Mesmerized, Baffled, and Smitten by the Magic of Dance

A Veteran L.A. Dance Critic Reflects on Her Passion for the Art Form

My career as a dance critic really began when I was six years old, though I didn’t know it. My mom signed me up to take a creative movement class at a local West Los Angeles park. The specific details of this long-ago outing are too deeply buried in my memory to dig up. I do know it was centered not on learning a dance technique, but on imaginative play and natural movement—running, crawling, and whirling about. My sharpest recollection is of a recital performance in a recreation room and …

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The Play I Had to Write About the Murder That Haunted Me

To Forget Is to Remain Trapped in Purgatory, but Re-Imagining Horror Can Bring Catharsis

Mary Turner.

That name is forever etched into my memory … into my existence, as an artist, a writer, a woman, a mother, a human being.

On May 19, 1918, …

What Saudi Arabia’s Vibrant Art Scene Says About Its Internal Struggles

Artists Are Using Ambiguity to Probe the Fault Line Between Modernity and Conservative Islam

When I first saw Ajlan Gharem’s video, “Paradise Has Many Gates,” at an art studio in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, I was amazed.

It opens with a small single-story structure made …

Empathy’s Evolution in the Human Imagination

What Began as an Aesthetic Response to Art Is Now a Highly Complex Neurochemical Reaction

Empathy seems to be one of the most “natural” emotions, but before 1908, no one in the English-speaking world had heard of it.

And when it did appear, “empathy” was …

Our Exhibition Embraced Selfies, Snapchat, and Shopping Malls—and Went Viral

In the Overheated Art World, Social Media Give Millennials New Tools For Engagement

Even a few years ago, galleries and museums that showcased their collections via Instagram were a minority. Now Instagram is ubiquitous. Cellphone cameras have officially replaced sketching among museum-goers. …