I admit it. I know nothing about dance.
I don’t know how to dance, nor how to ‘fisk’ an artistic criticism of a modern dance performance.
In fact I think it’s fair to say that I know as little about the art of moving rhythmically to music, using prescribed or improvised steps and gestures, as Guardian dance critics know about the political contours of the Middle East.
Thirty-four of the ninety-two words in Judith Mackrell‘s review of a Birmingham performance by the Israeli dance company Batsheva (Guardian, This Week in Dance, Nov. 10) dealt with the Israeli-Conflict. Or, more specifically, more than one-third of Mackrell’s piece focused on the West Bank and Gaza.
Here’s her “review”.
While I was unable to locate any evidence that Naharin made such a comment about Gaza – and, in fact, the characterization of the territory as “occupied” has been rejected by Hamas leaders themselves - the larger issue is why a Guardian correspondent specializing in artistic criticism feels compelled to examine the political beliefs of the director of an Israeli cultural institution.
It’s as if, for those on the Guardian Left, all Israelis, from all walks of life, now require a sort of moral exoneration by journalists – those routinely bowing to the cult of ‘Palestinian Solidarity’ – if they are to be admitted into the international cultural community.
The BDS movement against Israel is as marginal as it is unsuccessful, and whatever political capital it possesses is due merely to the acquiescence by the radical chic clique of political and cultural posers to its malign agenda.