Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dancers leaping across a water fountain are a unique site, and this has the potential to be an interesting story. Typically, dancers dance on a stage inside an auditorium, so when they moved performances outside, it created a new atmosphere for people to enjoy.

However, the style and technique the author of the blog used to describe the fountain dancers was a flat and weak performance. Though the idea and originality of the article was interesting, poor grammar and style weakness outweighed the originality of the piece. This article was written in The Oregonian, a print newspaper, which makes it more disappointing. Reviews and articles should be well written in newspapers, especially a professional one.

What made this piece bad journalism was long, run-on sentences and weird word choices. Though the author described a dance piece, it should have been important to keep the audience in mind. Readers do not want to have to read a sentence three or four times before finally understanding its meaning. Sentences should be simple and to the point. Too much information can lose the reader’s interest, and this piece did deserve to be well written because it was a good topic.

One example of a long sentence with too much information was this: “At first glance, Linda Austin's dance at Lovejoy Fountain was similarly inscrutable, progressing from flocking patterns to pedestrian jogs to agitated shakes, but Austin, like Halprin, is a choreographer deeply attuned to her performance environment, and her ingenious use of drinking cups to stain the fountain's walls in streams of water revealed contours of the space previously unseen.”

After reading the sentence a few times, I got the overall idea of the movement and flow of the dancers, yet the words used to describe it were too big and downright weird such as “inscrutable” and “pedestrian jobs.”

If this piece was written with the target audience in mind and correct AP style, it would have been as enjoyable to read as watching the actual performance.

Link to article:

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