Dance critic Sarah Kaufman was fired from the Washington Post


The Washington Post has fired Pulitzer Prize-winning actress Sarah L. Kaufman, one of the country’s last full-time dance critics, as part of a series of job cuts announced this week.

Kaufman, who has held the position for a quarter of a century, has been briefed Her job was axed on Wednesday — the same day Post executives announced plans to shut down the newspaper’s standalone Sunday magazine and lay off its 10 employees. The paper has Also canceled was the weekly Style Invitational comedy contest, which ended the contract of former longtime Post editor and current contributor Pat Myers.

“By eliminating the position of dance critics and anything that can be dance coverage, the Washington Post limits its arts journalism and scope. I can’t understand why this institution is so closed to what dancers and choreographers have to say about our lives and the world we live in,” Kaufman said in an interview.

“My main concern is what will happen to these artists and the wider public about them,” she added.

The cuts are part of an industry-wide trend, including hundreds of layoffs announced by CNN this week. The Post Office did not offer other positions at the newspaper to redundant employees. Shani George, the newspaper’s vice president of communications, said no further layoffs were planned this week.

The Washington Post Guild responded to the cuts in a tweet, saying, “There is no justification for layoffs in the midst of a year of record hiring and growth.” Despite the layoffs, The Post has recently taken positions in reporting on technology, climate, health and Added wellness and news centers overseas.

Kaufman became the Post’s dance critic in 1996, selected by a nationwide search after spending several years as an editor at the newspaper and writing freelance dance reviews.

She won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for a set of stories that included one of her favorites – a retrospective on Cary Grant. “The way a person moves through space tells us something at a low, primitive level,” Kaufman wrote in the story. “It goes from animal to animal. It’s something so subtle that you might not consciously notice it, but when an actor moves honestly and with purpose, your eye will follow them everywhere.”

More recently, she has written several articles on art and neuroscience. This is your brain on art was an immersive video pack that considered “Swan Lake” through its effect on the viewer Brain. Kaufman also interviewed GoldLink, a Grammy-nominated rapper, to find out how freestyle rap affects the brain.

Kaufman occasionally dabbled in film reviews, criticizing the Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde for failing to showcase the star’s dancing skills. She analyzed the body language a 2016 presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. She even wrote about the Tour de France as art.

Her latest story was published Thursday afternoon: “A new ballet tumbles ‘Evita’ Perón from her pedestal.”

“Perhaps what I did a little differently is that I really tried to expand the idea of ​​what dance is and what a dance critic can do,” said Kaufman, who described colleagues as a gifted writer deeply devoted to her Beat has prescribed. and reflective of how movement and grace transcended the art form.

In fact, in 2016, she published a book called The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life.

According to Atlantic, as of 2015, Kaufman was one of the last two full-time dance critics in the country.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and be inspired by so many extraordinary artists every day of my career,” Kaufman said Thursday. “It was a great gift to be immersed in one of the greatest art forms in the world.”

Editor’s Note: The gray background of the image at the top of this story has been expanded to match the format of this page.


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