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Steps Beyond Artists Talk Series Presents "Dancers Who Write", Inspired by Wendy Perron's New Book
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Steps Beyond Artists Talk Series Presents "Dancers Who Write", Inspired by Wendy Perron's New Book

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Steps Beyond
Artists Talk Series
Intimate Conversations about Dance

Dancers Who Write
A discussion inspired by the book
Through the Eyes of a Dancer
By Wendy Perron
(Book Purchase Here)

Steps on Broadway
2121 Broadway at 74th Street
New York, NY 10023

Wendy Perron
Siobhan Burke
Mark Dendy
Sascha Radetsky


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 28, 2014

Tonight’s event, presented in one of the spacious studios at Steps on Broadway, was packed to the walls, with dozens of guests from the ballet and modern dance community, as well as students and staff from Steps. The focus of the Artists Talk Series was Wendy Perron’s new book, Through the Eyes of a Dancer (Wesleyan University Press, 2013). Ms. Perron danced for 30 years and was a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Ms. Perron choreographed works for her own dance company and has served as a teacher and administrator at colleges and at Jacob’s Pillow. She’s judged dance competitions and is now Editor at Large for Dance Magazine.

Also on the panel were: Siobhan Burke, a dance writer for The New York Times and Dance Magazine, who is also a dancer and lecturer; Mark Dendy, who founded Mark Dendy Dance and Theater Projects, who is also a dancer, choreographer, and teacher; and Sascha Radetsky, a Soloist with American Ballet Theatre and guest principal with national and international ballet companies. The Talk was moderated by Patricia Klausner, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Steps.

The program, Steps Beyond, has as its mission the connection of dancers with the greater artistic community through a variety of interactive opportunities, such as this Talk Series, plus Performance Lab Series, Celebrate Dance, The Faculty in Performance, and Film Nights at Steps. Tonight’s discussion became quite lively with audience feedback and questions. Each speaker on the panel initially presented her/his dance background to personalize the introduction of this conversation.

Wendy Perron spoke about her vast collection of DVD’s with her original choreographies, which motivated her to write, to memorialize her works. She told us that she includes interviews and autobiographical content, to expand the dynamic narrative. Ms. Perron read directly from her book and offered advice to dance writers. She likes to re-read and edit her work to achieve a rhythm and polish in her writing, enhancing the experience of her readers. She keeps the “reader” or “watcher” with her in the narrative process. Ms. Perron also spoke about the “advocate critic”, one who teaches and illuminates the material to the reader with little criticism.

Mark Dendy spoke of his fascination with Martha Graham’s oeuvres and her vast impact on the dance community as well as her impact on him, as a dancer and choreographer. He related stories of the effect of deadline adrenaline, the importance of the psychic energy and cerebral momentum. He also discussed the elements of dance as social, expressive, gestural, and meaningful. Siobhan Burke spoke of her background in Irish step dance, and Sascha Radetsky spoke of his offstage experience as a poet and writer of fiction. The audience fielded comments about the levels of appropriate attitude and language in journalistic dance criticism, versus the concept of “advocate critic”. A lovely reception followed the Talk, courtesy of Steps on Broadway.

Patricia Klausner of Steps on Broadway
Greets Guests of Artists Talk Series
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Artists Talk Series Panel and Moderator
Patricia Klausner, Steps Marketing and PR, Moderator
Mark Dendy, Choreographer, Dancer, Writer
Wendy Perron, Choreographer, Dancer, Teacher, Writer
Siobhan Burke, Dance Writer, Dancer
Sascha Radetsky, Dancer, Choreographer, Writer
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Wendy Perron Discusses Her New Book
at the Steps on Broadway Reception.
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Sascha Radetsky Greets Guests
at the Steps on Broadway Reception.
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Mark Dendy and Wendy Perron
at the Steps on Broadway Reception.
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Caitlin Gillette of Steps on Broadway
at the After-Talk Reception.
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at