I am writing to comment on your critique of the International Dance and Music Festival ("Heavy-Footed International Show at Arts Center Is Light on Content," by Cathy Curtis, Calendar, Aug. 30) and to the response letters published in The Times.
I am one of two dance ethnologists in Orange County and was invited to participate in the planning of the festival well after the production committee was formed. It didn't take long to realize that they were totally uninterested in anything I had to say and were intent on producing a lightweight, whiz-bang show with Las Vegas lounge acts, children's groups and the like. The committee was composed of people who held distinguished positions in various fields of music and dance--none of them in folk or ethnic areas--and seemed to feel that their opinions were beyond question. So I withdrew from the event and didn't even attend the performance.
Though I feel that you might have been a bit heavy-handed in your criticism, you were on the right track. My students who attended said the same thing you did. (Festival chairman Thomas N.) Moon's letter only reinforces his position that he considers himself and the committee beyond reproach.
Dunaj International Dance