Sally Banes, Distinguished Dance Critic and Historian, Dies at 69Historians in the News
tags: obituaries, cultural history, dance
Sally Banes, an influential dance historian and critic whose books include the indispensable “Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-Modern Dance,” died on June 14 in Philadelphia. She was 69.
Her death, at a long-term care facility with hospice services, was confirmed by her husband, Noël Carroll, a philosophy professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He said the cause was heart failure resulting from complications of ovarian cancer.
Dr. Banes had been ill for many years. In 2002, she suffered a major stroke.
Dr. Banes covered many genres of dance, including break dancing in its early days. Her writing paired a vivid and inquisitive approach with a lack of agenda and a belief that dance was a crucial part of cultural history.
“Sally was leading other critics to pay a kind of attention they might not have given us,” said the postmodern choreographer and director David Gordon. “And what’s more, it was not foolish writing. It was as good as what she was writing about.”
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