Maintaining dance coverage

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A number of readers and others who are involved in the arts have sent notes asking what The Times’ plans are for dance coverage. Questions have come in since readers learned that longtime dance writer Lewis Segal was among those who took the buyout (his last day was Friday).

Cyrus Parker-Jeannette, the chairwoman of the Department of Dance at CSU Long Beach, put it this way in an e-mail: ‘I am delighted to see the vast coverage of the arts, and write to implore you to maintain this coverage so that the Southern California communities will remain aware and informed of the trends and events in our area. Though the reality of online access to news may be accelerating beyond the subscriptions to the printed page, there are masses in our society who still do not have computers at home and who rely on the newspaper as a source of information. Please do not diminish the coverage of the arts and dance in the Los Angeles Times.’

Arts editor Lisa Fung has let readers know that, while the critic may be gone, dance coverage won’t be. ‘No decisions have been made regarding the position. However, the paper plans to continue to review and cover the lively and exciting dance scene, particularly in Southern California.’

The Times publishes scores of dance reviews each year, as well as numerous features and news stories on the art form that are all over the dance map. Recent coverage includes stories about Peru Negro, the Grammy-nominated Peruvian music and dance ensemble; Los Angeles Ballet; “Women and War,” a showcase for female choreographers from California, at Highways Performance Space; and David Hallberg, principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre. Other staff members and freelancers have always contributed heavily to this coverage, say editors, and they plan for that to continue.