Southeast instructor produces scholarly work on fine arts

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Dr. Marc Strauss will once again get to see one of his creations come to life on stage when the university's fall dance concert opens Friday. But Strauss is more than just a choreographer and dance instructor -- he's also an author trying to bridge the gap between dance criticism and the layman's understanding of the art form.

Strauss' third scholarly book on dance was published in October. Called "The Dance Criticism of Arlene Croce: Articulating a Vision of Artistry, 1973-1987," Strauss' book analyzes the writings of Croce, a revered New York dance critic.

"As a professor I like to actually do a lot of writing and I'm very interested in the crossover between the fine arts like dance, music, literature, visual art and popular art like film," said Strauss. "So for me it was a very exciting opportunity to try to put a lot of what dancers do into words."

Strauss' second book, "Alfred Hitchcock's Silent Films," is part of his passion for film. His first book, "The Dance Experience," is used as a classroom text at universities.

The newest book is a revision of Strauss' dissertation that was written 10 years ago. While the book is a scholarly work, Strauss said he also tried to write it in a way that would be accessible and to make people with only a general interest in dance see beyond just the performance on stage.

Strauss said that in dance, like in sports, there is a lot to be explored beyond the simple performance.

"One of the assumptions is that they let their art or sport speak for themselves, when in fact there are a lot of them who are articulate and do have a lot of things to say about their art form or sport," Strauss said.

"Dancers have to be very good with mathematics, patterns, geometry, anatomy -- it is both an art and a craft. Any serious approach to the discipline requires both technique and deep thought about someone's work."

Strauss' newest book is available on

335-6611, extension 182

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: