My name is Susan Lenz and I finally accepted Jasper's invitation to write about dance. I was asked before, more than once. I turned the offers down. Why? Well, I didn't feel qualified. I'm still not really qualified to be a dance critic. My personal experience is mostly confined to elementary school Friday afternoons inside the Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire Department using the back of a folding chair as a ballet barre. This experience, however, let me fall in love with the idea of dancing, so much so that in the early 1990s I agreed to exchange my services as a custom picture framer for tickets to the ballet. I took my six year old son. He begged for lessons. I gave in when he was eight. He's now a principal dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet in England. Since that time, I've seen a lot of dance, all over the world—and more than just ballet.
While I don't really know dance vocabulary or history, I am now undoubtedly an expert audience member. I will be writing about local dance from that particular point of view. I plan to address theater etiquette, the difference between civic and professional companies, realistic expectations from productions, and background information regarding all those items listed in dancer's biographies. I'd like to write about live music and canned music, costuming and set limitations, education and outreach, as well as touring, auditions, and special previews. I hope to interview a few artistic directors, corporate sponsors, company staff, parents, and, of course, dancers! My aim is to increase awareness of the opportunities to witness dance in Columbia but also to provide insider information that will make our audiences better informed, eager for quality, and excited about every upcoming show. To that end, I invite dancers, dance organizations, and anyone interested in dance to make suggestions for future blog posts!
Susan Lenz is a full time, professional studio artist in Columbia, South Carolina. Her studio is located at Mouse House, Inc. at 2123 Park Street where she has both a studio for 3D sculptural and installation work and a separate fiber art studio. Susan's work has been juried into numerous national and international exhibits, featured in solo shows all over the United States, and shown on television and in print.