Dance critic to discuss ballet’s politics, ideas, and origins

Jennifer Homans, dance critic for The New Republic and founder and director of the Center for Ballet and the Arts, will speak at Yale on Wednesday, Feb. 11 as a Poynter Fellow in Journalism.

Jennifer Homans

Homans will give a talk titled “Politics, Ideas, and the Origins of Classical Ballet” at 7 p.m. in The Ballroom, 220 York St. The event is free and open to the public.

Before beginning life as a dance critic, Homans was a professional dancer herself. She trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts and The School of American Ballet, and later performed with the Pacific Northwest Ballet. During her tenure, she danced a wide repertory of works by Marius Petipa, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine and other 20th century choreographers.

Homans is currently the dance critic for The New Republic, and has also written for numerous other publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New York Review of Books. She has also authored numerous books including “Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet,”  which was nominated for a  National Book Critics Circle Award and named one of the top 10 books of the year in 2010 by the New York Times Review of Books.

Homans received a B.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in modern European history from New York University where is presently a Distinguished Scholar in Residence.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism was established by Nelson Poynter, who received his master’s degree in 1927 from Yale. The fellowship brings to campus journalists from a wide variety of media outlets who have made significant contributions to their field. Among recent Poynter fellows are Janet Mock, Seymour Hersh, and Della Bradshaw.

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