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article19.jpgAlthough it’s not a site I read regularly, I’ve always rather admired the contemporary dance focused Article 19 for being maverick and edgy. On a day like today when I’m updating links on my dance links page I look to see what they’re up to.

I’m heartened to see that they haven’t lost their nerve. The site keeps growing and uses shiny technology. Their authors speak their mind on arts issues: they’ve got it in for ACE in particular, and reading between the lines, have annoyed a few people there and other places by refusing to shut up and be pleasant. I don’t agree with all the content or style of argument, but there’s also plenty that I think desperately needs saying, and they say it loud and clear. Article 19 hits hard, and often below the belt, which might be dangerous and ill-advised, but it’s a damned sight more interesting to read, politically engaged and of-the-moment than most dance journalism (to see what they think of some other sites, see Danger Danger Danger).

Their responses to some of the letters to the editor won’t make them any friends, but some made me laugh, particularly one to the ACE Arts Debate website, a representative of which invited Article 19 to go and post stuff on their forums. Article 19’s response?
“Just by writing the piece Article19 is contributing to supporting the arts along with the several hundred other pages that this particular website has published over the years supporting dance. If you want to have a real debate you know where to find us.” (Full letter/response here)

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist