much with dance and opera as it is with other forms has been inspirational. With these experiences in my back pocket (along with my anticipation of reviewing the Toronto Symphony Orchestra this coming spring), I’m even more confident about the future contributions I can make to the arts through critical writing.

As always, happy reading–but also viewing, listening, and thinking!


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